Ukraine: Defense of Mykolaiv shows what it’s like to fight Russians


After dark, with adrenaline coursing through his veins, Maksim lay with a clutch of fellow Ukrainian volunteers in a shallow trench, waiting for the Russian armored convoy as it lumbered through wintry sleet east of Mykolaiv.

When the lead Russian vehicle was nearly upon them, the Ukrainians launched a barrage of flaming Molotov cocktails, lighting up the armored personnel carrier so it could be directly targeted with a rocket-propelled grenade.

The tactic worked, recalls Maksim, a welder with a taste for dragon tattoos, from his hospital bed days after the attack. His team had stopped the four armored vehicles, and captured or killed their Russian occupants.

Why We Wrote This

Resilience in the face of seemingly overwhelming power is a main theme of this war. Our reporter visited the front lines in a southern city to examine the disparity in motivation between attacker and defender.

Indeed, in the past 12 days, Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers have fended off multiple Russian attacks in and around Mykolaiv, a strategic port city of 500,000 seen as the gateway to Odessa, on the Black Sea.

Maksim was so close that shrapnel from the first RPG round struck the back of his skull. His head is now bandaged, framing blue eyes and a round face with a boyish beard.






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *