"I have seen such horrors as in Buch in Kharkiv Oblast many times," recalls Captain Danylo Ishchenko, military officer of the Military Television of Ukraine.

- The cruelty of the Russians struck me the most, when they made a barricade out of the cars of civilians trying to escape from the war... And covered themselves with it from shelling.

I filmed these charred corpses in cars... We send all these shots to the General Staff.

That is, in addition to the war itself, we are also collecting an archive of Russian crimes.

For the international tribunal, which will definitely take place someday." 

Danylo Ishchenko

Danylo has been working at the Military Television of Ukraine for over 10 years.

From the first days of the war in 2014, he traveled to the combat zone, completed dozens of rotations at the front.

But the combat mission in the summer of 2022 will be remembered by the soldier for the rest of his life.

"I was part of the mobile press group of the Ministry of Defense.

We performed tasks in Kharkiv Oblast.

It was on that day that the medical evacuation of wounded fighters in one of the brigades was filmed.

It was in the village of Tsupivka.

However, there are practically no villages left there.

All the houses were destroyed.

The wounded were taken to the only surviving cellar, which was in the yard of one of the houses, - Danylo recalls that fateful day.

- Suddenly, an artillery attack on the village began.

I came out of the cellar to film it.

At that moment, an 82-caliber mine from the Vasylyok automatic mortar fell silently into the yard.

I fell

For some reason, I thought that it was necessary to save the camera.

I had enough strength to crawl to the cellar, put the camera on the stairs.

And then I already lost consciousness."  

Danilov's leg was crushed by a fragment.

The medics pulled Danylo inside and applied a tourniquet.

And when the shelling ended, the boy was taken to the Kharkiv hospital.

For several days, doctors tried to save Danilov's limb, but in the end the decision was made to amputate.

Later, the boy was transported by helicopter to Lviv, where the limb was re-amputated above the knee. 

"Now I have a temporary prosthesis.

I am waiting for rehabilitation in America, where a permanent one should be made for me.

I recently passed the VLK.

I was found to be of limited fitness.

That is, I plan to go and shoot at the front further.

For now, I am making my author's program on "Army FM" radio.

I hope temporarily.

Because I really want to be useful there," continues Danylo, and concludes: "The main thing is that he stayed alive.

Not all my colleagues are so lucky…”

On February 16, 2015, near the city of Debaltseve, a military operator of the Bryz Television and Radio Studio, captain third rank Dmytro Labutkin, died while performing a task.

It is in his honor that every year, on February 16, the country celebrates the Day of the Military Journalist. 

"The army does not teach cameramen or photographers.

There is no such specialty.

That is why we are all warriors.

But we know how to film, edit, and write texts, says Captain Oleksiy Bobovnikov, who also works at Military Television, created under the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

- Until 2014, I was a photographer.

I took an artistic photo.

And then mobilized.

I worked for some time as a press officer in a separate battalion, then in the press service of the General Staff, and since 2019 I have been serving here."

Now Oleksiy is performing tasks in the Bakhmut area.

He went there with his wife Anastasia, who also works at Military Television.

Their informal relationship of several years ended with the decision to get married.

They did it already during the war, in the fall of 2022. 

Oleksiy Bobovnikov with his wife Anastasia 

"It's like our wedding trip," jokes Oleksiy.

- In general, we feel comfortable working together.

We understand each other with half a glance.

In places like where we are now, that's important.

Therefore, we are grateful to the management, which allowed us to go to this rotation in such a composition." 

The specificity of the work of a military officer, says Oleksiy, is that thanks to his membership in the ranks of the Armed Forces, he can even get into military positions forbidden to the civilian press.

And they are the first to come to the newly liberated territories.

And they see all the horrors that the "liberators" leave behind.



BRDM gunner.

Photo by Oleksiy Bobovnikov.

"There are many such moments that are definitely important to shoot.

Usually, we see more than civilian journalists, Oleksiy shares.

- However, many things cannot be shown.

For moral and ethical reasons.

Or not to reveal any military secrets.

Therefore, the lion's share of my video settles in the archives of our studio.

I hope that over time these shots will be included in the chronicles of this war, which our children and grandchildren will watch.

It inspires me personally." 

If Oleksiy Bobovnikov's main work consists in shooting videos from the war, then when the main material has already been shot, the military officer takes photos.

He keeps them for his personal archive or gives them to the press officers of the brigades, who later publish them on the pages of their social networks.

"Although I have been working as a cameraman for many years, I still like photography.

Sometimes the video does not convey what the picture says.

This is how it was in the Kharkiv region when we worked with the 93rd brigade.

The work of art was filmed.

And when they finished filming, I managed to shoot a good static shot.

He is like from a movie about the Second World War.

But this was not felt in the video.

I only regret that I took it with a camera and not a camera.

There was simply no time," the soldier admits. 

Photo by Oleksiy Bobovnikov

Working on the front line with a camera in hand is not easy.

Sometimes you have to stay with the military, spend the night in dugouts, in extreme positions.

Usually, soldiers go to the front according to the order of their rotation.

But there are also those who deliberately stay in hot spots for longer than three months.

"My rotation has been going on for a year," says a military journalist of the ArmiyaInform information agency, lieutenant colonel Dmytro Zavtonov.

- Even before the start of the war, I was on rotation in Mariupol.

And I met her right there."

"In the first days of the invasion, it seemed to me that there was nothing in the world more useless than my camera, but something had to be done.

Then they tried to get to Volnovakha to make at least some kind of report, but it was not successful the first time.

Sometimes there was a tank battle ahead, and they didn't let us in, then part of the city again passed into the hands of the occupiers.

After Mariupol, he worked for eight months in Mykolaiv, which was shelled daily.

Now Kherson.

Of course, the liberation of Kherson seemed to recharge my batteries.

Therefore, he refused to exchange with his colleagues.

I have been in this region for a long time, I know everything, they know me.

That's why it's easier to make arrangements, to get there.

Until then.

And we'll see there."  

Photo by Dmytro Zavtonov

Dmytro is a military man already in the fourth generation.

Once lived and worked in Sevastopol.

But after the seizure of Crimea, he moved to mainland Ukraine.

He has been photographing the war in the ranks of the Armed Forces since 2016.

Zhartoma admits that the hardest part of his job is writing lyrics.

And I'm already used to risk.

He calls himself a fatalist:

"We once had a case, in March 2022, in Donetsk region: we wanted to stay overnight with the guys at the positions, but still returned to the base.

And in the morning, when they arrived, smoke was already coming from the hangar where they were supposed to spend the night." 

The same hangar the morning after the shelling.

Photo by Dmytro Zavtonov

"I believe that the phrase "take care of yourself" does not work at the front.

How to protect when you don't know what awaits you in a minute?

That's why I once said to myself: "Iskander" to the forehead yes "Iskander" to the forehead.

And I don't believe in any omens.

I will say more.

A year before the war, I had a dream that I was crashing in a helicopter.

I woke up, and on the same day I was assigned the task of filming jumps from a Marine Corps helicopter.

Well, I think everyone has arrived.

I remembered that my daughter also ran up to me in the morning, hugged me... as if saying goodbye... But I have to work.

I went to shoot.

All is well". 

Dmytro dreams of finishing his rotation in the liberated Mariupol.

And the war - in his native Sevastopol, throwing off all the traitors from Cape Fiolent.

He jokes that the movie will still be able to be shot then.