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"I'd like to cry, not hiding it": Story of actor who serves as combat medic

Sunday, 8 October 2023, 14:20

The soldier who goes by the alias Artist is a drama and film actor. Previously, he played in theatres in Kyiv and Lviv, and can be seen in the films Ex and Cyborgs.

The National Guard said that despite his creative profession, the actor is currently serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a combat medic. 

The Artist's career began after the Revolution of Dignity, as the film industry in Ukraine was "totally Russian" until 2014. 


In Lviv, he played at the Lesia Ukrainka Theatre, the Mariia Zankovetska Theatre and the Young Spectator’s Theatre. In Kyiv, he worked at the Suziria Theatre.

The combat medic who goes by the alias Artist. All photos: National Guard of Ukraine

Artist admitted that he is most attracted to critical art and intellectual theatre, but the war affected his career development. 

"I joined the army in 2015, under general mobilisation. Before that, I had already done my military service in the Armed Forces. At that time, I already had a clear feeling that I was liable for military service and that everyone would undertake it," he says. 

The same year, he was trained as a combat medic at the 1st Medical Training Company in the Desna training centre.

After his demobilisation in 2016, it was difficult to return to civilian life, says Artist, as the war was hardly felt in most Ukrainian cities. 

The soldier compares that time with his current feelings.

When asked why he chose tactical medicine, Artist replied that he considers life to be the greatest value

"It's deja vu. People are trying to keep their consciousness intact. We must finally accept that this is our new reality," he says. 

Using the experience he gained during his first combat experience, Artist is now saving the lives of his comrades-in-arms on the Bakhmut front.

He admits that the scope of work is now greater than during his service until 24 February 2022. 

"In addition to the usual bullet and shrapnel wounds, we have also received injuries from drone strikes. 

Now, it is not so easy to save guys. You can't drive a car safely, so sometimes you have to carry folks for kilometres. In addition, if there is one wounded soldier, at least four soldiers will follow him, which potentially means four more wounded," he adds. 

Artist noted that combat actions affect mental health, and he wants to remain an emotional person. 

"From the very beginning, no one was prepared for the volume of challenges we are facing," he says 

"I'd like to cry, we shouldn't hide it, we are all living people, we feel everything. We are bitter when we lose a brother-in-arms. Who are we going to pretend to? In front of our brothers-in-arms?

I swear a lot, that's how I cope with stress," he added. 

Background: Earlier, Ukrainska Pravda.Zhyttia (Life) recollected the story of a soldier who made it out of a burning tank.

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