Veteran Stories

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Dutch Commando Corps Officer (KCT) | Dutch General Intelligence Service (AIVD) | Triangular Group CEO

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Today we hear a very different Combat Story from Sergey Dyadkin, a Ukrainian patriot, Special Forces and Territorial Defense Force soldier fighting in Ukraine against Russia today. Sergey fought back some of the first Russian incursions into Kiev and was in the city of Schastia in eastern Ukraine just 20 miles from the Russian border when the shelling, tanks, and invasion began. He captured some of the first Russian prisoners of the war and, you’ll note in the discussion, treated them humanely, which we’ve seen is not the case for both sides in this war.

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We found Sergey thanks to Ryan Hendrickson, who many will recall from two previous Combat Story episodes where Ryan described having his leg mangled by an IED only to return to combat and earn a Silver Star. 

In true Ryan fashion, he voluntarily left the US and his life to help the people in Ukraine. While in Kiev, Ryan met Sergey and they connected over a shared Special Forces background. Sergey’s Special Forces operational tempo was so high that he was sent to the Territorial Defense Forces to escort humanitarian aid efforts as a break!


During his downtime, Sergey was kind enough to share the heartbreaking stories that he has experienced since Russia invaded.


I hope you enjoy this important and unique insight into the experiences of a frontline soldier fighting against Russia who, at such a young age, can differentiate between the Russian people and a Russian tyrant, who can already forgive, and who just wishes people could go back to a peaceful co-existence. 


You’ll notice we’re using a translator. Sergey speaks English but I wanted him to be able to express himself more in his native language. We’ve also got Ryan Hendrickson just off-screen for most of the interview helping provide some additional context as his and Sergey’s paths are now intertwined. For those listening and who aren’t watching the video on YouTube or Spotify, Sergey is sitting at his Army base and wearing his military fatigues with his weapon slung throughout the interview, reminding us that when the interview ended and we all go back to our lives, he went back to war.


This is one I’ll never forget and I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 

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