Friday, September 07, 2007

Vadym the Ukrainian

Vadym NANYNETS, a member of the Ukrainian military mission to Iraq, mentioned me by name in an account of his tour published (in English) in the online site Welcome to Ukraine. Fortunately for me, the reference was favorable.

Vadym, along with two Ukrainian military officers, Ruslan Myroshnychenko and Dmytro Cherednychenko, worked with me at the South-Central Headquarters in Hilla. I had never knowingly met a Ukrainian before. I was surprised to find out they were Led Zeppelin fans. Vadym knew all the verses to "Whole Lotta Love."I was impressed.

Vadym was a civilian working with the Ukrainian military. In a previous post I spoke about my trip to
Abu Ghraib prison so that Ruslan could visit a Ukrainian prisoner incarcerated there. In my book I describe the incident where Ruslan and Deborah Harrison are wounded in an Iraqi ambush while returning from a trip to Baghdad. I can still see Ruslan sitting on a stretcher in the Babylon Hospital, his body armor and helmet on the floor at his feet. His shirt is off and he has a big grin on his face. There is a small bruise and a trickle of blood on his shoulder where one of the bullets had deflected off the car and imbedded there barely under ths skin. Outside the hospital I saw Vadym, obviously upset over Ruslan's wound. I could only ponder on how lucky he was.

This was Ruslan's last day in Iraq. He was due to head back to Ukraine the next day. In fact, he made it to his farewell party later that night.


  1. 'these “Ukrainian boys, the first Ukrainians I’ve seen in my life,” were fine officers and if all the Ukrainian officers were like them, then it was a fine army, indeed.'
    That sounds just like you!

  2. Thank you so much, Colonel!
    You still remember us.
    I have found this post just last night.

    The only thing I'd like to point out - I am Ukrainian, not Urainian ))))