Ukrainian soldier's inspiring video to brothers in US that 'victory will soon be ours' as they break down over war fears
ONE brother fights the war in Ukraine. The other two live in America, praying their soldier brother messages every day.
This is the new reality for brothers Oleksander, Artour, and Andrey Kissil, who grew up in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city – that before the war was home to nearly 1.5 million people.
Youngest of the three brothers, Oleksander Kissil is in Kharkiv, protecting his home city from Russian invaders, facing daily bombardment.
And Russian attacks are expected to worsen as Vladimir Putin intensifies his forces on the east of the country. Kharkiv is only about 25 miles from Russia at the nearest border point.
On the other side of the world, older brothers Artour and Andrey Kissil are in the United States, closely watching events unfold, waiting every day for news from their brother.
Artour lives in Queens, New York City. Each evening he goes to a local café to await a message or call from Oleksander, telling him his brother is alive and well.
On Thursday, Oleksander texted Artour confirming that he is okay, but describing the situation in Kharkiv as "so bad." Oleksander added that there are "so many rockets landing."
The exact location of where Oleksander sees action each day is not shared, but it is known to be in and around Kharkiv.
Once updates are received, Artour, an architect, relays messages to their truck driver brother, Andrey, who is often on the road.
Artour told The US Sun of his stress waiting for updates from Oleksander, saying his blood pressure "goes up" if he doesn’t get a message. On speaking about his daily wait for news, Artour broke down in tears, but he has support all around him.
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The community where Artour lives in Queens with his wife and daughter is rallying, helping during difficult times: “All neighbours [are] coming to me [saying] we can help you… Everyone says [Oleksander] is a hero of Ukraine because he is fighting.”
Artour is confident Oleksander can get through this war. The brothers were all in the military at a young age, and were born into a military family. Their father was an officer in the Ukrainian army.
Back in Ukraine, Oleksander was on duty in central Kharkiv when he happened to meet a photographer working for The US Sun.
He told our photographer about his brothers in the US, but also spoke of how defiant he is in the face of Putin's forces.
“I like to tell [my brothers] how we fight these f*****g Russians,” Oleksander told our photographer.
The youngest brother had a message for his siblings: “Artour and Andrey, I am in our native Kharkiv, in that square where we used to run as kids. Don’t worry. Everything is good, and we will win!
“We are supported by all our people. Every tree here supports us. Every time there’s an ambush you hide behind a tree, and you can feel how it’s protecting you,” added Oleksander.
The US Sun met Artour at his home in Queens. His message back to his soldier brother in Ukraine is just as defiant.
“We try to support you. God bless you and your life… and we know you will be alive until the end, when we win,” Artour said.
Some much-needed good news for the Kissil brothers is that their family home is still in one piece, even though, according to Artour, it is above a military college.
“Before the war started, I said, our house will be bombed and will be destroyed because under the house we have a military college… but somehow our house is still alive. It doesn’t get any bombs, but [nearby] houses were destroyed,” said Artour.
As an architect, the reconstruction of Kharkiv is already on Artour’s mind, telling The US Sun that many historic buildings have been bombed, but he knows the war is not over and that there are still tough times ahead.
In a recent interview on Thursday with India's Republic TV, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the city of Kharkiv has been blocked by the Russians from two directions, but that the situation is still under control.
Zelenskyy added that, "there is constant combat in the city but we are holding our positions and not taking any step back."
A report in The New York Times paints a picture of a city suffering from indiscriminate shelling, including cruise missiles and cluster bombs. Some residential areas have “been turned in post-apocalyptic wastelands,” reported the newspaper.
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Yet the brothers maintain a tough stance towards their aggressor, and Artour has a positive message for the Ukrainian people:
“Hold it, hold it! We will win… because Ukrainian character [is] so strong… and I’m so happy because all people, like military people and civilian people, are all together, like brother and sister.”
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