Kharkiv, Ukraine, May 29 (EFE).- For Casper, who prefers not to reveal his real name to Efe, the end of the war in Ukraine is still far away.
Together with his fellow soldiers, he has been fighting on the front line in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city and one of the worst-hit by Russian forces, for over three months.
Although the 24-year-old had no military experience before joining the Ukrainian Armed Forces shortly after February 24, when the Russian invasion began, he did not hesitate a second to join the service, he tells Efe.
But Casper admits that although he does not regret joining the army, he has been afraid.
“It is impossible to get used to the explosions, although it is always the same,” he says.
A few meters from where Casper is standing is a row of burnt Russian military vehicles and the remains of countless shells and unexploded bombs, a symbol that fighting is still ongoing.
“The Russian military has many weapons, missiles, ammunition, they can continue fighting with no deadline,” Casper says, adding that he thinks the war will still go on for a long time.
“I think that if (Russian president) Putin had thought about it well, he would have realized that Ukraine is a united country, we are like a big family, (…) and he would not have dared to start the invasion,” Casper says.
Casper came to Kharkiv four years ago but is from Kherson, in southern Ukraine, an area now occupied by the Russians.
When the war began, his partner went to Germany. She was pregnant, but she lost the baby, he says.
But despite his difficult situation, Casper is optimistic and believes that Russians will not gain control of Kharkiv and that Kherson, where his family still lives, will soon be liberated from Russian occupation.
“I tell them to stay in shelters, not to move and that I will come to reunite us and everything will be fine.” EFE