Story #91. Soldiers May Be Tired, but They Keep Fighting

May 18, 2023
The story of Khrystyna, call sign Kudryava, who defends Ukraine in the east. #UkraineWorldTestimony

30-year-old soldier Khrystyna, call sign Kudryava (Curly), has been serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces for 10 years. She studied at the Kharkiv National Guard Academy and later underwent international military training. At the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, Khrystyna was at a combat posting in Luhansk Oblast.

Since then, as the deputy commander of a mortar battery, she has been defending Ukraine in hot spots like Rubizhne, Severodonetsk, Lysychansk, and Bakhmut. The most difficult thing for Kudryava in this war is the loss of her people.

Despite her inner strength and endurance, Khrystyna admits that she sometimes gets exhausted. "I'm tired too. I don’t admit it, but it's true. I'm tired of living in the moment, just here and now, because that's all I have. Tired of reminding others that there is a war going on.

I'm tired of twitching whenever someone says out loud the numbers "300" (code for wounded) and "200" (code for killed in action), because these are not just mere numbers anymore. Tired of thinking about my guys in captivity and remembering those whom I’ll never see again. Tired of thinking that one day I may not see those who are with me now.

I'm tired of not reacting to explosions, tired of distinguishing between the launch and the hit. Tired of not washing and not paying attention to the state of my health. Tired of answering the question "How are you?" I'm very tired of taking photos of volunteer help. Especially not with those people who actually use it. Because those people simply don't have time for photos.

I'm tired of not wearing a dress and not allowing myself to be lighthearted, tired of not crying. I'm even getting tired of all these words about fatigue.

But you know what? All, absolutely all fatigue, weakness, despair, pain, and everything else is unimportant. I'll be here and do my best. Because this is our way."

When Khrystyna thinks about the fact that people have the opportunity to rest in relatively safe regions of Ukraine, she is happy. It means that she and her comrades are doing a good job.

She knows that the most important thing is to believe in Ukraine’s victory, to not lose heart, and to do everything she can to bring victory closer.