Bob's Thoughts

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Met two team members in Kyiv. Igor and Doug (Doug is a well known documentary film maker in Hollywood who showed up the first day of the war and told the squad he was with that he wasn’t going to just document them dying so hand him a weapon. And he spent the next two months defending Kyiv with Igor and his territorial unit).

The top picture is Igor showing a trench where they defended a roadway on one of the hottest areas entering Kyiv -- 30 Ukrainian defenders died there -- but it was also one of the first places where the Russian advance was stopped. The first Russians to show up according to Igor were 4 Russian military police who got out of their car and were immediately shot dead - when they took their weapons turned out they only had rubber bullets as they obviously thought they would just need to do crowd control and the Ukrainians wouldn’t fight.

The following pictures provide a quick view of what I saw. This burned-out vehicle has Molotov cocktails at the ready.

Here are some of the supplies Igor and Doug are running to the front this week

Checking out one of the solar panels I brought which look like they are going to be a HUGE help/hit - not only for remote charging but the panels have almost no heat signature compared to fuel generators - Igor’s going to check it out tonight with NVG (Night Vision Goggles)

This trench is where they defended themselves and the bomb shelter where they took refuge during bombardments

Finally, an impromptu pic of a few team members from Igor and Doug’s squad. Igor was the only one with military experience so he was in charge. The rest were an engineer, pharmacist, lawyer, filmmaker and the young happy looking kid a 19 year old student.

Doug said they wouldn’t let the 19 year old up on the line but he controlled drones back at their base about two miles away and they’d let him come up for a couple hours once in a while to do some things.

Even though no MAMs (18-60 year old males) are allowed to leave Ukraine, military service is completely voluntary. Ukraine is also honoring the laws of war and not allowing anyone under 18 to serve in a combat position. But the 15-17 year olds of their version of the Scouts are volunteering to do a large number of non-combatant tasks. Also got a pic of an ad hoc “hesco” barrier filled with sandbags and wrapped with chicken wire that had all sorts of multi colors to it. I thought that was bizarre. When I got a closer look turned out the chicken wire had been weaved together with torn pieces of sheets of all types of colors. I was told that all of the women had prepared that.

Biggest surprise to Igor and (Doug) and me is how quickly the Ukrainian government has been cleaning things up and how quickly life reappears where they had only been fighting a few weeks ago. They showed me pics and some film during the fighting and nothing green could be seen anywhere. And it was an apoplectic hellscape with burning buildings, destroyed vehicles (lots of armored Russian vehicles), and bodies all around. Need to ask Igor for a pic of their war dog which was a German Shepard he said saved a bunch of lives. When the dog dived into the bomb shelter they all dived in behind him as the dog could hear/sense incoming shells far earlier than any of them. And many times they would not have been able to make it into the shelter in time without their high tech early warning system.


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BOB MARSHALL IS A RETIRED MARINE CORPS OFFICER. USE OF HIS MILITARY RANK, JOB TITLES, AND PHOTOGRAPHS IN UNIFORM DO NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, MARINE CORPS OR DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.