Boxing coach, now a guard and defender of the country talks about the fighting for Donetsk region

29.06.2022 16:03

Vitaliy Merinov, a National Guard fighter, is now fighting in the Donetsk region. The four-time kickboxing world champion, champion of Ukraine in universal combat, master of the sport of boxing left civilian life and went to the military on February 24 to defend Ukraine.

“It is the duty of every citizen to defend the Motherland,” Vitaly Merinov is convinced. “When Russia began its invasion actions, I was with my family in Ivano-Frankivsk. At night, his wife woke up and said that the war had begun. We heard a rocket flying over our house. Therefore, he did not think for a long time and already in the morning communicated with his friends about joining the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Since I had previously served in the National Guard, I knew where to go, and things were already arranged for me. In the evening he was in the military unit. And then at the training ground there was a combat coordination, then they guarded the city facilities and went on loan.”

Fighters of the Russian Federation, Kadyrovets and Rosgvards are fighting against the Ukrainian army.

“The Russians are constantly shelling the city,” says Vitaly Merinov. “At six in the morning we woke up to the sounds of enemy tanks, mortars, and the evening cannons ended around midnight. Then, probably, they are given a rebound. Throughout the day, we engage in street battles with them, including throwing grenades so that the Russians do not cross our street. We are doing everything not to surrender positions, but to protect them from the enemy.”

During one of these battles, Vitaly Merinov received a gunshot wound to the leg. He is now recovering.

“In the morning, it was customary to fire artillery,” the fighter says about the circumstances of his injury. “Then the infantry entered and the gun battle began. The Russians fired from an under-barrel grenade launcher and I received a shrapnel wound in the leg.”

Vitaly was immediately evacuated from the battlefield. The operation was performed in the Dnieper hospital, and completed the treatment in Ivano-Frankivsk. It is now preparing for a new rotation. Meanwhile, in civilian life, a wife and a one-year-old daughter are waiting for a defender. In the conversation, Vitaly rejoices, because during his stay at the front, his daughter began to walk.

“Time passes, children grow up, so we have something to protect,” adds Vitaly Merinov. “All military people strive to return to peaceful life in their homes. But first and foremost, we must defeat the Russian invaders and expel them from Ukraine. And then we will rebuild. I am sure we will be a powerful country.”

Press Service of the National Guard of Ukraine

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