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  • 02 March 2024
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“To win, you need not only to destroy the enemy, but also survive” — Yan Chekmaryov

Tactical medicine instructor Yan Chekmaryov (pseudo “Khokhol”) belongs to the generation of people who grew up during Russia’s decade-long war against Ukraine.

Yan apprehended the imminence of a “big war” and the necessity to be prepared for it long before the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. So he joined the NGO “TakMed Kharkiv,” where he became friends with its founder and head, Danyil Zhmuydov (“Tykva”). Having acquired the appropriate skills, he went on a mission with the First Pirogov Volunteer Mobile Hospital— to work on casevac.

After Danyil passed away, Chekmaryov had to take over the leadership of the NGO.

Yan says that “Tykva” taught him tactical medicine and that you can’t stand aside in times of common trouble.

“I quite romanticized the war,” “Khokhol” admits, recalling his first PFVMH mission. The first wounded soldiers in the evacuation of whom he participated had minor to moderately severe injuries.

“Then there was a call where I came across a severely injured person who was bleeding profusely,” says Jan. The fighter began to tell him about his wife and children. And because of empathy, “Khokhol” simply fell into a stupor. “But I had a very experienced team that quickly brought me back to my senses.”

This experience greatly influenced Yan and helped him understand the constant need to maintain theoretical knowledge and practical skills. So, the TakMed team will probably engage in providing aid to the victims of the rocket attacks on Kharkiv by Russian barbarians.

He believes he should now better focus on “TakMed Kharkiv” because the PFVMH medevac and casevac operations require medical education, which Yan does not have.

“I think it is better to pay attention to the training of the military and civilians to prevent deaths. This is very important because it seems to me that to defeat this enemy, it is not enough to destroy it. You still need to survive,” says Khokhol.

More in the interview with Yan Chekmaryov by journalist Dmytro Tuzov:


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