Defense Force women are courageous beauties.


Lyudmila from Pavlograd (Dnepropetrovsk region) left her two children at home and went to protect the Motherland.

On the 14th of June Yulia, her daughter, turned fourteen. Unlike the other teens of her age the girl does not dream about a new tablet computer or iPhone. She was thinking about her mother while blowing the birthday cake candles. It has been a month since her mother started service in Defense Force “Donbas” (DFD). Yulia worries a lot about her, but she is also very proud of her mother.
The fighters of DFD do not disclose their names and cover their faces for security reasons. They address each other by call-signs. Lyudmila’s call-sign is “Stroitel” (Builder) because she was engaged in building business in her civil life.

The woman tells: “I have been with DFD for about a month now. I really wanted to help my Motherland. I read on Facebook that volunteers are needed. I have been a medical assistant in the past. I knew that my experience will be useful at wartime. I wrote a private message, and three weeks later I was invited to the training base. The battle near Karlovka has happened at the same time (author’s note: On the 23rd of May DFD was ambushed; as a result of the battle with terrorists 5 DFD fighters were killed and 5 were wounded). Me and my friend from the Donetsk region asked Defense Force for a car and went to search the wounded fighters.”

The joined efforts made the search for the wounded fighters successful: the guys got the necessary first aid and were moved to the hospitals. After that Lyudmila was forwarded to DFD’s training base in the village New Petrovtsi near Kiev. Our woman-hero was taking military training together with the men for three weeks. There are very few women in the Force, but Lyudmila says that they feel just fine among the men.

“It is a real brotherhood. There are lots of people from Donetsk and Lyhansk regions, from Kiev. There are also many from my homeland, Dnepropetrovsk region.” – tells Lyudmila.
Every day they were trained and taught by the real professionals – the fighters who went through the Russia-Georgia war in 2008. Due to those professionals, now Lyudmila, besides her initial medical experience, can also be a great aid during a battle. She was taught how to handle an automatic gun, how to move in conflict, how to reconnoiter, how to shoot.
“Tomorrow we are moving out to the East. We will be allocated there, but I think I will still be a medical assistant” – tells Lyudmila.
Some acquaintances disapprove of Lyudmila. They believe that she went risking her life for money. She cuts those connections loose. Defense Force “Donbas” is a volunteer unit and as of now nobody gets any salary. Her motivation is far beyond money.

Lyudmila admits that she has had a sharpened sense of fairness ever since childhood. She just could not stay home. Especially because Pavlograd is not far from the Donetsk region. And she is greatly opposed to seeing any separatists in her home city. She has two kids and wishes a good life for them. That is why she is determined to stay with DFD till the very end.
The faith in doing the right thing keeps Lyudmila’s spirit high enough to hold on, despite the fact that it is extremely hard for her to be away from her home and her children. She believes that any woman nowadays can be useful for the Motherland. It is not necessary to actually go into service. Our protectors need any kind of support – moral support is as much important as financial or physical one. The best moments of each Lyudmila’s day are the moments of communicating with her mother, sister, and, especially, her daughter.
The reporter of “Zorya” has come together with DFD representatives to congratulate Yulia on her birthday. Of course, a new dress and ice-cream presented on behalf of DFD can not be a substitute for a mother’s hug. But Yulia is very understanding at her fourteen.

“Mother has left two days before the last school day. But I do not keep offense. She went to protect our Motherland. Of course, I have cried a lot in the beginning, I was very afraid for her. But she always tells me on the phone to not be afraid and to be a good girl. It became easier over the time” – tells the girl. “A lot of my classmates understand that it is wartime. The father of one of my classmates went to the war as well. The girl cries a lot. But I am also very proud of my mother.

The children communicate with their mother every day – by phone and in social networks. The modern means of communication allow both audio and video contact. So, Misha and Yulia recently have got to see their mother in uniform, but unfortunately only on the picture. The children dream that she comes back soon and they will go to the sea, or to any place for a picnic and will fry meat, or just for walks around Dnepropetrovsk.

Yulia dreams to become a veterinarian some day and open a shelter for the homeless animals. Misha, who is seven, dreams to be a soldier, just like his mother. We hope that, unlike her, he will serve during peaceful times.

Author: Alena Dryga