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Why a Ukrainian musician joined her fallen brother's army brigade

A military press officer on the frontlines of Ukraine had a compelling story of her own to tell.
Why a Ukrainian musician joined her fallen brother's army brigade
Posted at 7:00 PM, May 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-04 21:00:42-04

It was a late afternoon rendezvous at a checkpoint near Bakhmut, Ukraine, which you need special permission to cross.

The military press officer assigned to meet us there, and escort us to a story — turned out to be the more interesting story.

I've never done a story on the folks who facilitate journalists' access. Their role is to be surrogates, not subjects — but Ukraine is full of I-have-nevers.

Major Uliana Sozanska was just a few days into her new position working with the world's news media, and was still learning the ropes. For a while, we couldn't find the location of the two soldiers we were trying to visit in the Lyman region, which has become a forlorn frontier town, where many fighters go to rest between battles in Bakhmut. None of our phones could get a signal. While trying to sort things out, Sozanska and I got some quality time together. 

It didn't take long for me to find out why there seemed to be such an aura of sadness surrounding her. The brigade she just joined was the same one as her brother's; he was killed on the battlefield in February.

As you'll see in my report, Sozanska is emblematic of a both the Ukrainian spirit, and a younger generation still possessing the will to fight death's despair.

SEE MORE: Ukraine aims high-tech NATO artillery at high-value Russian targets


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