As Ukrainian refugees crowd the borders to flee war-invading Russia veteran Dmytro Dovzhenko is headed in the opposite direction from Poland to join son military unity.
The 40-year-old, who fought in Donbass in 2014, told Reuters on Friday that he had left his wife and two children behind and was one of approximately 700 former Ukrainian soldiers in Poland, according to him, was returning home for fight.
“My family wasn’t too much content let me go,” said Dovzhenko, wearing his military trellis and a large signet ring bearing the inscription “Loyal Forever” from son marine unit in Ukraine.
“I hope to come back has my family. If I don’t come back, I hope everything will be fine.”
Russia launched an all-out invasion of Ukraine by land, air and the sea. Thousands of Ukrainians began to arrive in Neighboring Central Europe countries.
With missiles pounding the Ukrainian capital on On Friday and with Russian forces pressing their advance, Dovzhenko cut a calm figure as he smoked a cigarette and prepared to drive across the border on his way in battle. “Others are either in Ukraine where they are on their way to Ukraine”, Dovzhenko, who runs a foundation for Ukrainian veterans across the European Union, said on the side of Highway. “Many of cars go back.”
the former soldier lived in Poland since 2019 but prepared for weeks to return home at any time if Russia invaded.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Veterans said there were no stats on how many veterans of the conflict that began in 2014 were abroad. But there are 420,000 people recorded as having once defended Ukraine.
Dovzhenko said he did not have know how many veterans across Europe would return, but he predicted thousands of former soldiers would find a way home for face Russian troops.
“In the beginning of Ukraine and the beginning of war, we drive“, said Dovzhenko before honking car horn and driving off to cross the border. “I hope I will be back and I hope that Russia will be destroyed.”