“They planted 3 tons of TNT and dropped us off”. Dramatic memories of “cyborg” from the airport in Donetsk

He went to war in 2014 at the age of 22 – after his friend was killed there. As one of the “cyborgs” he took part in the heroic defense of the airport in Donetsk, and then was taken prisoner by Russia. Sławik Gawic in his Afternoon conversation at RMF FM returned to the dramatic events from years ago. “After the terminal exploded, we dragged out the wounded that were found in the ruins. Many of the guys were so deep that we couldn’t get to them any more, even though we heard them screaming,” he recalled.

Sławik Gawic mentioned in RMF FM that in 2012-2013 he completed his military service. When Maidan began, I took part in these events. I was next to the president’s office when Berkut was beating people, letting go of gas. We ran away from there, we were being shot at – he reported.

Piotr Salak’s interlocutor explained that in 2014 he volunteered to fight in Donetsk after the death of his friend. He was then 22 years old. He found himself in a brigade where his friend, who was killed in the war, served.

The guest of RMF FM said that when he joined the defenders of the airport in Donetsk, their number was about 50 people. Reinforcements were needed because the assault was already starting. The air traffic control tower has fallen. Tanks and great army forces entered – reported Gawic. When I arrived, the separatists had already taken the ground floor. Then the tanks managed to collapse part of the terminal, from which it was possible to enter the second floor. We were on the first floor. We saw that the airport was surrounded – added.

Gawic also remembered the dramatic telephone conversation with his father during the fighting in Donetsk. I contacted him after a difficult 16-hour fight. I sat in despair. Many boys were already injured or killed then. I asked him for forgiveness for what could happen. He said I had nothing to apologize for. “Take care, I’m proud of you, you will come back to us and everything will be fine” his father told him.

On January 16, gas was used against us. None of us expected that. We had to move to the part of the terminal where there was more air where there was some wind. We needed to catch our breath. The gas attack drove us into a corner, and we sat there in a group. They couldn’t get us out of there. That’s when they planted three tons of TNT on the ground floor and dropped us off – said one of the defenders of the Donetsk airport in RMF FM. He admitted that just before making the decision to surrender himself, he considered taking his life.

After the terminal exploded, we dragged out the wounded that had been found in the ruins. Many guys were so deep that we couldn’t get to them in any way even though we heard them screaming – said Gawic. He added that 5 of the wounded died the night after the explosion, and 3 were in a very serious condition. Then the eldest of us, a sergeant, went to talk to the Russians that we would lay down our weapons, take our wounded, and go to our positions. The separatists did not accept this proposal. They said that if we want to save the wounded, we must be captured – recalled the RMF FM guest. Half of them went to the Russians, and I sat there and hesitated. I was sitting with a rifle and didn’t know what to do – He admitted. He explained that he had refrained from suicide for two reasons.

I wondered if I pull the trigger, the sound of the shot might scare the separatists and they would start shooting at those who left. This is one reason. The second is the tremendous sadness my family would feel. Then I decided to go into captivity – he explained.

In an interview with Piotr Salak, Sławik Gawic said that after returning from Russian captivity, he went to study law. Last year, he started training as an officer in the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

A participant in the fighting in Donbas in 2014 told Piotr Salak about the captivity to which he was taken when the separatists did not accept the terms of surrender. P.They put us all to face the wall and said “goodbye to life”. It was fired right above my head. Then they took some pipes, stools, rifles and started doing what they wanted with us – Sławik Gawic told it with difficulty. He mentioned that he had been tortured unconscious and repeatedly threatened with death. There were so many terrible things. They just didn’t hit us in the face so they could wind us up and say we’re fine – the soldier recalled.

According to our guest, Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine on February 24, because after the events of 2014 the world pretended that nothing was happening. Gavinets believes that no one has openly criticized Russia for unleashing fighting in the Donbass, and it was obvious that the aggressors were not only Ukrainian separatists, but armed Russian troops. After all, it was their equipment, their artillery. The separatists didn’t buy these tanks at the bazaar he said. In his opinion, the lack of reaction at that time is the reason for the high price that Ukraine is now paying.

“Cyborg from Donbass” – as the defenders fighting at the airport in Donetsk were called then, believes that the Ukrainian authorities reacted too leniently to the annexation of Crimea. It seems to me that if Ukraine had reacted more strongly and used the army during the annexation of Crimea, if this reaction had started to be stronger, Putin would not have dared to go full-scale and escalate this conflict. When he saw that the world took it, he went further – assessed Piotr Salak’s interlocutor.

At the moment, Ukraine is trying not to show losses so that people do not despair of the numbers – said a Ukrainian officer on our air. He explained that despite the losses, the army also had a lot of success.

The Ukrainians are primarily motivated. We defend ourselves on our land. I think the main reason for the failure of the Russian troops is that they do not understand why they are actually fighting – assessed Sławik Gawic. He also said that his country would fight for freedom and borders with full determination. After everything Russia has done in Ukraine, after all the crimes it has committed, mass graves, rocket attacks on apartments, children who found themselves under the rubble, the Ukrainians will not stop at the borders on February 24. We will free the entire territory of Ukraine. We have paid too high a price – summed up.