Along the front line, there’s much to gaze upon and inspire an artist.
With the appropriately named call sign of “Artist,” Vitaly serves in a brigade holding the line in Luhansk region. With Russia’s forces dug in 300 metres away, he talks about his life in the army.
Before the war he worked as a mechanic and painter. He has two daughters, 12 and 14 years old, and wants them “to grow up in a country where there is no war.” Three years ago he decided to take up arms to help win victory and bring peace to Ukraine. “Military service in the Ukrainian army is a radical change in my life, a new page with new opportunities for self-realization and testing myself for strength.” Vitaly received the call sign “Artist” not by chance. He has been painting since he was six years old. He draws on anything: on paper, on canvas, on walls and ceilings he paints pictures in 3D, paints cars, makes tattoos. He always gives away his works, so he has almost no collection.
“I am an artist, and my brothers gave me the call sign of the same name. I draw a lot and almost always when there is a minute free from combat work & chores. Here are my works,” – he shows a notebook, almost all written down with drawings. It depicts portraits, some chimera’s, various symbols, signs, many tridents, etc. in blue, red, green and black. Separately he shows pictures of women who serve side by side and in adjacent positions. “Here I met many good people. Courageous, honest, real people, without lies and cunning. It is important for me to know and see who is around you. I found myself here. I am in a team of reliable, battle-tested true patriots. I am proud of them and find in many of my new friends the heroes of my own drawings. I am among my own – and this is important to me, this is an honor!” – “Artist” ends the conversation, firmly pressing the machine gun and hiding a notebook in his pocket.
We wish Vitaly a safe and artistic future.
For more info on him, visit the Ukrainian army Face Book page.