Military supply corps volunteer Viсtor knows first-hand about long journeys into some very dangerous places. However, his latest missions have involved a one-thousand-kilometre drive to Zaporozhye, at the heart of the Ukraine conflict – to see his soldier son, Artem.
Footage taken on December 15 shows Victor, in his camouflage jacket, hugging Artem, in military uniform with a submachine gun slung across his shoulder. It was their first meeting in three months, while the exact location of the reunion was not disclosed.
24-year-old Artem – call sign ‘Zina’ – was born and brought up in the Ramensky district of Moscow region. He received a summons in the first days of Russia’s partial mobilisation.
During their initial meeting, Victor explained that he had joined the supply volunteer corps, providing equipment and rations in the field. He had discovered that his colleagues were going to Zaporozhye and jumped at the chance to go with them and meet up with his son, with the Russian military putting them in touch.
The two are also seen at their second meet-up, in footage captured on Monday, January 16, as Victor delivered further packages; parcels to soldiers from relatives and military equipment for the troops.
The proud dad confessed that he would go anywhere for his child.
“Do you think a loving father would go to the ends of the earth to visit his loving son anyway? I’ll tell you this: no one and nothing will stop me if I have to,” he promised.
Artem also shared his thoughts on his father’s arrival for the second time.
“Emotions are very strong and it is very hard to contain them … It also helps to lighten up the spirits, it feels as if you have been home, and it gives you much more motivation, strength,” he commented.
Zaporozhye itself is one of four regions, also including the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics and Kherson, that President Vladimir Putin agreed to admit to the Russian Federation, signing accession documents on September 30.
According to Moscow, it followed referenda in which people living in those areas exercised their right to self-determination and requested to join Russia.
Ukraine and its international allies condemned the move, calling it an annexation of Kiev’s sovereign territory.