She’s a young mother with a master’s degree in public policy, but she’s fighting day and night on the front lines of Ukraine with “needles and switchblades.”
Andriana Alephta, 34, was in New York on Tuesday, away from the battlefield, but still haunted by the visions and smells of carnage inside her. Sengoku.
The worst thing, she said, was to find the corpses of children and teens who had been tortured by the Russians.
“Even when you’re in the fresh air of the forest, you can smell the stench of burnt houses and fresh corpses,” she said.
Her haunting story involves an 11-year-old boy who was whipped by a crowd of Russian soldiers in front of his mother. She also said she saw a field full of over 100 dead cows.
As Ukraine began liberating parts of its occupied territories from Russian invaders, the Russian invaders left a trail of mass graves and war crimes.Alekhta, a combat soldier, left the front lines for Washington, DC I was.
Alekhta is now one of four female combatants speaking before the Budget Committee, the Armed Forces and the Foreign Relations Committee representing the Ukrainian Armed Forces, one in four being women.
Her message is simple.
“We need metal. We’re paying for it with our lives,” said Alekhta, a Special Forces Ordnance Sergeant in the Ukrainian Armed Forces and head of the Women’s Veterans Movement.
She also wants to thank the United States for the weapons the country has already sent.
“Your weapons are saving lives,” she said.
But she continues — as Putin threatens start recruiting his citizens — This is not just a one-sided war of aggression between Russia and Ukraine.
“This is a fight for democracy itself. If we fall, Europe will be next,” Alefta said.
what do they need? More “HIMARS, ammunition, armored vehicles, tanks, fighters, ground air defense”.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Alephta was only two years old, but she had heard stories about the dangers of Soviet imperialism.
Alephta, who has seen too much with her steady blue eyes, completed her master’s degree and signed a contract to work in Japan when Russia invaded Crimea in 2014.fd
She worked as an activist and joined the first combat battalion in May 2014. Like many of her fellow soldiers, she didn’t tell her parents. A New York Times photographer then took a photo of her.
“I wore a balaclava that covered my face. All you could see were my eyes, but my mother knew it was me.
Husband Max and Alephthah on the front lines.
“It was love at first sight,” she said, ending the fight with her son Makar in 2015 when she was five months pregnant.
For the next seven years, she worked as head of the Ukrainian Veterans Women’s Movement, as a UN adviser on veterans’ affairs, and as a “military wife.”
At the time, women were not officially allowed to serve in combat units, so her documents listed her as a combat “seamstress”.
But when Russia invaded Ukraine last February, Alekhta returned to the front lines and was fighting her husband. One of their best friends, the “arm brother” and godfather of Makar, was killed.
“Now that I’m a mother, it’s harder to be on the front lines. It used to be easier to fight. Now I’m responsible for my baby,” she said.
But now that she’s a mother, she has a lot to contend with.
When Alephta started fighting in 2014, she wore sneakers. that has changed. Earlier this year, on Valentine’s Day, just before Russia’s unilateral all-out invasion, Alephta’s husband gave her ammunition.
But we need more than just armored vehicles.
“We call it Toyota and Mitsubishi War. We need Hummers, or armored vehicles of any kind. They save lives,” she said.
Arekhta puts a picture of her cute son in her phone and calls her every day. He is with her parents in western Ukraine and knowing he is safe for her is part of what fuels her fighting spirit.
“I’m fighting for him. He’s doing his part and baking cookies for his soldiers,” she said with a smile.
Despite the hardships and witnessing the unbearable crimes, Alephta’s son brings a certain sweetness to the war.
“Makaar asked for Ali’s farm for his birthday. But we were in Kyiv and there was a lockdown,” Alefta said. “We built an ant nest and couldn’t get it to him, so I sent him pictures and videos.”
The entire battalion was involved when Makar counted the ants from afar.
As I was walking towards Washington Square Park, I was approached by a young Ukrainian. In Ukrainian, he told Alekhta that he was raising money and sending supplies to Ukraine. He then thanked her for her service.
Clearly, gender equality still has a long way to go — in the US and Ukraine.
Nevertheless, she said, “War changed everything.”
“As women, you have to work harder, but we are equals with our brothers in arms,” she said, promising that Ukraine would win and raise itself from the ashes for the sake of its children. He added that it would be rebuilt.
But she said that winter would come, and even without Russian bombs, Ukrainians without electricity would die of cold and hunger.
“Send us more weapons. They will help end the war faster before we lose even more young men and women,” she said.