maria ukrainian

Female soldier of the armed forces of Ukraine: In prison, we women were beaten with chains and sharp spikes

The article from “Neatkarīgā” is an interview with Marija Čeha, a senior soldier in the Ukrainian Armed Forces, discussing her experiences in Russian captivity. Marija describes the brutal treatment she and other female prisoners endured, including beatings with chains and sharp thorns. She recounts her military service, including her role in the AZOV battalion, and the intense situations faced during the siege of Mariupol. Marija also reflects on her emotional resilience, her refusal to succumb to hatred, and her plans to help fellow veterans and raise awareness in Europe about the situation in Ukraine.

“Sometimes I can’t sleep at night: memories come… About how I was tortured in Russian captivity. But I still have more love: for Ukraine, for my family. I want a normal life: for my husband to return from the war, for us to have children,” says Maria Chekha, a senior soldier of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, who is currently undergoing a rehabilitation course in Latvia.

Maria fought with her husband against the enemy as part of the AZOV regiment. AZOV is a unit of the National Guard of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, which was based in Mariupol. It was created by volunteers in May 2014. Since then, the regiment has been fighting Russian and allied rebel forces in the Donbass.

The AZOV regiment is consistently national and has always been on the side of Ukraine, instilling fear and hatred of Russia in the invading occupiers.

In 2019, the AZOV regiment was thrown with mud by our own so-called truth finders together with the Kremlin commentator Leonidas Ragozin from the “investigative journalism” portal “Re:baltica”, telling how nationalist and even Nazi this paramilitary formation is.

Marija, together with her colleagues, visited Latvia for the first time in 2019, met with the Latvian military, with the participation of the Ukrainian ambassador, and toured the monuments of Latvian soldiers. Marija remembers that Russian propagandists started spreading the news that AZOV is Nazis, this narrative was even picked up by “Re: Baltica” immediately, and our military leadership got scared and kept quiet about the visit of representatives of the AZOV regiment to Latvia.

For the full article, please visit Neatkarīgā.