Hundreds of fans of Dynamo kyiv, the most successful Ukrainian team, changed scarves, flares and banners for military uniforms, drones and weaponsand fight against the Russian invader together with their country’s army.
Since December, I have been deployed to Bakhmut, Andrii Korenivskyi, who runs an online business that sells stuff for the team and He enlisted in the army as a volunteer last May.
Korenivskyi, 39 and since he was 14 at the bottom where Dinamo’s most radical fans meet, decided to take the step after the Ukrainian army pushed to withdraw from Kiev and its proximity to the invading Russian forces.
Until then he had worked as coordinator of the humanitarian and military aid they received from ultra movements across Europe in the El Córner pub, where club fans gather to watch matches Dinamo have played behind closed doors since the start of this season .war because of the threat of bombing.
Despite having no previous military experience, Korenivskyi quickly learned to fly drones and participated last fall, in air intelligence tasksin the liberation of the southern city of Kherson.
On the attack like zombies
The past three months have been spent in Bakhmut, the city in eastern Ukraine under siege by Russia. where the toughest fights take place.
Many Russian soldiers are ordinary prisoners who go on the offensive like zombies, trampling over the bodies of their dead comrades, Korenivskiy says of what he sees on the front lines, referring to convicts recruited by the Wagner mercenary group he leads. about Bakhmut.
Another ultra Dynamo who has taken up arms for Ukraine is Yaroslav Movchun, a 40-year-old farmer who enlisted in February last year. as the Russian forces had come within about 10 kilometers of the farm where he lives with his family, between the capital and the city of Zhytomyr.
At that distance you have less than two hours to escape, and even if you have a weapon at home you don’t need it, says about the circumstances that led him to become a soldier.
After five days of hasty training together with the other Territorial Defense volunteers who they didn’t have a clue that they were using a weaponMovchun helped stop the Russian military by equipping Soviet RPG rocket launchers and UK-supplied NLAW light anti-tank weapons.
After helping oust the Russian occupiers from the region, Movchun went on to train other volunteers in the use of these types of weapons, a job he still does.
fallen in combat
Both Korenivskyi and Movchun mourn the deaths of their che teammates they fell defending their country on the front. The Dinamo ultras Facebook page has gone from publishing photos of flares and cheering to being a succession of obituaries and collections of donations to better equip the Army.
Many Dinamo fans now battling Russia wear the stylized, calligraphic D of their club crest on their kit.
“Dinamo is a national symbolit is part of our country’s history and we are proud of it,” says Movchun amid walls decorated with paintings of club legends such as Valeriy Lobanovskyi, Andriy Shevchenko and Serhiy Rebrov at El Córner pub.
Both Korenivskyi and Movchun long for the days when they will be able to take the field and travel with the team across Europe, and are asking the West for more military aid in order to secure as quickly as possible a Ukrainian victory that ends the occupation of their country and to the death in the war of his classmates.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.