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"Pity is a humiliation". Andriy Smolenskyi, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who lost his arms and eyes in the war, named phrases that should never be said to the military

Soldier Andriy Smolenskyi spoke about phrases to avoid when talking to the military

Ukrainian soldier Andriy Smolenskyi, call sign Apostle, who lost his eyes and parts of his arms at the front, told us what phrases should always be avoided when talking to soldiers. He believes that expressions of regret are the worst thing a soldier can hear. Instead, it should be replaced with words of gratitude.

In an interview with TSN, Andriy Smolenskyi and his wife Alina told about the most offensive things they have heard from others. First of all, according to the soldier, instead of pity, one should express and show respect and understand that a wounded soldier is just like all other people.

"Pity is the worst thing you can give a soldier after he returns from the front. Pity is a huge humiliation for a soldier who consciously went to the front, knew the risks he was taking, and was ready to take responsibility for those risks. You can only pity those who are not responsible 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 we see around us. After being wounded, the military should definitely not be given pity, but respect in small things, in big things, in everything," the man explained.

Smolenskyi noted the most common situations that he has faced many times: "There are stories when a person with a severe injury like mine can run up and pick you up because they are afraid you will fall. Another person may run up and start talking not to you, but to the person next to you who looks healthy. As if you are not a subject. And it's even not just strangers, but relatives who do this."

The serviceman explains that instead of pity, it is better to sympathize with the person and treat them with understanding. In particular, respect and gratitude are also obligatory things that should be expressed even when a person who has returned from the front refuses to communicate.

"Respect is the first thing we can give to a soldier when he returns from the front, and any person who returns from the army deserves respect. The second thing the military deserves is gratitude. Start simply with the words "Good afternoon. Excuse me, I would like to thank you very much for being our defender." If you start with this phrase, you will definitely not go wrong. Even if he doesn't want to communicate, you need to start with gratitude. I think he will hear it. He may say, 'You know, I don't want to talk,' but he will hear the words of gratitude first," he said.

''Pity is a humiliation''. Andriy Smolenskyi, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who lost his arms and eyes in the war, named phrases that should never be said to the military

Smolenskyi's wife, with whom he has been married for 4 years, also noted several things to avoid: ignoring for fear of saying the wrong thing and using her judgment.

"It's better to say something than to be afraid and not call, write, or do anything at all for fear of harming him. Because inaction is also upsetting. You can also feel lonely, or like your people have turned their backs on you. The second moment is when they say: "Are you going to stay with him? Have you thought about leaving him and starting your life over?" These are tactless questions. They are completely inappropriate to this situation. Of course, if I am with my husband, I love him, why should I leave him? Another big point is when people draw conclusions for you and believe that if we are in this situation, it means, in their understanding, the end of life, that we will not be able to live normally. It's so hard for us. We are so poor and miserable, and our whole life will be a martyr's life," she said.

''Pity is a humiliation''. Andriy Smolenskyi, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who lost his arms and eyes in the war, named phrases that should never be said to the military

Andriy Smolenskyi urged the military to tell others what they don't like, because their well-being is important: "The most important thing is how a soldier feels inside. I would really like the returning soldiers to know that you can always live. You can go on with your life. And do not allow yourself to be treated like this. People will learn that this is not the way to communicate with the military."

It has been 9 months since the 27-year-old soldier was wounded. The man volunteered for the front and commanded a small unit in southern Ukraine. He was wounded when he was climbing out of a trench. Then Smolenskyi lost his sight, partial hearing and two arms.

''Pity is a humiliation''. Andriy Smolenskyi, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine who lost his arms and eyes in the war, named phrases that should never be said to the military

"My pains have decreased, the doctors helped me get back on my feet, the rehabilitation therapists helped me adapt to my life. I am 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 asshole from abroad is going to tell me what language to speak, what to believe and how to live. I do not regret once that I went to the front and had the honor to serve with such great guys, such great people around me and that I was lucky to have this experience that made me a completely different person and that made me realize what is important in this world," he said hopefully.

While undergoing rehabilitation, Smolenskyi found a new hobby – singing. His first song was a cover of the hit song "Soldier" by the famous band 5'Nizza. The man translated it into Ukrainian and updated the lyrics to reflect the realities of war and his own life story.

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