Over the past eight years, the war has separated many families – many Ukrainians have lost touch with their Russian relatives or those who have remained in the temporarily occupied territories.
Someone got a new family – brothers in arms who defended Ukraine, instead of relatives who support the actions of the occupiers.
How to live after a loved one not only supports the enemy, but also chooses to fight against their own state?
One of the Ukrainian servicemen, Yevhen Myronov with the eloquent call sign “Son”, knows this from his own experience.
A young man from the Dnipro region at the age of 18 enlisted to defend Ukraine from the Russian occupiers.
And his father, a militant Alexander Zyubanov with the call sign “Bison”, chose the side of the enemy.
While Yevhen was defending Ukrainians from the “Russian world”, his father threatened him and arranged “tribunals” in the occupied territories together with Girkin’s terrorists.
“Ukrainska Pravda Life” learned about Yevhen Mironov’s family history from his video on TikTok, which has already garnered more than 5 million views.
In this video, Yevhen shared footage of how he defends Ukraine, and of his father who poses with St. George’s ribbons and fights under the Russian flag.
We talked to Yevhen about his relationship with his father, combat experience and why people take the side of the enemy.
Now – his direct speech.
Conflicts with his father began during the Revolution of Dignity (Maidan)
My mother and father divorced back in 2009, if I’m not mistaken. 2009-2010. We lived separately, but I talked to my dad until 2014.
When the Revolution of Dignity began, I was on the Maidan in the Dnipro – there were also clashes with the Golden Eagle and pro-Russian forces. Even then we had quarrels.
At the beginning, when (pro-Russian forces – ed.) were being formed in Slovyansk, he visited his parents, packed his stuff and went to Slovyansk. His parents went to Russia in a few weeks and never came back. Just like him.
When the clashes in the Donbass began, I joined the self-defense forces of Pavlograd, where I come from. We were building checkpoints with the Kulchytsky’s battalion [famous National Guard of Ukraine unit] and helped them. Then I joined the “Right Sector”. [Ukrainian patriotic movement]
And in the summer I started collecting documents for the “Dnipro 1” battalion, which was the first volunteer battalion on the basis of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. It took me a long time because I was 18 years old. It was a little difficult to join this battalion – young, everyone looked at n like that… It was not easy to get into the war at the age of 18.
“My father was pro-Russian all his life”
In “Peacemaker” [Ukrainian website with data on russian war criminals] it says that he is from Rostov on Don. At the age of 18-19 he moved with his parents to the city of Pavlograd. He met my mother there, they got married and I was born.
Prior to that, he worked in the Ukrainian police, at that time still “militsiya” [old Soviet name was changed to “Police” after the Revolution of Dignity]. He was wounded in the service and retired.
He was pro-Russian all his life. Why did he go to fight for the occupiers? Because Russia was there. I have no other explanation. All his life he wanted to be with Russia. That’s what happened to him.
“I did not go to fight against my father”
In 2014, I helped the Right Sector Volunteer Battalion. We evacuated people out of Lysychansk, we brought humanitarian aid. From the end of 2014 to 2016 – I served in the volunteer battalion “Dnipro-1”.
I did not go to war against my father, I went to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine. There was a need to defend the country. I didn’t think then: father or not father.
It wasn’t even a difficult decision. We have our own nation, territorial integrity, borders that need to be protected.
“He told my mother that Pisky had been taken, and their son had been killed”
When I joined the battalion, we went to the village of Pisky. My father knew where I was.
We had connection in Pisky, so I could not communicate with my mother for a few days.
And at this time he called her, saying that “We have already taken Pisky, killed our son.” He promised to crash my mother with tank tracks, threatened her.
And now, after TikTok has received a lot of reviews about me and my father, there are people who write that he told me that I was hanged by the “Right Sector”, and my mother works in the “Right Sector”, gathers people for war. He gave such misinformation.
According to him, I was killed a couple of times. They had wake after 9 days [tradition in Orthodox Christianity] – father with his relatives who went to Russia.
He called me several times.
When there was a holiday, he drank and started to call: “What are you there, barrier troops? You are killing civilians, hanging children on the walls and fences.”
I told him then: “If you want to talk to me, call me like a father, not like…” I don’t even know what to call such a person.
Before this war he was a father, like a father. Although all my life my grandmother raised me with love for Ukraine, and his parents did not agree with that.
Bison died after his crimes were exposed
In 2014, his father actively participated in the fighting. He was injured. After that, he was the head of the department of the sixth department of the MGB “DPR”. It was his position, but he is also said to have been a lieutenant colonel.
In 2020, documents on the shootings in Slovyansk were published. There were 9 people who killed Ukrainians, and he was among them. His call sign is “Bison”. He was there as an investigator. That is, if a person was detained for something, he was one of those who sentenced them to murder.
After that, about a week later, his heart stopped. I don’t know if it was someone’s work. He never had any complaints about his heart. I guess he didn’t die of natural causes.
He said I was a Nazi
When my father died, I talked to his mother. They were and remain pro-Russian. That we here are all Nazis, fascists, killing children, “bombing Donbass for 8 years”.
Their mood did not change at all during the sixth year of the war.
(After the start of the full-scale invasion, his father’s family did not change their attitude towards Russia and did not contact Yevhen – ed.)
I’m not going to convince anyone. For their part, they did not communicate. As before, they were not interested, so it is now. When his father was alive, he still called for a holiday, but in the last years of his life – no. He was wondering about me threw other people.
And after his death in “DPR” [Donetsk People Republic] there was a video about him. It is currently unavailable for viewing because all pro-Russian channels have been banned, thank God. There was an archival interview with him, where he talked about me, so to speak, in a not very good light.
He said I was a fascist because I was in the Right Sector. Yes, I was there. This is not bad.
This is a story, I think, not only in me. Then (in 2014 – ed.) many families separated because of Russian aggression. For example, the father is for Ukraine and the mother is not. Or vice versa. At that time, many children were left without a family, without parents who decided to side with the occupier. The same is true in the Crimea.
“People went to fight for the occupiers to make money”
In 2014, it seems to me, people went to fight for the DNR to earn money. It cleared our streets a little bit of collaborators like my father.
Those who lived in the Donbass received more influence from Russia than here in Central Ukraine, or even here in the Dnieper. Some people wanted to live in Russia or get a Russian passport. I don’t think we need these people.
After the invasion, most Ukrainians will understand who Russia is. That they are not our brothers.
We have been enduring this war for a long time. How many times in this century has Russia wanted to destroy us as a nation! But they will never succeed.
They came here, we started beating them, and they start making some movements, after which they die. And will continue to die.
From the beginning of the full-scale war, Yevhen fought in the Kyiv region
After the service I resigned and moved to Lviv region, to the city of Drohobych. There I worked at the Drohobych truck crane. I work in supply – a fairly common profession. Now I am within the Kyiv region. I came here from Lviv on February 24. We received weapons and have already worked in the Bucha district.
We drove people from Bucha and helped them to get out. The work was hard because people were walking in the woods, walking with the children. Who could – left by car when they (occupiers – ed.) entered the city.
We were on the Zhytomyr highway in the area of Mila and Grandma’s garden, took part in the liberation of the Zhytomyr highway. There was the village of Lisne, behind which stood the second tank battalion or regiment of the Russian Federation – this is where a man was shot who got out of the car and raised his hands.
From that position, the occupiers shelled Shpytky and other nearby villages.
We saw the Russians driving on the Zhytomyr highway every morning – they were hit several times by RPGs. They aimed so that the car could go, but they did not drive on the Zhytomyr highway after this incident.
There were several clashes when they tried to leave Dmytrivka by road. We liberated the villages in that area. They went out, and we followed them.
What would you like to say to people who are fighting for the occupiers
If they come here, they will die. Nothing more to tell me.
What to protect them? A fictional state on the territory of another state? This is not something to die for. And if they agree to go to the “DPR army”, then this is their decision. The last decision they will make in their lives.
The fact that the Russians are forcibly drawn to their army – that’s be cause they are afraid that we will come. They conscript teachers, 18-year-old children. I remember myself being 18 years old. I never held a weapon then. They throw their things here – untrained, naked, barefoot… We went to their place where they lived, in their dugouts. They took all the vodka from the gas stations – everything you can drink with a degree. And the water was left.
After what they did in Bucha, in Gostomel, in Irpen, the “Nazis” are them, not us. And their parents, their whole state will never understand this, because they have not seen it. They did not see the dead children, the elderly and all the horror that was here.
Our people are returning home, and there is nothing left in the place where they lived, where their children grew up. It’s very good if people left. And those who stayed here, I do not know how they will live.
Could the “Son” forgive his father?
I probably wouldn’t want to talk to him. Given the aggression I feel towards them… I see it all since 2014, 2015, when we were in Lysychansk. When I saw the dead and how the occupiers were shelling houses, at the age of 18 I was surprised.
Now there is even more aggression. When with a child in their arms without any things, Ukrainians walk across blown bridges, rivers… They escape only to survive. It is very difficult. I don’t realize how hard it was for them.
This will never be forgiven. No woman or child will forgive them for the loss of their husbands or fathers in this war.
Source: Olena Barsukova, Ukrainian Pravda Life.
Photos provided by Yevhen Myronov