Border guard Viktor, who goes by the alias Africa and is an 11th-generation career military officer, joined the service at the age of 17.
The State Border Guard Service notes that Viktor has more fantastical stories than a character from a Hollywood action movie.
Africa was sent to the front as a minor because of an ultimatum from his brothers-in-arms: it was all or nothing. So from a cadet, he climbs to become a commander of a reconnaissance unit and starts fighting for Ukraine as part of the army.
Three years later, Victor joined the peacekeeping legion and served in the Congo in Africa. It was there that he found out about Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Viktor couldn't terminate his contract with foreign troops, but he came back to Ukraine as soon as it was over.
On the eve of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Africa gave his wife an apartment in his native town of Mariupol as a birthday present. The property was later destroyed by a Russian projectile, but fortunately, Viktor's family was in another city.
"His 5-year-old sister has been forcibly taken to Russia from occupied Mariupol, and four of his brothers died at the front. Therefore, upon returning, Africa did not wait for new documents to be issued to replace the old ones that were burnt in Mariupol, but stormed the military enlistment office and joined the ranks of the 1st Border Guard Unit of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine," said Viktor’s fellow border guards.
They added that during his service, the soldier mastered more than 60 different types of weapons.
"The 27-year-old soldier has a number of injuries, but no fatigue. Today, he is on a responsible mission: he is training new recruits and passing on his unique experience," the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said.
Viktor wears a patch on his shoulder that his son made for him. Africa not only defends Ukraine's independence but also does everything he can to fulfil the promise he made to his daughter – to walk her down the aisle.
He also dreams of a third child born in a peaceful and independent Ukraine.