They are destroyed, they suffer huge losses, but they crawl again

They are destroyed, they suffer huge losses, but they crawl again

Combined tactical group “Adam”, in which Yevhen Kozhernov serves, is named after commander Yevhen Mezhevikin, colonel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Hero of Ukraine, legendary cyborg. It was formed from volunteers in the first days of the war during the defense of the towns of Irpin and Bucha. After the liberation of Kyiv region, the fighters recaptured Ukrainian lands in Zaporozhye, Kharkiv region, Luhansk region, and Donetsk region. The group, as a rule, performs the most difficult tasks — in the most difficult directions.

I want to start our conversation with you precisely by telling our readers what kind of unit you have and what exactly it does and what combat path it has already taken?

We are a group of UAV operators, consisting directly of UAV operators and a support group, this is the backbone of our unit. But as a rule, we interact with other units: with infantry, with mechanized tank units, with artillery, but our main task (our main purpose) is conducting reconnaissance, that is, we are so-called UAVs.

They are destroyed they suffer huge losses but they crawl

The unit was formed at the beginning of the full-scale invasion, in February, when our commander, Colonel Yevhen Mezhevikin, a hero of Ukraine, took two training tanks of the University of Chernyakhovsky and rode them to liberate Irpin. Then, probably, the backbone of our group began to form. Unfortunately, I was abroad then, I can’t tell much about that period, because I was more involved in rear support, providing for guys from abroad. I joined the group when I returned to Ukraine at the end of March – beginning of April. And at that moment our group was already in Zaporizhia, after Zaporizhzhia there was Kharkiv for a long time. The defense of Kharkiv, where we were able to advance the enemy a little further in the northern direction, to push him back a little from Kharkiv. There was Bakhmut, in which we mostly spent the whole summer. They took part in the liberation of Balaklia, in the Balaklia operation, that is, the operation that started the liberation of Kharkiv region. They liberated Yampil, which is south of Liman — this was part of the liberation of Liman, that is, it was the Liman operation and we mostly work, we work like this in the Bakhmut direction. In Donbas, it just so happened that this is our main direction.

But our unit does not have a specific place where we operate, we are thrown to where we are most needed.

What can you tell us about the Bakhmut direction. There are fears that the Russians will now try to transfer the troops from Kherson, where they fled.

The Bakhmut direction, after Lysychansky, it has always been the most difficult, and now everyone calls it the most difficult direction, because it is a priority for the Russian army. I would say that they have political tasks, their political task is to “liberate” Donbas, to liberate, as they say, to “liberate”. They are making every effort to seize Donbas.

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But I will tell you the Bakhmut direction, I saw it in the summer, I see it now – it is changing and the nature of the fighting here is different. In the summer, the advantage of the enemy in artillery was felt here very sensibly, it was very difficult to work, they covered everywhere and everything, and now the situation has changed significantly. I would say as a fighter who is directly on the ground, on the battlefield – we feel and thank our artillery – we feel the parity and sometimes the superiority of our artillery over the artillery of the enemy. They no longer operate in such large mechanized groups as when they entered Lysychansk, where they formed columns of 15-20 vehicles and tried to storm. Here we see the enemy’s infantry actions, in small groups, they have already become much more careful, it is felt that they already have much less means than what we saw in the summer. But all the same, the direction remains difficult. Because you can see very well from the sky, a lot, and if you describe artistically what is happening in the Bakhmut direction, it is very similar to an attack of cockroaches. When they crawl, they are pressed, they are destroyed, they suffer huge losses, but they crawl again, enter again, create new groups, these groups are first discovered, destroyed, have great losses, and after them new, new, new. Otherwise, I cannot call it an influx of cockroaches.

The battles are tough, but it is impossible to say that the enemy here has achieved any serious success during these months. They advanced for a kilometer, they were repulsed for a kilometer there, and little by little they are slowly approaching Bakhmut, but it costs them a lot, well, we are working on it.

Yevgeny, send them home, it doesn’t really matter to us if they go in black bags, or go in their cars, run away, but the most important thing is that we free our native land from this evil. We arranged this interview with you precisely in order to announce the collection. The collection that I, Iryna Koval, together with the Espresso TV channel, am starting in order to buy drones, which are so necessary for our military. Yevgeny, I think that there is no person now who does not know or does not understand why unmanned aerial vehicles are needed precisely at the front and also on the front line, but just say a few words to our readers.

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It is very difficult to overestimate now the importance of the unmanned aerial vehicle in this war that we are fighting, that we are seeing. The drone can see the battlefield, the drone can see the enemy, the drone can see our forces, the drone can target artillery and other weapons, as well as aviation, mortars, whatever. There are small arms, not that small arms, but we adjust the fire. From the point of view of troop management, the drone actually helps the command to see what is happening on the battlefield and increases the level of troop management on the battlefield. The drone itself is a weapon, we know that drones today drop various explosive objects on the heads of opponents and on equipment. There are kamikaze drones that also destroy the enemy’s infantry and equipment, I think that the advantage in unmanned aviation today is one of the key factors that allows us to have much lower losses than the enemy and to operate much more effectively on the battlefield. And we are working to not only preserve this advantage, but also multiply it.

The world’s day is getting shorter and the drones we use today are mostly the main drone MAVIK 3 ordinary — it is blind at night. And the day is very short, and at night the enemy has the opportunity to relax. We believe that this is unfair, we believe that it is impossible to give rest to the enemy either during the day or at night, that is why we need MAVIKs with thermal cameras, that is, with thermal imaging cameras, which will allow us to work in the dark time of the day, which is now becoming very long. And this is very, very, very, very … I don’t know how to evaluate such a contribution, if we can additionally get thermal cameras with drones – on your part, it will be a very serious contribution to our victory.

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I want to thank you Yevgeny, maybe you can still tell us, literally briefly, the story that you remember most when you were there in the east, and now you are there, which may please our readers and give them inspiration in order to did they once again understand how important UAVs are?

I remembered such a story — it’s just a story that, when it happened, lifted my spirits a lot and gave me inspiration. It was an operation for Yampil, when it was already clear that our troops had entered Yampil, that Yampil was under our control and the clearing was beginning, even before sunset the command gave us the task of returning to the base. But on our own initiative, we decided to use an experimental drone that we had that could fly over long distances, flew 11 kilometers outside Yampil and suddenly saw a warehouse with ammunition and some “orcs” were roaming around there. The drone, unfortunately, could not return, but we raised more “birds” and this warehouse caught fire very beautifully. It caught fire very quickly and beautifully, it burned so much that even at night, after driving for 20 kilometers, we could see the glow. It was so pleasant and so empowering – this story shows that our MAVIKs, drones in general, are consumables, they are wasted, unfortunately, but to exchange one drone for a whole warehouse of ammunition and equipment – we consider it economically beneficial.

Mr. Yevgeny, I really want to thank you for today’s conversation, to thank you for protecting us and for all that, for your incredible contribution, to convey a huge greeting from us to all your brothers. And I urge everyone to donate and join.

And I thank you, take care!

For effective work, the UAV group needs two professional drones, the total cost of which is one million and forty thousand hryvnias. We appeal to everyone who can support the collection of TV presenter and volunteer Iryna Koval together with the Espresso TV channel.

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