АвторAuthor: Inna Molchanova | Translation:
22 June 2022
Since the beginning of the war, he has been defending Ukraine, the most valuable thing for us now. But, like all of us, he feels fear, hatred for the occupier and love for his people, Ukrainians. That is why, even at the frontline, he volunteered, helped to repair equipment, and raised funds for the soldiers’ personal protection. This is all about Dmytro, a serviceman from Cherkasy. Before the war he was an artist and sculptor. He has now donated two of his sculptures to a charity auction.
From the first day of the war, I decided that I had to go to defend my country. I went to take my form. At that time he only recovered from coronavirus, so on February 24 I didn’t go to the military registration and recruiting office. I waited for a few days for me and my wife to recover, because the whole family was ill. Then I visited the military registration and the recruiting office, and a week later they called me and said: “Mobilize.” I tried to prepare for all of this, because I understood that it was impossible not to go to defend my country.
At first, I went to a training center, where the instructors explained and taught us everything they knew.
Psychologically, I was ready for military conditions, because I served in the engineering regiment in 2015-2016. So I was familiar with military affairs, I understood morally what was behind it and the way it works.
Plus, I also adjusted myself psychologically, of course, I was afraid, a little nervous. I took an expander with me to relieve emotional stress and at the same time trained my arm muscles.
I will always remember what happened to us in the Lviv region. It was approximately the middle of March. I woke up at 5 am from loud flashes in the window, realized that it was shelling. It was still dark, a lot of people began to run out, flee to the trenches. It was very scary.
The rockets flew over my head, thundered, I was hiding into the ground. When I ran out, I saw a huge flash: it was like a mushroom-cloud, red as a nuclear one, he hung over the forest for a few moments.
Near us, two hundred meters away, buildings were badly damaged, everything was on fire, it was a terrible, apocalyptic spectacle.
Now I am on duty in one of the divisions, we take turns going to the outfits, repairing equipment. Now we are on the second frontline, we hear some cannonade every day. We were also in Mykolaiv, so we were even closer to the epicenter of hostilities.
At the end of April, we had a need to repair the armored personnel carrier in my unit, there were faulty engines and it did not go on its own. I heard a certain sum of money was needed and decided to try to raise the necessary amount.
I made a post asking for help on my Facebook page. I made it for friends mostly, not in public, but in two or three days friends and acquaintances transferred 72,000 hryvnias.
Thanks to the support of people who care, two APC engines were repaired and restored in May.
They installed and took them for synchronization to professionals in repair of the military equipment. It cost 45 thousand hryvnias plus five thousand hryvnias for engine oil. We made the second engine at master’s from Odessa.
That day Roman Kravchuk, the head of the Cherkasy regional organization of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine saw my post on Facebook.
He called me and told me that he wanted to create a charity auction: to put up for sale paintings by Cherkasy artists, and to transfer funds to us for repairs and other military needs.
I understood that such support is important to us, these funds would definitely be helpful at the frontline. In addition, I also joined the charity auction of artists: I gave out two of my sculptures.
My wife and son left Ukraine for the Czech Republic, so I asked my sister to put my work up for auction.
These were some of the last works made out of big materials. The first – Leleha – a character of ancient Greek mythology, a divinity. I once read a book about her and decided that I would create it one day. At first I drew a sketch, and in 2013 I started to make it, and in 2019 I finished it for an exhibition. This is a one meter sculpture, made of wood.
The second work is Warsaw Mamay. I made it to order, a man who lives in Poland wanted to buy it from me, he is an ethnic Ukrainian.
Then I moved from studio to studio and this sculpture got lost somewhere, so I started making another one, bigger in size. Then the previous sculpture was found, and I sent him a smaller one, and handed over the larger one for auction.The reason why the sculpture is named this way, because it was being prepared to be sent to Poland. This is a Cossack with a machine gun, now a very relevant image. The auction itself took place at the Cherkasy Art Museum. 25 works were sold, including my two. Thanks to this, we managed to save almost 250 thousand hryvnias.
Half of this amount has already gone to the paratrooper’s treatment, his lower limbs were amputated after the explosion. He is not from our division. The other half of the funds remained for our division.
With these funds raised by the artists, I ordered plate carriers – small bulletproof vests, a little lighter, because there are warriors who find it difficult to wear them. We ordered eight plate carriers from Cherkasy volunteers. 58,000 hryvnias were spent with the delivery.
I am extremely grateful to my fellow Cherkasy artists who supported my division, provided paintings for the charity auction, and raised a large amount of money. It will go to restore faulty equipment and personal protective equipment for our soldiers. The fighting spirit of our defenders is high, we feel supported and ready to defend our land.
Чому важливо поширити цю історію?
Якщо українці не розповідатимуть свій погляд на війну в Україні, світ поступово забуватиме про нас. Натомість цим обов’язково скористаються росіяни. Тому не даймо їм жодного шансу.
Why is it important to share this story?
If Ukrainians do not share their views on the war in Ukraine, the world will gradually forget about us. Instead, the Russians will definitely take advantage of this. So let's not give them a chance.
АвторAuthor: Inna Molchanova | Translation: