Why is there no attention to women
who are in real combat? There are a lot of those. I know a young girl,
she handled a machine gun with double magazine, and she was on the front-line
in 2014. She was wounded. She alone helped to pull back
the company from Debatlsevo cauldron. Nobody knows about this. And there are a lot of
cases like this. – What profession
did you have before the war? – I am a construction worker
with 15 years of experience. – And I am an economist. Our gunner, she is not here right now,
teaches Ukrainian. – Girls, when did you start fighting? – In 2014. – So from the very beginning?
– Yes, almost. – And where did you fight? – Well… Petrovsky district (of Donetsk).
There… in adjacent territory of Krasnogorovka
and Mariinka settlements. After that, Debaltsevo cauldron. Than back to Petrovsky. I was in Mariupol direction. Than I came here,
joined the 11th regiment. – And switched to a tank.
– Right. – Is it hard for a woman physically
to handle a tank? – Well, driving and shooting is not hard. However to correctly service
the machine is very hard, because woman physically is
not as developed as a man. So we have to
continuously ask guys to pull the breech block pin
for example. – Help is needed everywhere.
– Yea. You should’ve seen how we
cleaned the main gun for the first time. It was hilarious. Because you have to
push and pull that cleaning rod 30 times
back and forth. And every time you have
to get inside and screw it on. So, it’s physically exhausting. Guys manage it much quicker. Besides, they’ve done this before. Commanders tech. deputy
of the battalion got in front of us Gennadiy Nikolaevich and started to drag us
back and forth on that rod. It was so funny from the side.
But it was ok. We already got used to
doing everything ourselves. When you are in a tank… all your problems just
take a back seat and you just get ready to work. As I’ve said before when we shot from a tank
the first time emotions were spilling over… and I can’t compare them
to anything. Guys have already congratulated
us on the Tanker’s Day. They said that we are tankers already. Although we didn’t
go through water obstacle yet. – How long have you been on the tank? – 1.5 month. – And what has
swayed your decision… … to pick a tank?
– Dunno, it’s interesting. – I wanted to learn to drive it. – She was posted as a guard. – I was serving as a guard, when they were
selecting volunteers… – There is a main crew
and a backup crew. Girls from backup crew are back with their
units right now. Because we are all
from different units. And we are participating
everywhere right now. – So, there are only 2 female
tank crews in DPR? – How shall we say… – De facto, only one working crew – us. – The last question. How did it happen that such
fragile girls went to fight? What was the motivation? – I’ve said it before… Everyone of us has their own reasons. Speaking for the whole crew
I would say that… I don’t want to see
how cities burn, and children die. How my children have to hide. Jana’s children. And she has young kids.
Mine are 18 and 18 y.o. So… Families that live basically
on the front line… My younger sister
lives in Staromikhailovka next to Krasnogorovka,
right at the front-line. And when I call her every day, I ask her, if she has
emergency bag packed. And she has 4 year old son,
and 14 year old daughter. They have to go to the basement
basically every day. The ‘truce’ doesn’t really matter,
it’s only getting worse. So, it’s not only some
personal reasons… but also because… well, I was born here,
I grew up here, I work here, I have kids,
relatives here. Why do I have to go from my land
and leave all of this behind, and adapt to those people
who don’t like our way of life? Our opinion. The way we… try to teach our children. Our children don’t
reject Ukrainian language. My kids learn both Ukrainian
and Russian. It’s normal. My son, he was in militia… I explained to him
that language is not the problem. The problem is in people who
made everything in such a way that we would be against them,
and they would be against us. That is it. – Do you feel fear in war? – Well, only idiot doesn’t. – The first time under shelling… – Yes, the first shelling was something… I didn’t know where to run
and what to grab hold of. And later on, the adrenaline… You get used to it so much,
you just can’t go without it. – Without this sound… – It’s like a lullaby for me
when shells land somewhere… Excuse us, we have to go on formation.