“Having soldiers killed is for me heartbreaking. It is like losing a child. You have to be strong for the others. Having soldiers captured and not having guaranteed fates is different.

As a commander, you worry for them. You allowed them to be prisoners of the enemy. I cannot guess their fate. They could be treated as honorable soldiers. They could be executed or beaten. I do not know. Not knowing is what hurts me.

I would rather not surrender. I cannot make that decision for them. If the moment comes that is a choice I believe most men need to make for themselves. No matter military code. To fight and die for our country or to give up after having fought honorably and possibly live in captivity or worse.

The effect it has on the soldiers still here is extremely negative. They are all friends with each other. And it is hard on them. They want to know where they are. They want to know where they are taken and being treated well or poorly. I do not have these answers.

It is just difficult. For me it is as bad as having soldiers killed because at least the condition of the dead is known. I cannot really say more than this. I hope these thoughts I have can help some understand the stress of leadership in these situations. People want officers to know everything but the situations on the battlefield rarely allow us to know more than the soldiers themselves.”

⁃ Ukrainian Soldier. June 20th, 2022.

Documented by Battles and Beers