© Reuters. Hairdresser and Ukrainian Territorial Defence system volunteer Oleksandr Shamshur, 41-year-old, prepares to secure sky over capital versus Russian suicide drones in the start of his shift, amidst Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 2, 20
By Margaryta Chornokondratenko and Yiming Woo
KYIV (Reuters) – A hair stylist by day and a “drone hunter” by night, Oleksandr Shamshur, 41, is amongst 10s of countless volunteers assisting safeguard the skies over Ukraine versus Russian attacks.
As the Feb. 24 very first anniversary of Russia’s intrusion nears, Ukraine is ending up being significantly proficient at shooting down Russian rockets and drones fired at cities far from the cutting edge, and Shamshur takes pride in his own function.
Members of his territorial defence system, consisting of a legal representative and a business owner, react to air raid signals around the capital Kyiv by looking for to down Iranian-made Shahed-136 drones with a brought back World War Two gatling gun.
“I am a very happy person. Why? Because I am defending my country, I am defending our Ukrainian people,” Shamshur stated as he combed the capital’s moonlit horizon through a thermal electronic camera with a variety finder from his position on a roof.
Nearby, a fellow fighter was changing the green barrels of the Soviet-made “Maxim” gatling gun.
“But at the same time I can come to the beauty salon and work with the people, do the work I know, cut hair and talk to clients,” said Shamshur.
He said it never occurred to him as a civilian to “escape and conceal someplace” when tens of thousands of Russian armoured forces stormed into a stunned Ukraine last winter and began bombarding Kyiv and other cities.
“With the opponent at the doorstep, I needed to do something, I needed to act in defence,” he said.
During the night of Dec. 29-30, Shamshur said, his rooftop unit shot down two drones over Kyiv. His team have also passed on the skills they have learned to other units.
Shamshur sports several badges on his camouflage uniform, including one, “Drone Hunters”, in English, and another in Ukrainian reading “Ronin” – a feudal Japanese warrior – that he has actually embraced as his nom-de-guerre.
When Russia got into, Shamshur – an army reservist prior to the war – found out that his military base had actually currently been damaged by Russian shelling so he signed up with territorial defences, at first providing food to civilians and assisting leave individuals.
At operate in his beauty parlor, still using military khaki as he styled a customer’s hair, he stated he attempts not to speak to his customers about the war, calling it “dark” in contrast to the “light” in the serene part of his life.