Jamaican reggae music legend Bob Marley has, in some small manner, change into linked to the Ukraine-Russia battle as a band of volunteer fighters have dubbed themselves the Bob Marley Volunteer Defence Squad.
The group of roughly 10 younger Ukrainians first banded collectively to defend their homeland when Russia annexed Crimea and stoked battle within the east of the nation in 2014, as a part of one of many dozens of volunteer battalions that fashioned to assist Ukraine’s underfunded, outgunned navy take the combat to the enemy.
“It’s about being guys who can swap between the warfare and being chill,” is how one of many group’s members, Dmytro Dubas, described their ethos, over a Zoom name from Lviv throughout a latest break free from the entrance strains.
“If we have to be impolite, we will if obligatory. If we’ve got time to relax, we do,” Dubas stated.
“We wish victory, and peace. However we don’t wish to combat our whole life,” he added.
As a respite from the horrors of warfare, the group have been recognized amongst fellow fighters of their barracks for indulging within the finer issues in life: good wine, meals, music, dialog, and, after all, weed, Vice World Information reported.
The unit wears patches depicting the late reggae icon, and cuts an unconventional presence on the battlefield. Its social media accounts use Ukrainian hashtags of #jahrastafari and a motto that states, roughly, that should you’re stoned you’ll be able to’t be killed.
Because the battle with Russian-backed separatists within the east died down in 2015, members of the Bob Marley Squad drifted again to their civilian lives, resuming careers in psychology, medical science, and promoting.
However since Russia’s invasion in February, they’ve been compelled to take up arms once more to defend their homeland as soon as once more. They’d lengthy anticipated having to do that once more, stated the 33-year-old Dubas.
“Our commander at all times stated in the course of the warfare within the east [in 2014-15] that there would sooner or later be a ‘massive warfare’ with Russia, little doubt. For me, I hoped that there wouldn’t be.”
However as Russian troops started amassing on the border for enormous navy workouts final 12 months, the long-dormant “squad” sprang once more into motion. Members joined the nation’s territorial defence forces to resume their navy coaching, and made contingency plans for what they’d do when the long-feared invasion got here.
“We’d collect at a spot in Kyiv, and go to warfare.”
The primary evening of the invasion, many of the group, as a part of the 112th Brigade of the Territorial Defence Forces, took up positions defending the northern strategy to Kyiv. The warfare took a direct toll on the group: on the primary evening of preventing, one of many group’s unique members, Dmytro “Demon” Synjuka, and his spouse, Iryna Cvila, have been killed when their car was hit by a rocket. The Bob Marley Squad’s chief, Dmytro Myhas, sustained severe accidents to his hand in the identical assault.
Since these preliminary losses, one other of the squad has gone lacking in motion, following heavy preventing not too long ago close to Borova, in Kharkiv, japanese Ukraine, Vice World Information stated.
As of late, defined Dubas, the Bob Marley Squad is not a definite unit of fighters however a neighborhood of veterans, dispersed between three completely different models of Ukraine’s armed and territorial defence forces. Most now combat for the 112th Brigade, inside a platoon underneath the command of Vasyl Mangal, a Bob Marley Squad member.