Interview with legendary Swedish Sniper / Azov Battalion instructor Mikael Skillt


Blood from throat cut sharply stinks rust

ONE OF SHVED killed in N. STATE UKRAINIAN not even paid for his funeral – says Michael SKILLT, snipers and military instructors volunteer regiment “Azov”

MICHAEL SKILLT meet at checkpoints training base “Azov” near the capital’s subway stations Svyatoshin. Wore a dark brown shirt with Chevron “Azov” on the chest and camouflage pants. Floor black socks shod sandals.

Please do not photograph it in full length. Displays shoes and makes a gesture with the thumb near the throat:

– From Bielecki (Andrey Beletsky, the regimental commander. – “Country”) difference, if you see, what shod – laughing. – It is not formennyh clothing. In this “azovtsyam” photographed not allowed.

Michael speaks English. The sun always pryschuryuye left eye.

This habit sniper you?

– I’m by nature a very good night vision. But look at the sun can not – said. – Sniper can be identified not by facial expressions, and so far looks. Out of habit looked up on roofs of buildings around the perimeter.

At the checkpoint with a metal clasp We welcome the three men on the couch. One – no legs. The house is orange harvester “Atek-1300”. These producing plant, which placed training base.

Michael left arm covered with tattoos: One Scandinavian god in the form of an eagle competes with the wolf Fenrir, who represents darkness. On the inside of the right hand – blue-yellow and red-black emblems “Azov”.

– These crammed in February – says Michael. – Scandinavian wolf Fenrir – the destroyer, one – soldier and builder. Vikings believe that they will fight until the end of the world. Tattoo – a part of my origins, my roots Viking. Family is very honored these characters, because they were all soldiers – father, brothers, grandfather, many people.

Maintain your choice to fight for Ukraine?

– Of course. They see that Russia creates. We Swedes have all the support of Ukraine Mazepa, when together with the Cossacks fought against Peter I.

I’m traveling life. Often changed jobs. Mom resigned, said: “Do what you want, just come back alive. I do not want to go to Ukraine for the funeral.” Grandmother survived the Second World War. It violent temper. He says: “The people can not fix, you must kill.”


Why come to fight for Ukraine?

– Arrived at the Maidan. Met a few days after the shooting saw in February. It’s angering. I thought: if “berkutivski” snipers killing protesters, I can kill those snipers. He was in Kiev 28th. Talked with some guys from the Maidan. I promised to give arms.

In Ukraine, it was widely believed that Europe looks at our revolution through the Russian propaganda. Why not believe them?

– I’m well aware of what is happening in Ukraine, since 2012.. Then made friends with some guys from the “Freedom” who came to Sweden. Threw me a link to a YouTube video of the Maidan. Swedish television events in Ukraine lit occasionally, until started killing people. In general, the Swedes never trust the Russian propaganda.

How to become a nationalist?

– I was the National Socialists eight years ago. Of 2010 turned into a nationalist. When Ukraine began to fight side by side with the Israelis and the Arabs realized that was wrong in its attitude to them.

In terms of “Nazi” and “fascist” very speculate. According to the Russian propaganda, all the Ukrainian may be called fascists.

In Sweden, a big problem with illegal migrants. Only war in Ukraine showed me why these refugees appear.

I am writing a book about their stay here. There are already about a hundred pages.

Your book contains only Ukrainian experience?

– Mostly. This is a good way to clear consciousness, understand yourself. Therefore wanted to articulate their experiences.

What memories would rethink?

– The hardest thing was during Ilovaisky. It was a whole hell of this war. We lost many many nabachylysya.

In war, get friends for life. But their death hurts less and less over time. But when killing people – is not forgotten, imprinted in the subconscious. And we kill all of what can – sniper rifles, pistols, knives. Knife – the worst weapons. We had knife fights under Ilovaisky. Shoot in the night when proryvayeshsya secret of the environment can not, because attract attention. We have to attack the enemy by surprise with a knife. I do not feel – and do everything. And then those memories haunt: remember smells and sounds. Blood from throat cut sharply stinks rust. Sound when cut throat – terrible. Remember as a child greatly inflated gum and sharply punched her? Such cotton occurs when the cut artery. Of these, once jet fountain of blood. Smell – fuuu – Michael turns and squints nose.

Are there ways to forget about it?

– I write. This is my way.

In hazardous situations fall?

– Danger began when the enemy began to use artillery. During a couple of times Shyrokynym fire burned my green shirt, but the body does not hurt. Several times a bullet flew by centimeter.

Ukrainian impressive courage. In September, had seven days to wait before the first battle in Shyrokynomu. Joined by border patrols. These guys are probably the most daring in the Ukrainian army.

One night we were in the field. Heard the sounds of explosions. They come to us by car. One soldier was dead in the back seat, the other – wounded in the stomach. The guys asked us, “Have tea? We want to drink.” We have them, “And you are injured, you need to physicians.” – “There is nothing he will not. Let the tea.” The next day they again went to his jeep in the line of fire. And after the fight asked us tea. Not seen bezstrashnishyh people.

In Marinka had to move 800 meters to grab the last checkpoint separatists. Started shooting. Can understand where – or our enemy? When all was quiet, he saw a man in black on the roof. He’s aiming at me. I grabbed a Remington 700. But not managed to reduce the trigger. Ukrainian rescued behind – instantly that took sniper.

What they should do in case of captivity?

– This will not happen. Always have a rapid action grenade. Buff – and all! No prisoner. I saw that these animals make people in captivity. It is better to die.

How to treat those who are not born to fight?

– At the beginning of the war one guy came in “Azov” volunteer. For some time refused. Said it – not for me, I can not. I returned home. I respect this position. To admit – “War is not for me” – requires willpower.

Many remain on the front, stepping over him. Receive mental disorders. They only bother us.

War does not bring me pleasure. I would like to collect the flowers in the field and at peace. But it turns out.

How did the Ukrainian army a year of war?

– At the beginning it was guys with only three months of training behind him. But fearless. And now they are on par with most veteran armies of Europe. Ukraine has formed a solid army with soldiers who know how to conduct large-scale operation to destroy enemy knows tactics. And most importantly – have a fighting spirit. It took casualties to acquire it. At the beginning it seemed that Ukrainian not want to fight against. Sought every opportunity not to engage in this war. And Ukrainian army and volunteers crossed the line: okay, this way we do not pay.

How many foreigners fighting in “Azov”?

– The exact number – secret. For some countries forbid their citizens to fight for other states. But we counted in “Azov” 22 nationalities.

Among the military there is a problem with alcohol. As with this in your environment?

– I saw it in Ilovaisky after the first disastrous attempt to break out of the encirclement. We are in the front line intelligence to find many bottles of vodka, whiskey, brandy. Nerves guys drinking all.

In the “Azov” strict rules. By booze punished – not the officers, and your friends. They can pour pretty. For all the time in the regiment saw three cases of people drinking between fights at the base. On the battlefield – never.

The government has promised to grant citizenship to foreigners who are fighting for Ukraine. Got it?

– In August Poroshenko was in Mariupol Airport. We met with him Taruta (then – governor of Donetsk region. – “Country”) and Avakov. Ukrainian President promised to foreigners passports. Almost a year has passed. Waiting for them now. Although this is a simple procedure. He gave Saakashvili Ukrainian citizenship by how many seconds?

One Swede killed in the Gaza M. Ukrainian state even paid for his funeral.

Trailer comes to the military, Michael holds out a round metal box with small square bags, like tea, but smaller.

– A Swedish chewing tobacco, – says Michael. – Replace cigarettes. Because when you go to the sniper operation can not smoke – smoke visible at night by a mile.

You sent home?

– Sam brought. Whenever naviduyusya in Sweden, gaining him much.

However, in Ukraine met her and want to marry?

– We met last year in March. Not to say that it was love at first sight. The second time saw each other nine months when he returned from the Gaza M. knew that our love – the other point of view. It works grocery manager in Kyiv. Her parents live close to the front line. Hoping peace will come – and we married in August. But I doubt that peace will come quickly. Name of girl – the great secret – eyes down. – She – a typical Ukrainian.

What does it mean?

– Ohh … food – smiles. – When after nine months of separation came home with broken knees, the first thing she asked – not “How do you feel?” And “Are you hungry?” So can only Ukrainian. Grandma in the Donbas even when dripping with blood, interested, or drink tea. I – a vegetarian because I love meatless soup and salads.

It is easy to be a vegetarian in the war?

– Very. We always have fish stew. This is our main product. However, after Ilovaiskaya has lost 10 kilograms. Now back to his normal weight.

After talking Michael gets up and knead numb feet.

– I am 38 but I feel older, – jokes.

On the way to the checkpoint echoes loudly in the court of Russian soldiers.

– There are days when almost all understand – says Michael. – Sometimes it seems that never heard that language. Russian propaganda convincing if to speak Russian in Ukraine, you just killed. In the “Azov” 99 percent speak Russian fighters.

Michael devotes hand side of cigarette smoke not to us.

– Always liked to shoot. And like a forest walk, especially in the mountains. In Sweden, two weeks would be alone in the mountains, threw the phone and did not see at this time, except for animals – wolves, deer and foxes. Once shot a moose. It reminded me cry cry baby. After that I can not shoot the animal. In person – no problem, but the animal – no.