On the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukrainian Special Forces battled Russian soldiers to a stalemate. They were the first to see the atrocities left behind at Bucha, the occupying force’s headquarters
Ukrainian special troops stationed outside Kyiv to protect an airport were taken aback when Russian assault helicopters approached it on their own. As though they anticipated no opposition from a battalion of reservists and regular troops. Hostomel’s defenders – a mix of standard and reserve troops – opened fire with all they had. They fired machine guns, anti-tank missiles from the Soviet period, and rocket-propelled grenades against the helicopters. All Russian forces had either been killed, surrendered, or fled by evening.
On the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukrainian Special Forces battled Russian soldiers to a stalemate. They were the first to see the atrocities left behind at Bucha, the occupying force’s headquarters. Though Russian troops recovered Hostomel later that year, the airlift to Kyiv was rendered impossible. This week, The Globe visited two Special Forces personnel who spoke about their experiences. Both men feel that Ukraine’s tactics will have to change – and that it will need further military assistance – to halt Russia’s fresh push in the east. When their regiment approached Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the area at the end of March, they discovered a battle-scarred town.
They urged the West to deploy long-range artillery and anti-aircraft weaponry to the Ukrainian army. Dmytro and Volodymyr, Ukrainian Special Forces personnel, were transported to eastern Ukraine less than 24 hours before the fighting resumed with more intensity. Their assessment of the many problems Ukraine would confront on the eastern front has backed up by military specialists in Ukraine and the West. While the Kyiv area is thickly wooded and divided by rivers, a large portion of eastern Ukraine is a vast, flat grassland, emphasizing Russia’s numerical superiority.