An Airdrie man is in Ukraine, now close to town of Bakhmut, the place he volunteers with the navy and makes use of his expertise to show others methods to fly drones.
Yevgen Mykhaylichenko, who teaches autonomous farm tools at Olds Faculty in Alberta, was born in Ukraine close to Dnipro and taught at Dnipro State Agrarian and Financial College.
“In peacetime I am an teacher at Olds Faculty, however in wartime I am a drone teacher and likewise a volunteer,” Mykhaylichenko stated.
That is his sixth time volunteering and sharing his drone experience for the reason that battle started simply over a 12 months in the past.
“In case you are 10 seconds late, even a couple of seconds, a Russian missile or a bomb might hit the operator of the drone. It could actually value you your life if you happen to make this error on the battlefield,” Mykhaylichenko stated.
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When not on the entrance traces, Mykhaylichenko offers free lectures at his former college and develops programs for college kids in Canada on autonomous farming and robotics.
Final autumn he was capable of assist Olds Faculty college students management a robotic in a discipline close to Didsbury, all whereas in the course of a battle.
“I’m additionally very grateful to my Canadian college students as a result of they let me management all the pieces remotely. It is a large machine with autonomous farming and all I wanted was an excellent web connection and for my college students to begin the ignition on the robotic. I can management from the laptop computer sitting on the entrance line and we have been spraying fungicides and herbicides,” stated Mykhaylichenko.
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When requested why he chooses to danger his life to maintain coming again to Ukraine, he says he simply desires to assist his household and his homeland.
He stated his nephew disappeared close to Bakhmut in June 2022, however his physique was not discovered till October. He was a soldier of the twenty fourth brigade of the armed forces of Ukraine. Mykhaylichenko’s childhood pal was additionally killed close to Bakhmut in August 2022.
“It is also about how I can depart these individuals who reside there in the event that they sacrifice their lives for the military?” Mykhailichenko stated.
He stated he has achieved a lot of his targets and this is only one extra problem.
“I’ve benefits and advantages from each international locations, so I’ve no regrets in any respect. If you are going to be killed, you may by no means even realize it. Second, are targets. I come from a poor household, however I achieved all the pieces on my own and there’s not a lot left on this life that may shock me, so in all probability that is type of a brand new problem for me,” stated Mykhaylichenko.
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It is volunteer troopers like Vasyl Trykulich, who’s at present with the 19 Separate Rifle Battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who’re a part of Mykhaylichenko’s motivation.
“We’re grateful to Yevgen (is) serving to us with drones. There’s been a friendship between us since he is been right here,” Trykulich stated.
“They left their households, they left all the pieces and they’re volunteers who be part of the military. This motivates me: The spirit of the Ukrainian individuals,” stated Mykhaylichenko. “They’re all totally different. A few of them are bookkeepers, some hairdressers and lecturers.”
Mykhaylichenko and others are elevating cash for drones and different tools equivalent to backpacks and gloves and binoculars.
He stated he would not be capable of do what he is doing in Ukraine with out the help of many individuals, together with his pal Robert Saik, an Olds Faculty agronomist and advisor, and Olds Faculty crew members Pleasure Agnew and Alex Melnitchouck .
“I reside on two fronts. One entrance in Canada and one entrance in Ukraine.”
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“You solely have one life and you need to use your time to one hundred pc of its potential. It is all the time a problem. Are you prepared for this? How nicely are you able to do it? It is all based mostly in your spirit and your want and all of the help from different households.”
Mykhaylichenko plans to return to Alberta on the finish of March. He has been there since early February.
“It is scary, however not an excessive amount of. We’ve no selection. Our Ukrainian military has no different selections as a result of behind them there are households and that is it,” stated Mykhaylichenko.
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