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Suspilne Donbas video editor talks about shooting down "Shaheds" as a UAF soldier

20.04.2023, 17:19
Photo: Svoi.City
Photo: Svoi.City

Mark Balaba, video editor at the "Suspilne Donbas", Severodonetsk native, now serves in the fifth separate rifle battalion of the UAF. He serves as an anti-aircraft gunner and watches the sky, shooting down the Shahed drones.

He spoke about this in his interview with the online magazine "Svoi.City".

"I work with applications that receive data from radar stations. When I see a suspicious object or get a word from my colleagues, I alert the mobile fire teams and point them in the right direction, also alerting the nearby military units for backup. The mobile fire group is 3–5 people, usually in a pickup truck and carrying small arms, a machine gun or a heavy machine gun. On the spot, they find the target, identify and destroy it, or report to me about the direction, speed, and characteristics of the object," said the serviceman.

Mark Balaba remarked that he was struck by the impact of the war on the land, seeing as every projectile, every burned piece of equipment, every cartridge case is polluting the soil.

"All the mutilated bodies that remain on the battlefields, the remnants of weapons, equipment, and most of all, perhaps, the waste from dry rations, cans, cigarette butts, paper wraps – those simply never end. When we are on positions, we have no time to think about it, but when we enter a location somewhere in the rear, people do not worry much about cleaning up after themselves," said the media worker.

Talking about his nickname, "Nasty", he says that it goes back to his pre-war life. An editor used called him this during a quarrel.

"So it goes back to my job. This is how I signed at my workplace, and in the wartime I took the call sign Nasty," said Balaba.

Mark Balaba said that he tried to save animals from the war zone and that they were taking part in the war as well. He says that there were a lot of abandoned animals – both cats and dogs that were looking for food and shelter in Toshkivka, Luhansk oblast.

"This is probably my empathy speaking. Maybe because of that. Or maybe because I've loved animals since I was a child, there were always cats nearby," the media worker added.

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