Three leaves. A report written in Russian and lying on lined paper, which we found in a cellar at the foot of a bombed-out house in the village of Andriivka, near Borodianka – the scene of a violent shelling in an attempt to encircle Kiev, in March. At the bottom of the garden, traces left by the caterpillars in the ground show that the Russian army had taken up position on this property at 95 Oleksi-Melia Street, the main artery of the village. no doubt the reason why this datcha bought by a couple from Kiev was targeted by Ukrainian forces. At this address, from now on, a field of ruins. All that remains of the portal is a simple wooden pole with two burnt Ukrainian flags hanging. Only the cellar, where Russian soldiers had piled mattresses, remained standing, protecting those torn pages from a notebook.
Written in blue ballpoint pen, which looks like a “marching diary” (in military jargon, daily reports of company fighting) was dropped on a wooden shelf in the middle of two mugs. a towel and these objects, which now mark the occupant’s passage in the Kiev region: huge jars of the Russian army filled with vegetables to mix to prepare soups, cans of “dry” rations, the daily life of the simple soldier… The author of the newspaper seems to run an infantry company, more precisely the “Number 6 of the First Tactical Battalion”.
In impeccable calligraphy, he reviews his material between February 24, the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and March 5. It is the story of a debacle, but also a valuable document, both militarily and politically. On the tenth day of the attack, the anonymous officer used the word «Zatchistka». Literally, “Cleaning”, a Russian term used in the military to refer to a house-to-house search operation. But also the word associated with operations carried out by armed patrols during the Chechen wars, where the term «Zatchistka» referred to looting and the “Ethnic cleansing” by Moscow
On February 24, the troops had not yet arrived in Andriivka. They took a stand “On the periphery” from a nearby village of Koukhari, 35 kilometers north, and then in a “Unknown terrain”, probably between two villages. The inhabitants of Andriïvka date the arrival of the first tank columns on 27 and 28 February. On March 2, the officer wrote in any case: “The company was in the village of Andriïvka, and vehicles and infantry were defending themselves in the trenches and courtyards of some houses, after which mortar fire was fired. » Following is a list of“Damaged items.” (…) or unusable » : radios, Russian Orion combat drones, “Close reconnaissance station”, Kevlar helmet, armored vest… Material losses then remain very slight.
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