Internet InfoMedia its a way of life women make their mark in the ukrainian army

On the front line just outside Bakhmut, Ukraine, a 32-year-old commander of a Ukrainian artillery platoon rocked to and fro in the passenger seat of a beat-up Lada, as another soldier navigated the car through a thick forest, sometimes mowing down young trees. When they reached their destination, a small village less than two miles from Russian lines, all that was left were destroyed houses, their shattered roofs visible in the moonlight.

The commander, a female soldier who uses the call sign Witch, is a former lawyer who, along with two of her brothers and her mother, joined the military the day after Russia invaded in February 2022. Her first experience in combat was in the outskirts of Kyiv that year, and much of what she has learned about weapons systems since has been self-taught and on the fly.

Since early 2023, Witch has been with her platoon in the 241st Brigade in the area around Bakhmut, supervising all of the artillery systems. She is resolute about staying in the military even if the war ends. “People who want to join the armed forces must understand that it’s a way of life,” she said.

As Ukraine struggles against fierce Russian assaults and its losses mount, there has been a surge of women who have enlisted, and they are increasingly volunteering for combat roles. The Ukrainian military has also made a concerted effort to recruit more women to fill its ranks.

A group of people, three sitting in chairs and a fourth standing, are in a dark, messy room.
Witch plans to stay in the military even if the war ends. “People who want to join the armed forces must understand that it’s a way of life,” she said.
Kuzya, 19, adjusting mortar fire toward Russian positions in the cover of darkness. She is the youngest member of the artillery platoon commanded by Witch and has kept her involvement in the military a secret from her family to avoid worrying them.

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