Max is a Ukrainian boy barely 20 years old who, until last February 24, led the normal life that any student of his age leads anywhere. But on February 24, Russia began to bomb Ukraine and invaded the country. His life changed suddenly. Y Max went overnight to become a partisan, a young guerrilla who works for the Ukrainian Army. This is his story and this is how he tells it for EL ESPAÑOL, from his home in Kherson (a region under Russian rule), where he has his base of operations.
The interview is done by video call. Max appears in the foreground and behind him there is only a bare wall. Absolute sobriety. One of the first things he explains is that “the entire Kherson region is involved in this partisan movement.”
“The Russian invasion was so fast and so violent that many people joined this movement” which, as detailed, has different categories. “It is an international movement in which, in addition to civilians, there are also soldiers and militias and many people who are suffering from the war. It is such a broad movement that it brings together both young boys and older people,” he says. And he clarifies that people in these last two age groups do work as diverse as “creating stickers with the Ukrainian flag and distributing them throughout the Kherson region.”
That’s the most basic level, but where most of the work is concentrated is “on the information fronts”. Max and his colleagues in the Kherson region have a mobile application where they report all the positions of the Russian troops. They are dedicated to investigating and detecting the positions where the Russian soldiers are and they send them to the Ukrainian military. “It is of great help and they are sent from different points of the Ukrainian geography.”
He himself had the opportunity to verify with his own eyes that what he was doing was something really valuable. It was in mid-March: “I had to run away and move from the place of operations where I was staying with my colleagues because there were strategic targets very close to our location.” They made the decision to move to the outskirts of Kherson, “very close to the road that leads to Mikolaiv.” And then they met a large number of enemy troops on their way to Mikolaiv (a city that is currently under Ukrainian rule).
From the balcony of his apartment, Max and his companions found binoculars that helped them detect “a huge line of Russian troops in the middle of the field.” There were “long columns, there were about 20 units of Russian troops, so we decided to send the location to the Ukrainian government.” The enemy forces “were about 10 kilometers from us and in a matter of 10 minutes they were destroyed for Ukraine. So our work really works because I’ve seen it myself.”
Until then, Max hadn’t realized how much he was risking “because I didn’t think Kherson was going to be taken over so quickly and the only thing I could do legally or safely was donate. But I wanted to help.” The only thing I wanted to do was help the Ukrainian Army to protect my land.”.