Ukrainian Soldier Who Lost Eyes And Arms In War Says People’s Pity Is The Worst

A Ukrainian soldier who lost his eyes and parts of his arms in the war has said that the worst thing about returning from the front is the pity people show him.

Photo shows Andriy Smolensky, 27, and his wife Alina Smolenska, 28. Before Andriy was injured during war in Ukraine. He went to war as volunteer and lost arms and eyes. (Alina Smolenska/Newsflash)

Instead, Andrei Smolensky, call sign ‘Apostle’, would prefer civilians to express their gratitude to him.

Andrei, 27, lost parts of his hands and blinded nine months ago after he volunteered for the front and commanded a small unit in southern Ukraine.

He wounded while getting up from a trench, according to local media reports, going blind in both eyes, losing part of both of his hands and partially losing his hearing.

He told Ukrainian media that one thing that he cannot stand is people’s pity, saying. “It’s pity – this is the worst thing that can be given to a military man upon returning from the front.

“It’s pity – this is a huge humiliation for a military man who deliberately went to the front, knew what risks he was taking and was ready to bear responsibility for these risks.

“You can feel sorry for those who do not bear responsibility for their actions. The military are not people who are not responsible for their actions, the military are people who have the courage to take responsibility for everything that we see around.”

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He added: “After being wounded, the military should definitely not be given pity, but respect in small things, in big things, in everything.”

Photo shows Andriy Smolensky, 27, and his wife Alina Smolenska, 28. After Andriy injured during war in Ukraine. He went to war as volunteer and lost arms and eyes. ( Alina Smolenska/Newsflash)

Andrei said that another part of being wounded in combat is that now people often talk to the person next to him “who looks healthy”, instead of talking to him.

He added: “And this is even shown not just by strangers, but by relatives too.”

Andrei explained that instead of showing a wounded veteran pity. It is much better to sympathise with them and treat them with understanding.

He said that it was also important to show a person returning from the front gratitude and respect for their service and sacrifice.

Andrei said: “Respect is the first thing we can give to a military man when he returns from the front, and any person returning from the army deserves respect.

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“The second thing that the military deserves is gratitude. Start simply with the words ‘Good day. Sorry, I would like to thank you very much for being our protector.’

Photo shows soldier Andriy Smolensky, 27, with the call sign “Apostle” before he injured during war in Ukraine. He went to war as volunteer and lost arms and eyes. (Andriy Smolensky/Newsflash)

“If you start with this phrase, you definitely won’t go wrong.

“Even if they do not want to communicate, you need to start with gratitude. I think they will hear it. He can say: ‘You know, I don’t want to talk,’ but he will be the first to hear words of gratitude.”

Andrei is still undergoing rehabilitation. He said: “My pain has decreased, doctors helped me get back on my feet, rehabilitation specialists helped me adapt to my life.

“I’m happy, I enjoy life, I enjoy my wife. I like to walk the streets of my city and know that these are my streets and no a*sehole from abroad can tell me what language to communicate in, what to believe in and how to live.

“I do not regret even once that I went to the front and had the honour of serving with such wonderful guys, such wonderful people around.

“It was an experience that made me a completely different person and made me understand what is important in this world.”


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