Things have been busy here since I last wrote. For the past five days the team and I have been working back around the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
The situation in the disputed areas is evolving at the quickest rate we have seen since the war began back in February – the Ukrainian counter offensive has been impressive.
First, I’ll tell you what we have been up to. After that, I’ll briefly explain how the conflict seems to be developing across the country… about the Ukrainian’s spirited counter-offensive and what the Russians have euphemistically named their ‘regroup’ into the Donbass.
Knowledge is the difference in life and death
WE took more local units for intense training courses this week, teaching them how to deal with explosive ordinance devices. Showing them how to detect, deactivate and or dispose of ordnance. It was full-circle, start-to-finish training.
I’VE noticed a big change in the attitudes of the people we have been teaching. In the last training that we took in a similar setting (it was a while ago), the guys were not as serious as they are now.
People have changed
SO many have friends and family members fighting at the front or have lost someone they know. Consequently, the seriousness and conviction of the average Ukrainian is at a much more heightened level.
Everything you say is taken on board. Their attention doesn’t waver. Nothing is lost and questions are answered. They have the vivid sense that what they are learning actually saves lives, and I’m happy we are in a position to pass on this potentially life-saving knowledge.
MAPS are one way of understanding the developments in a war zone like this. Of gauging how momentum swings and the tides turn.
What we have seen in the last five days has really been unparalleled up to this point. The engine of this counter-offensive has been bravery of the Ukrainians. Their uncompromising will to make it happen.
This push has dealt a huge blow to the Russians. They have been forced back, leaving loads of equipment behind. The Russians were left no choice but to cede kilometres that they invested so much time and manpower into taking in the first place.
It all happened so quickly, and it happened because of how highly motivated the Ukrainians are at the moment. They are fighting vehemently, tooth and nail, to protect and save their homeland.
The Russians know exactly how important what has happened this week has been. They will understand that if more of this comes then the whole ‘operation’, as they call it, will be in jeopardy.
A hard winter
Continue to believe that Ukraine will win this and that it is just be a matter of time. However, it might drag on for a while, and, no doubt, we are heading for a hard winter. Already the weather here reminds me of home, rain and more rain. The impending cold conditions are on everybody’s minds now. We have to get the right kind of kit and equipment at the ready. It is not going to be an easy few months.
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