Translated by MicroBalrog, written by Alexei Ivanov, a Lugansk militiaman.
I wish to tell of our assault on the border out in Mirny city block, on the outskirts on Lugansk. On that day at 04:00 I was standing near the SBU building, and suddenly explosions were heard – so loud it seemed the war was being fought just on the next street. We were told that the border patrol post was being stormed, and that we needed move out to reinforce the attackers. Part of our platoon got into a jeep, and part (myself included) got into a minivan. Mirny is about 6-7 km away from the SBU building. The people in the jeep joined the main force, which was deployed around the high-rise buildings. We on our side lay down in a patch of trees, which was less than 10 meters wide. The thickest tree was not thicker than 20 centimeters. Sometimes we were forced to simply lie in the grass. The border patrol base was 500-600 meters away, and between us was an open field.
We were ordered to open fire. All 9 of us opened up on the 2-story barracks building. Within the base there was already a small fire. We fired aimed single shots, to save ammo. Just as I started shooting, on the fourth shot my rifle’s bolt jammed. I yanked on the bolt again and again, but it was pointless, I was forced to take my rifle apart. After I fixed, I realized we were under fire as well, sniper fire as well. As soon as you’d make a few shots and get down under a small tree, two bullets would whistle over your head (most of my comrades in arms said the same). I moved the selector switch to automatic fire and started firing short bursts, hiding in the leaves – but the amount of bullets singing over my head. I realized that the tree, perhaps 15 centimeters thick, would not shield me from either an AK nor a sniper rifle. I was filled with fear, but with useful fear, without panick, telling me ‘don’t get out, wait a while’. Sometimes I wished for it all to be over – we spent 7-8 hours in combat, under sniper fire. One of my comrade asked me for my RPG, telling me he had lots of experience using such weapons. There was a dirt road between us: I crawled closer and threw the launcher across the road. My comrade pulled out the safely, raised the sights, aimed… sadly, the effective fire range of an RPG is 250 meters, and the barracks building was at least 500 meters away. The rocket fell down before it even reached the fence.
A plane looking like a MiG-29 appeared overhead. It circled slowly low over the ground, some of the fighters opened fire on it. From the base someone started firing signal rockets aimed towards the treeline, directing the plane to bomb us. Lying in camouflage uniform in the grass, I remembered suddenly that a friend asked me –”how do you fight in sneakers? They have bright white stripes on them, can’t they be seen from far away?” – Lying on my left side, I covered the stripes with my hands to hide from the plane’s optics. But the plane flew around and left. The battle went on. One of our fighters shouted out that he’d been hurt. He was carried into the minivan, and when the car started driving out onto the highway – poised on an earth mound least 10 meters tall, not concealed by the trees – four bullets went right through the car, but happily neither the driver nor the injured man were hit. Four more bullets hit our platoon’s car, that came in to help after going on an assignment around the Oblast. There were 5 men in the car, the bullets mainly hit the bumper and roof, despite them moving at 150 kph.
The people in the tall building shot grenade launchers, threw hand-grenades – one talented man managed to hurl them for over 70 meters. An HMG fired from the basement. I was told that the window frames flew out with their grates, and the sandbags that they barricaded the windows with, fell apart. Cellphones were jammed, it took 5-10 attempts to reach someone. The sky was covered in clouds, rain started. We heard the roar of a plane – even its mere presence caused fear. I hoped that the low visibility would prevent us from being bombed, and indeed the plane soon left. The ammunition crates and rocket launchers ran out, and we were ordered to retreat from the combat area on foot – a car would await us a kilometer away. I gave my x20 binoculars to fighters from another platoon, that were trying to fight through to their own unit (later they said the binoculars really helped), and we started working our way back to the highway. As I said, it was taller than the trees, and snipers were shooting at it, so we had to run across it and descend on the other sie. I suggested we should stand in a line, about five meters apart, and run across at once, because if we got across one after another, and one of us got spotted, the other could not get across. We did this, got to our car, and came back to our base. As a result 3 militiamen were killed and many wounded. Some civilians were also killed – mainly those who got into the killzone by accident. There were casualties among the junta’s supporters, but I did not go out of my way to inquire how many. The border outpost surrendered only on the next day, and we are told it happened only because the officers fled, and the soldiers had no choice but to surrender. We were also told that there were Right Sector members among the border guards.
Yesterday a man told me: “With this assault you tool not one border post, but several. After the assault at Mirny, several other posts surrendered without resistance (Dolzhanskaya, Izvarino, etc.).
In this battle I was close to death as never before. Previously I bought cheap food in the supermarket – but on the next day I refused myself nothing, as I realized I could die any day, and would then not need the money I saved.
I’d like to say a word about the fellow from Lisichansk we buried recently. We were from the same platoon, from the first day the SBU building in Lugansk got captured. He got shot with a full magazine from an AK rifle. He left behind three children and was not older than 30. His name was Alexey, he was a kind man, never raised his voice, always smiled. War doesn’t separate bad men and good men, it kills both kinds.
Those supporters of United Ukraine should read this post of mine http://alexmirotvorets.livejournal.c
Let me say this war does not benefit neither West nor east Ukraine – only the USA, Europe and a small group of oligarchs running the country. Trust me, this will last a long time. It will hard for you to defeat us. We are at home, and we are gathering experience, more and more men are joining the militia, the population will always help us, and not you. We will always know your locations, the amount of your men and armor. Soon, armed men will turn up in Kharkiv, Odessa, Dnepropetrovsk and Nikolaev Oblast… need I list further? People, fight the government, not men like yourselves. Do you think I want to shoot men who do not wish to wage war on me? I simply have no choice. Let’s defeat the government together – we can always talk it out amongst ourselves.L