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    5. Ukrainian military medical trainees trained for counteroffensive


    Ukrainian military medical trainees trained for counteroffensive

    When the instructor yells “Sniper!” growls the American instructor. “Your platoon has been hit!”

    In the Kharkov class, 30 combat medical trainees fall to the floor and frantically bandage their right legs with tourniquets. When finished, they jump to their feet and raise one hand.

    “Sniper!” yells the instructor, and the sweaty toe workout begins again as half of the medic trainees wrap tight bandages around their comrades' legs.

    Next shout: “Artillery!” four limbs of soldiers pretending to be wounded in preparation for the type of damage they are likely to have to deal with when the Ukrainian counter-offensive begins.

    “You can be the most trained soldier, but the artillery does not choose,” said a colonel in the Operational Command “North” of Ukraine, who uses the call sign “Raccoon”.

    His duties include providing for 40,000 people under his command, some of whom barely finished school, become the best doctors and soldiers. They don't have much time.

    Kiev has called in an unknown number of people in preparation for the upcoming assault on Russia's defensive lines, although the real figure is likely to be in the tens of thousands.

    The loss of life

    The loss of life will be high .< /p>

    An attack usually costs an army more than a defense, and Russia has had months to build a huge series of defensive fortifications with the goal of channeling any Ukrainian breakthrough into a narrow lane and hitting the advancing troops with artillery. .

    When the instructor yells “Artillery”, the medics apply tourniquets to all four of the other soldiers' limbs in preparation for that type of injury, which they are likely.

    Since the start of the war, tens of thousands of Ukrainians have been trained abroad, including more than 15,000 through the British Operation Interflex.

    NATO has spent more than 50 years preparing for a conflict with Russia, so its knowledge and military equipment are considered vital important for supporting the armed forces of Ukraine.

    But Ukraine has neither the time nor the resources to send thousands more abroad. , so most of them went through their trials in camps like this one. The exact location of the site is kept secret as it is within range of Russian S-300 missiles.

    Learning from the Experienced

    About 200 people pass through the Trident Defense Initiative (TDI) training camp every week. Yenot would like them all to be combat medics, knowing what awaits on the front lines.

    TDI is a group of former British, Spanish, American and Canadian soldiers with years of experience serving in the most trained armies.The Ukrainian military has designated the organization's base as an official training center in recognition of their work in preparing some 10,000 troops for combat operations in the war.

    Gone are the obligatory lessons of patriotism that were taught to recruits six months ago, and exercises from the clumsy Soviet military doctrine used by Russia.

    Now the emphasis is on marksmanship, tactics and combat medicine. , which was taught using the same techniques used by the Sixth Team of US Navy SEALs in preparation for their mission to assassinate Osama bin Laden.

    Difficult maneuvers

    In a remote part of the base, six of the Alpha Team took up positions. along the wall to the entrance to the abandoned farmhouse.

    The unit leader placed one hand on his helmet and raised his clenched fist above his head, throwing a grenade, signaling his men to lead the assault.

    Ukrainian soldiers from the Alpha Detachment, a division of the Kharkiv border guards, prepare to storm a Russian position during a NATO-standard clearing exercise. Photo: Inna Varenitsa

    A deafening explosion is heard, and the men burst through the door in single file.

    “Clean,” the leader shouted, after six clicks of the triggers of Kalashnikov assault rifles, he secured the position in a matter of seconds.

    Plumbers and teachers

    Before Russia's full-scale invasion, the Ukrainian Armed Forces were primarily made up of professional military personnel trained by NATO under the Operational Orbital.

    But now the battalions are made up of plumbers, teachers and programmers who either volunteered or were mobilized to defend their country.

    Since the war began, many men have been sent to the front lines with just two weeks of training.

    “It is extremely important to improve our skills. The more professional we are, the more our soldiers know, the more chances we have to win,” says Raccoon.

    Western weapons donated to Kiev by international partners will be as effective as hands. He added that they are wielded by Ukrainian troops.

    For the past four months, TDI has been ordered by Raccoon to prepare its people for a counteroffensive.

    p>Emphasis on tactics

    Some of these servicemen have been recalled from the front lines in Donbas to participate in weeks-long training courses.

    “There is no need to teach these guys patriotism,” the colonel said. “The emphasis is on tactics, weapons handling and combat medicine … This is what we need most.” troops of the Alpha team. Author: Inna Varenitsa.

    Across a meadow, a group of Ukrainian infantrymen in olive green camouflage emerge from behind the trees at the edge of a vast forest.

    They are well-equipped with modern telescopic sights attached to their AK-47 rifles and upgraded body armor, recently returned from the devastated city of Bakhmut.

    Despite their combat experience, they are trained in the best techniques for ambushing, maneuvering and hiding from the enemy.

    p>Critical methods

    In class, the men study battlefield models to hone their mission planning skills.

    Others patrol the base's perimeter – not to defend against the enemy, but to keep them on alert when they encounter Russian troops .

    Even the simplest tricks do not go unnoticed by coaches.

    Ukrainian military from Alpha Team Photo: Inna Varenitsa

    Another nearby group of men, looking slightly more ragged than the previous one, are instructed to keep their elbows and heels pressed together when firing a gun from a prone position.

    They are warned that during World War II, men often they hit the elbows and heels because they allowed them to stick out from the rest of the body.

    Soldiers come in all shapes and sizes. Some wear cheap Chinese-made bulletproof vests, while others managed to find NATO-standard equipment with the help of friends and relatives.

    No matter how redundant or old they are, they are all told that if they can complete the 100-meter run, they will be able to acquire sufficient skills to survive on the battlefield.

    The Way of the Warrior

    Before During the invasion, Sergei, division commander of the National Border Guard Service of Ukraine, checking passports at Kharkiv International Airport.

    In addition to the experience of former US soldiers on the battlefield in the TDI camp, Serhiy was read by American author Carlos Castaneda, who wrote a series of manuals on shamanic teachings, including “Way of the Warrior”.

    “It helps me to accept the situation, not to be so aggressive and nervous because of the situations around me,” says Sergey. “It helps me make the right decision to save the lives of my subordinates.”

    The lessons Mr. Castaneda teaches the warriors are appropriate, albeit bleak, for recruits heading to the front lines.

    Tear yourself away from life, he writes in A Separate Reality, so the idea of ​​imminent death “instead of becoming an obsession, it becomes indifference.”

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