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 BATTLE AT ‘VALERA’ STRONG POINT. JAN. 25, 2015.

One of the most famous battles of the Russian-Ukrainian war took place a year ago, on Jan. 25, 2015. “Valera” was one of the key defense strong points of the Debaltseve bridgehead at the height of 307.5 near Sanzharivka village, covering axis of supply from Artemivsk to Debaltseve.

There served a platoon of the 128th mountain infantry brigade commanded by Captain Slota and four reconnoiters of the 54th reconnaissance battalion commanded by company commander, 24-year-old Senior Lieutenant Svyshch, who had graduated only some three years before that.

A year ago, after an intensive artillery preparation, four tanks of the "Avgust" mechanized battalion of Russian mercenaries attacked the strong point. Our only tank had no ammunition - they didn't have time to recharge; the only anti-tank missile system was unreliable, and they had no experienced operator. There was only one chance to repulse the tanks' attack - in close combat. Several men panicked and ran away, but the majority of the soldiers, despite the fact that their positions were fired at from point-blank distance with tanks and weapons, did their best to stop the enemy. "Avgust" tanks were dragging the positions, and infantry firing at them from all kinds of weapons. They only had two RPG-7s, several one-time grenade launchers, and small arms.

The soldiers were fighting deadly - some of our fighters were killed under a tank, they fired until they could and were not able to run. Young lieutenant Svyshch died as a hero… Russian T-72, that was driving along the trench and got stuck there as a result, ran over Lieutenant Oleksandr Zozuliak's arm and lost his way. Russian mercenaries were killed. That and two more tanks were burned by our grenade launchers.

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T-72, the hero of the battle

Zozuliak lost his arm, but survived all the deaths to spite - he has been recently invited to work at a drug control department of the National Police.

Here is a brilliant description of the battle by one of its participants, grenade launcher operator Borys Lysyi.

The conditions were extremely difficult, but our soldiers fought till the end - it was pure heroism and self-sacrifice. The attack had been repulsed; the strategic height of 307.5 remained ours. The enemy could not break through the defense of the bridgehead on Jan. 25.

Between Jan. 23 and Feb. 15, 2015, the total of 13 units of enemy equipment, including seven tanks T-71 and T-64, were destroyed in battles near Sanzharivka.

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Burning separatists' T-64 - the only image made on the battle day

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T-64, day after

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Second T-64

Up to this day in several of those cases it is not known who and how did inflict those losses to the enemy. I hope the heroes will show up. But we know a lot about the Jan. 25 battle, and know the price of the victory. A new episode of the TV show "Stories of the War" has been produced about this event.

On Jan. 25, 2016 those who survived paid tribute to their fallen comrades.

These men died being faithful to their oath to the Ukrainian people and their military duty:

54th reconnaissance battalion

Senior Lieutenant Serhii Svyshch (54th separate reconnaissance battalion)
Sergeant-Major Oleksandr Venher (54th separate reconnaissance battalion)

128th mountain infantry brigade

Soldier Adalbert Kovach
Soldier Fedir Lopatskyi
Soldier Volodymyr Pitak
Soldier Andrii Kapchur
Soldier Oleksandr Levrynts

Let them rest in peace, those who were killed in fighting for freedom and independence of Ukraine.

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Senior Lieutenant Serhii Svyshch, 24 years old. Company commander of the 54th reconnaissance battalion. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

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Oleksandr Venher. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

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Adalbert Kovach. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

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Fedir Lopatskyi. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.


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Volodymyr Pitak. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

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Andrii Kovach. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

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Oleksandr Levrynts. Died a heroic death in the combat at 'Valera' strong point on Jan. 25, 2015.

Let them rest in peace, those who were killed in fighting for freedom and independence of Ukraine.

Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET

 
 
 
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