They’re ready to fight again, with artificial legs. (Page 2 ) | September 18, 2023



That is where I think Vladimir Putin miscalculated when he invaded Ukraine last year: he underestimated Ukraine’s determination and resilience. I suspect some Americans make the same mistake. Month after month, Ukrainians have lost buildings, heating, electricity, lives; however, they are willing to continue sacrificing and there is a reverence throughout society for those who have given so much.

A recent survey found that 78 percent of Ukrainians had close family members or friends killed or injured in the fighting. That is a staggering number, but if anything, it has strengthened Ukrainian resolve rather than weakened it. On each of my visits to wartime Ukraine, what has struck me most is not the immense suffering but the even more overwhelming resolve to win.

While the pain and difficulty faced by those struggling to learn to walk again is enormous, the adulation of the public is a balm.




“This week, a woman tried to hug me at a bus stop,” said Denys Kryvenko, 24, who lost both legs and one arm in fighting near Bakhmut in January. “People have tried to give me food, give me money, give me hugs.”

Kryvenko told me that even as a triple amputee, he will rejoin his unit on the front lines.


“My unit is waiting for me,” he insisted. He talks about two roles: either as an instructor for paramedics (he is proof of the value of tourniquets, three of which saved his life) or as a counselor to train soldiers fighting in difficult times.

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