Ukrainian commander says he ended up fighting against his own father who sided with Russia

Ukrainian commander says he ended up fighting against his own father who sided with Russia
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Ukrainian commander says he ended up fighting against his own father who sided with Russia
A still from a TCH TV interview with Ukrainian IFV commander identified as Oleksandr.

  • A Ukrainian commander says he ended up fighting “son vs. father” on the battlefield.
  • He said his estranged father had called him up and asked him to come fight for Russia.
  • He believes their units — tanks versus infantry fighting vehicles — had fired on each other. 

A Ukrainian commander has detailed how he ended up fighting “son vs. father” on the battlefield in Ukraine.

Oleksandr, a 19-year-old armored vehicle commander, told his story to Ukrainian broadcaster TCH in a segment published on Tuesday.

According to the report, Oleksandr lived more than half of his life in Russia. He’s estranged from his father, who he called a “father in theory, but in reality — a nobody,” according to a translation provided by the War Translated X account.

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Oleksandr now commands a Bradley infantry fighting vehicle unit, currently in Avdiivka, TCH reported.

The US-supplied vehicles received considerable international attention last year during Ukraine’s summer counteroffensive, given their robustness.

Oleksandr’s unit became the center of media attention in July, TCH reported.

His Bradley was reported to have struck two Russian T-72 tanks in the Zaporizhzhia region, which Business Insider reported on at the time. The clash was swiftly publicized by Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar.

Maliar shared a photo of the unit. Afterward, according to TCH, Russia announced a bounty on each of the crew, including a bigger sum for Oleksandr himself.

A photo of three Ukrainian soldiers sitting on a US-supplied Bradley infantry fighting vehicle in a wooded area, shared by Ukrainian deputy defense minister Hanna Maliar on July 18, 2023.
The Bradley IFV team that reportedly took out two Russian T-72s on July 18, 2023.

Oleksandr told the outlet he later received a phone call from an unknown number. He picked it up, and a voice said: “‘Son, come to us,'” he told the broadcaster.

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His father, he explained, was a tank commander, and had been tasked with seeing off the very Bradleys that Oleksandr was fighting in.

“He was a tank man, and tanks are a danger for us,” Oleksandr said.

He also said he learned from the call that his father had been among those firing on him.

The pair had been fighting “son vs. father,” he said.

Oleksandr said his father told him: “Son, once I knew it was you, I stopped firing!”

But he said his response was: “So what?”

BI has not independently verified Oleksandr’s story, but family ties between Ukrainians and Russians — including those enlisted to fight — are common due to the two countries’ deeply entwined history.

At the outset of the full-scale invasion, many Ukrainians were unable to persuade their own family members in Russia of the realities of the conflict, which President Vladimir Putin euphemistically dubbed a “special military operation,” as BI reported.

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In one instance, a woman told BI that her own uncle had called her family in Ukraine to announce that he had signed up to fight for Russia.

Oleksandr told TCH that he later found out that his father had been killed in a drone attack on his tank.

“He just burned in it,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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