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  • Код ЄДРПОУ / USR Code 39932886
  • 10 December 2022
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Bo, not the bear

Pseudo “Bo,” 42, a driver/paramedic, the location’s senior driver. In his civilian life, he worked all the time at the wheel, mainly for bank collection services. He has been volunteering for PFVMH since 2015. His first long, five-month mission began in July 2022 in Bakhmut. He worked in the village of Luhanske near Svitlodar, then in Zolote – until mid-December.

“With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, I came to Kyiv to the PFVMH base and have been with them since then. In 2016, I went to the village of Novooleksandrivka in the Luhansk region for a month. Then, in 2017, volunteers worked for 6-7 months at the Novotroitske checkpoint, providing medical aid to the local population who were moving from one side to the other. And now I can’t count the number of missions I’ve spent at PFVMH.

“Nowadays, the war is entirely different. Before 2022, heavy artillery rarely worked, at most mortars, SPG and RPG launchers, and sometimes tanks from both sides. Nevertheless, medical aid was also needed.

“In 2018, I signed a contract with the Armed Forces and returned at the end of 2021. We had a woman at PFVMH whom I used to see during missions. She went to serve at a battalion aid station. They lacked hands; a driver was needed for military medics. I agreed. I was supposed to go to Poland then, already opened a visa, submitted documents. But I decided that it would be better to stay here. I called another colleague paramedic from PFVMH whom I met in 2016. We were joined by one more PFVMH member, let him rest in peace. He died. He was our commander, the aid station chief, pseudo “Feofan.” He served in the Armed Forces, and his father served in the PFVMH. The last name Pysmenny. Just a couple of months to go before demobilization, and he died,” Bo averts his eyes, full of sadness, and looks into the distance.

The first mission after the full-scale invasion for Bo began in Bakhmut in May. This time, the veteran was also thinking of earning money abroad, but the great war broke out, so he stayed in Ukraine again.

“I think I’m needed here. My skills, my knowledge. I’ve learned the roads, the population. I know how to communicate with the locals properly. Not very easy people live here, as they say. The war is as it is. It’s hard and cold. The locals are cold and hungry. Staying are mostly those who are lonely, who have nowhere to go, and who are afraid of what there will be.

“There are people here who have lived in a small town all their lives and have never been even to Donetsk. They do not know what is happening in Kyiv, outside their region or abroad. They have seen an eyeful of Russian television. Once, in 2015, we came to Zolote to distribute humanitarian aid to civilians. A father with a child and his mother came up. He began to say about ‘how good it is in Russia,’ to complain about the war, ‘what is this war for? It is bad abroad, people there live even worse’ than they do here. I ask, ‘How do you know? Have you been abroad?’ He says: ‘No, I haven’t, but I saw it on TV.’ I ask, ‘Where have you been in Ukraine? Have you been to the capital?’ and he answers, ‘I haven’t even been to Donetsk in all my life. I don’t even have a passport and money to leave the village and paste a new photo.’ There are those who are waiting for the ‘Russian world,’ there are all kinds of sociopaths: alcoholics, drug addicts,” Bo says about the local population.

At the PFVMH location, the senior driver takes care of vehicles and logistics: the lighting of previses, wiring to the generator, postal parcels for medics, medicines for hospitals and stabilization posts. Recently, PFVMH received over 300 kg of clothing for the military at the Bakhmut stabilization post. Doctors cut the damaged uniform in blood and dirt, so a change is needed to have something to wear afterward. Conscious Ukrainians donate T-shirts, sweaters, pants, sports suits, underwear, slippers, etc.

“I have a family waiting for me: my wife, two children, and now a granddaughter. My son is at home, and the girls are abroad, for the time being, they have to come for the New Year holidays. I miss them. We have never been apart for so long. Even when I served in the Armed Forces, we used to see each other once in a half-year. And here, at the front, is my big family: many friends, colleagues, close acquaintances. You get used to these people. Some leave, others come. It’s nice that they are coming back.

“I’ve got so used to such a military life on wheels that I can’t even imagine what I’ll do afterward. Our victory will be only the collapse of Russia. Even if we draw them back to the borders, the Russians will attack us again in 5-10 years. We’re not going to have peace unless the empire collapses as the Soviet Union once collapsed. They have wanted to conquer us for more than 300 years, and they did conquer us. Until the federation disintegrates into Muscovy and those appendages. After the First World War, in which the Germans had been defeated, they could not calm down and built up their strength again for the Second World War but got it in the neck. The same are the people in Russia who are not used to working, inventing something themselves; they steal everything and even have translated Ukrainian songs into Russian.

“I like to travel: Ukraine, abroad, the Carpathians, hiking. I haven’t thought about what I will do after the end of the hostilities. It’s still too early. It will not end soon. When we drive the Russians out of Ukrainian lands, there will be an official Victory… But we’ll have a lot to put in order inside the country. An internal war follows every great war. And the internal enemy also needs to be removed,” Bo concludes, because another call from a PFVMH evacuation team is heard on the walkie-talkie, and the resuscitation ambulance will again go from Bakhmut to Kramatorsk.


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