A group of Ukrainian friends They restored Soviet-era cannons and care for them “like brothers” to pound Russian positions in eastern Ukraine.
“The cannons you see here they are museum pieces. They were stored like old iron. That’s why we fix them, we restore them and we use them today to protect our native Ukraine“, explained to AFP Volodimir, 37, who leads an artillery unit of 36 men and five guns in all.
The friends are positioned near Bakhmut, a city in the Donbas basin, in the east of the country, where Russian forces are confronting each other. Behind their backs they could not stop hearing the powerful explosions of artillery, mortar and tank fire from both armies.
The six companions shoot with an old 57mm caliber S-60 cannon from Soviet times. The artifact was exposed as relic at the entrance of big citiesin roundabouts or in front of official buildings.
The weapon was initially used for air defense but now it was added as an artillery piecefiring almost horizontally at a large Ukrainian Kraz vehicle.
On one of the sides of the vehicle, you can see a large white cross, inspired by the one on the Bundeswehr, the German army.
“At the beginning we didn’t have much resources. We buy trucks with our resources and thanks to donations from acquaintances, volunteers, NGOs,” added Volodimir.
“This unit was created before all these events (the Russian invasion). I lived with them, I worked with them and we had many things in common, until we went on vacation together“, tells Volodimir about the restoration of the canyon and his working group.
“We support each other, replace each other when necessary and if we do fight, we learn to do it productively. We don’t have disputes and here we feel like brothers,” he said.
Almost every they met during the 2014 revolution on Independence Square in kyiv and they became friends.