The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity). Ukraine – Part 7.

The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity). Ukraine Part 7.

I recently wrote a Cold War trilogy, The Red Effect, The Black Effect and The Blue Effect, portraying what I believe could have happened in the 1980’s, had the Soviets, and the Warsaw Pact, taken the decision to attack West Germany and plunged the world into a third world war.

I now ask myself the question, are we heading down that very route now? To answer that, I have written  the first book in a new Cold War trilogy, or the ‘Cool War’ as it is sometimes referred to. The first book, ‘The Cold War – Redux (Duplicity)’, is out now, and the second, The Cold War – Redux (Deception), will be out for Christmas.

Where does my story start? I felt the only way to find the answer to that was to go to the very melting pot that could turn the Cool War, into a Hot War, the Ukraine. I have made three trips so far, and a number of my Posts will relate my experiences while there.

Cold War Redux (Deception), Is due out Christmas 2016.

Flag_of_Ukraine.svg

.

The flag of Ukraine.

.

IMG_1713

Back to Kiev again. It is a city I could never tire of visiting, despite the cold weather.

.

IMG_1729

Early January, the weather was pretty bleak

.

IMG_1724

The temperature during my visit varied between about 2 degrees to -20 degrees.

.

IMG_2025

Shirt, two fleeces and skiing jacket were called for.

.

IMG_0282

It was just a short stay in Kiev at the beginning as my true purpose of visiting Ukraine was to travel to the port city of Mariupol.

.

IMG_0279

So, a 7 hour journey by train first. As you can see, the weather followed me to Zaporizhia.

.

.

IMG_2011

Then by road. Jarick came with me and we were giving a lift by some soldiers from one of the units in Mariupol.

.

IMG_2012

My passport, as usual, created some discussion. But being with Jarick and two Ukrainian soldiers ensured there were no problems as we passed through four checkpoints on our four hour journey.

.

IMG_0288

A British Army ‘woolly-pooley’ as a gift was well received.

.

IMG_1630

Back in Mariupol again. I always look forward to a visit to this part of Ukraine.

.

IMG_1824

But, the true purpose of my visit was to complete more research for my Cold War-Redux trilogy. Above is my trusty steed for my visit to yet another Ukrainian Army unit.

.

IMG_1783

But, before we go anywhere, Jarick’s mum insists that I need feeding. Borsch, is great, but is incredibly filling!

.

IMG_1802

But, I still had to eat more.

Jarick’s mother is unwell at the moment and I wish her well.

.

IMG_1392

Now off to the front. Note the hi-spec dashboard.

.

IMG_1805

The officer taking us is a Major in 36th Brigade.

.

IMG_1803

As ever, my good friend Jarick, wearing his extra thick jacket, accompanied me.

.

IMG_1896

We then had to pass through the Red-Zone.

.

IMG_1931

Civilians are banned from this area.

.

IMG_1892 (1)

.

IMG_1907

The road to the front line, mined and well defended.

.

IMG_1891

.

IMG_1929

.

IMG_1827

We eventually, after a very smooth ride……., arrive at our destination.

.

IMG_1832

I can only show a few of the photographs I took, for obvious reasons.

.

IMG_1830

A cold and bleak landscape.

.

IMG_1828

Temperature below -10.

.

IMG_1632

36th Brigade is part of the Mariupol Divison.

.

IMG_1626

36th Brigade, along with the 79th Airborne Brigade, and others, are responsible for the defence of Mariupol.

.

IMG_1379

The unit flag. The pro-Russian separatist lines were less than a 1,000 metres from here.

.

IMG_1091

The major, on the left, was the one who drove us here. My good friend Igor on the far right.

.

IMG_1412

I took some items they would find useful, tooth brushes, toothpaste, razors, coffee, biscuits, etc. This was just a sample of what we brought for them.

.

IMG_1809

I then descended into one of the bunkers, where they live when off stag. Behind the curtain, wooden steps lead to the surface. The bunkers were deep, the roof supported with logs covered in a thick layer of earth.

.

IMG_1812

Now it was warm. The log-burner spewed out some delightful heat.

.

IMG_1817

Even the unit cat was happy.

.

IMG_1807

They welcomed me with open arms and provided refreshments.

.

IMG_1103

This was effectively their home and I felt very privileged to be allowed to intrude.

.

IMG_1108

.

IMG_1105

As you can see, very patriotic. The soldier on the right is a Lieutenant, with Igor on the right.

.

IMG_1107

A great photo with their unit flag.

.

IMG_1808

This was designed to sleep four officers while off stag, the rest would be hunkered down on the defence line.

.

IMG_1100

Small, but home from home. A generator providing them with some amenities.

.

IMG_1099

.

IMG_1102

And in your spare time, you could always make a bracelet out of grenade clips.

.

IMG_1090

But now time to go. I had to head back to Kiev in a couple of days.

.

IMG_2021

The road journey to Zaporizhia was quite treacherous, and it was questionable that we would make it to the railway station on time. But we did.

.

IMG_2039

Back in Kiev.

.

IMG_1947

Jarick’s lovely wife cooked us a great meal. The photos don’t do it justice.

.

IMG_1725

Although a country at war, life still goes on in the capital city of Ukraine.

.

IMG_1726

I was fortunate to be there, early January, when celebrations for the new year were still in progress.

.

IMG_1517

While in Kiev, I met up with some friends from the Parachute Brigade and brought them some military fleeces and Britsh Army ‘woolly-pooleys’.

.

IMG_1520

Also a high-spec scanner, enabling them to monitor the pro-Russian separatists airwaves.

.

12620412_550885361744477_567125580_o

The jumpers, and the trauma bandages, were well received.

.

IMG_2026

The headless Wolf presented me with a ‘Cyborg’ badge, along with a special forces blue-striped t-shirt and airborne beret. The beret had been worn by one of the survivors of the battles for the Donetsk airport. Very few survivors came away from the battle, and those that did were subsequently know as Cyborgs.

.

.

IMG_2033

This time a shot with the headless Wolf, Jarick and headless Khoral. Very proud and humbled to have received these gifts. I was also given a airborne badge that had been worn by one of the brigade paratroopers in every battle since the invasion of Ukraine.

.

IMG_2036

Beret, badge and t-shirt. Wolf is ex-Spetsnaz and the paratroopers are elite soldiers, hence the blue and white stripes.

.

12398417_955336681205649_921536270_o

.

2a7dbf2ac631c604b88b33ba7772172dbd21b965ec38642fe0aaddb1fa240ebc_large

What is left of the Donetsk Airport Terminal.

.

donetsk-airport-3

The control tower under attack.

.

IMG_1407

.

Yet another great trip and I will be going out there again very soon

.

HarveyBlack FM1 Concept3

Don’t forget, Cold War Redux – Duplicity is now available. Cold War Redux – Deception, out Christmas 2016.

1280px-buk-m1-2_9a310m1-2

9K37 Buk. By Ajvol  – Own work

It was, and is still, a very complicated situation in Ukraine. So, if some of my information is incorrect, then please flag it to me and I can amend the content. Thank you for reading this latest Post.

Site and content, including photographs, is copyrighted to Harvey Black.

 

3 Comments

  1. Very interesting post.

    I’m currently reading your cold war trilogy and look forward to reading your new books. As a wargamer there are plenty of ideas for game scenarios!

    Rory

    1. Hi Roy.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Visiting the frontline in Ukraine helps me get a better perspective on events.

      The Effect series has been incredibly successful, and a number of war gaming clubs have used the plots as scenarios for their own table top battles.

      Thank you for your support.

      Harvey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s