‘I Feel Rage and Disgust’: Ukrainian Soldier’s Angry Letter From Frontline

A Ukrainian serviceman who went from working in a museum to fighting on the front line, has described the conditions he and his comrades are enduring and made an impassioned plea for further Western support for Kyiv against Russia.

“I am not a military man. I never aspired to be in the military,” started the letter signed by Nazar Razlutsky and published on the independent outlet Ukraine Frontlines.

He said that with a Ph.D. in history, he used to spend his time researching history and writing about science, even turning his hand to fiction. “But lately I’ve been in the military because there’s a war in my country.”

He then details the frontline conditions now faced by his fellow Ukrainians who used to work as historians, accountants, bankers, IT workers and those from “other peaceful professions.”

Ukrainian troop in Donetsk
A Ukrainian serviceman stands in a trench on the front line in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, on October 24, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine. Nazar Razlutsky, a Ukrainian serviceman has written a letter from the frontline detailing the tough conditions his fellow troops face.
DIMITAR DILKOFF/Getty Images

“We sleep on crates in unbelievable cramped conditions in the backs of trucks, and wash in warm water once a month,” wrote Razlutsky, who is serving as a junior sergeant. “When it rains—we’re wet, when it swamps—we’re dirty as hell,” he said.

He described how his compatriots fighting are being killed by missiles, bullets, cluster and phosphorus munitions. “Some of them are already dead. And some will never go back to their specialty, because they are burned out.

“But all of them continue to fight. Because Ukraine is behind them. For if they lay down their arms, their parents will be killed, their wives and daughters raped, and their homes destroyed or confiscated.”

“When politicians from France, Italy, Germany and other countries suggest that we lay down arms, agree to the loss of territories, give Russia some security guarantees…I feel rage and deep disgust.”

“We don’t need offers to surrender,” he wrote, taking aim at suggestions to negotiate for peace before Russian troops are fully driven out of Ukraine. “If you are not ready to fight with us against an enraged enemy, then help us with weapons, money, sanctions.”

On Monday, foreign ministers of Northern European and Baltic states committed to continue supporting Ukraine politically and militarily.

This month the U.S. announced that it and its allies would boost air defense capabilities to Ukraine. The U.S. has sent thousands of Stinger air defense systems and National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems (NASAMs).

Razlutsky said that the international community should take note of the signs of Ukraine’s resolve to defeat Russia in which historians “are willing to sleep on crates of five people for two bunks” and accountants “are willing to eat nothing but porridge and stew for months.”

“We have young students who spend their best years in danger of death, and they’re not going anywhere unless they all get killed,” he said.

“With your consent, Ukraine will fight either until victory or until it can’t resist.”

Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian Defense Ministry for comment.

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