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Ukrainian soldier on challenges of returning to civilian life

Ukrainian soldier on challenges of returning to civilian life Ukrainian soldier explained how the military perceive civilian life (photo provided by the soldier)
Author: Maria Kholina

Commander of Strike Unmanned Aircraft System platoon and initiator of the E-NADIYA project, coordinated by the DUSHA foundation, Dmytro Aliekseienko, revealed in an interview with RBC-Ukraine why it is challenging for military personnel to return from the front to civilian life and why it difficult to comprehend certain aspects.

"The most challenging aspect upon returning from the front is adjusting to normal life. The civilian environment itself is perplexing. Everything is very slow, with different rhythms of life and diverse perspectives on life's values, which undergo radical changes during the time spent on the front," he said.

"Everything that was previously considered normal now seems insignificant. There is a constant sense of not grasping the ordinary problems that concern civilians – this is the reality for many military personnel," he added.

According to the Ukrainian Armed Forces warrior, in civilian life, there is a complete sense of misunderstanding of the surrounding world and people who think about where to go, what to wear, and how to relax away from all the air raid sirens.

"These are not thoughts about evacuating the wounded, leading a group to positions without losses, or ensuring units are ready to repel enemy assaults when you have almost nothing left... There is no time for reflection urgent, life-dependent decisions must be made, affecting your life and the lives of your fighters," explained Aliekseienko.

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The military said that almost everything that existed before will no longer be the same as in the past. After all, "war changes every serviceman from 'before' to 'after'."

"Returning home is a quite challenging stage that requires adaptation to civilian life which you cannot fully accept and go through as long as the war continues, and your place is there. We face our own changes, and unfortunately, at this moment, society is not ready to welcome us back into everyday life," he emphasized.

"This is influenced by different life experiences during the time of war. We will have to go back and start learning to live anew. Without war. Because war changes a person, and returning to 'normal' life can be difficult. But no matter how difficult it is, it is important to remember that war is not your entire life, and it is crucial to try to adapt to peaceful living conditions again," he concluded.