She is a young mother with a master’s in public policy, yet she spends her days and nights using “stingers and switchblades” to fight on the front lines in Ukraine.
Andriana Arekhta, 34, was away from the battlefields on Tuesday when she was in New York, but she was still plagued by visions and scents of the devastation in her war-torn nation.
Finding the bodies of toddlers and teenagers who had been tormented by Russians, according to her, is the worst.
She claimed, “I can still smell the stink of burning buildings and fresh bodies, even when I’m in the forests, in the fresh air.
One of the tales that has stuck with her is about an 11-year-old child who was whipped in front of his mother by a sizable number of Russian soldiers; he lived, but he was never the same. Additionally, she claimed to have seen a field full with more than 100 dead cows.
Arekhta, a combat trooper, left the frontlines for Washington, DC as Ukraine started to free portions of its seized territory from Russian invaders, who left behind a path of mass graves and war crimes.
Her point is clear.
We require metal. Arekhta, a special forces weapons sergeant in the Ukrainian military and the leader of the Women Veteran Movement, said, “We pay for it with our lives.
She also wants to express her gratitude to the US for the weapons it has already sent.
She said, “Your guns are saving lives.
But this isn’t just about an unprovoked war of aggression between Russia and Ukraine, she says, as Putin threatens to begin conscription his compatriots.
“This is a fight for democracy’s survival. Europe will follow if we fail, Arekhta declared.
What are they lacking? More “HIMARSes, ammo, tanks, fighter jets, armoured vehicles, and ground air defence.”
Arekhta was only 2 years old when the Soviet Union fell, but she had already heard tales of the dangers of Soviet imperialism since, as she recalls, her own grandmother had been deported to Siberia under the Communists.
When Russia seized Crimea in 2014, Arekhta had just finished her master’s and signed a contract to work in Japan. Her steady blue eyes have seen far too much.
She served as the leader of the Ukrainian veterans’ women’s movement, a United Nations advisor for veterans’ affairs, and a “military wife” throughout the ensuing seven years.
She was legally labelled as a combat “seamstress” in her documents because women weren’t permitted to serve in combat units at the time.
Arekhta was once again fighting beside her husband on the front lines when Russia invaded Ukraine in February of last year. A “brother in arms” and Makar’s godfather, one of their closest friends, was murdered.
“Being on the front lines is harder now that I’m a mother. Before, fighting was simpler. I’m now in charge of my child,” she stated.