Pavlo Yakimchuk is an ATO veteran from Kyiv. Upon returning to civilian life he decided to revive his construction company
For Pavlo Yakimchuk, as well as for many Ukrainians, the turning point in his life came with the Revolution of Dignity - an event in which he was an active participant in pursuit of a European future for his country. With the onset of the antiterrorist operation, he joined an NGO and asked to go to the East of Ukraine.
- It was the Luhansk region, the city Shchastia. I witnesses what takes place there, I saw the war and guys like me. When I returned home, I felt ashamed to be here, where it is warm and comfortable while other guys die on the frontline, - he recalls.
Pavlo began to actively help the military, and subsequently decided to go to the frontline to join the men he was proud of. However, he got a rejection at the enlistment office as he had not served in the army. That is when Pavlo decided to join the volunteer battalion “Aidar” and, after some time, he was already in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. That was in 2015. Initially he was a machine gunner, then - commander of a grenade launching unit, and he later transferred to do intelligence work.
During his year in intelligence many different events happened. He cannot speak about most of them, even today. - We spent weeks in fields and forests. Mostly, we reconnoitered territory where the enemy was stationed and tried to collect the necessary information to help our boys, - says Pavlo.
But he spoke about one incident.
- In August of 2015, we “paid a visit” to the militants but they were expecting us. The enemy set up an ambush and circled us, cutting off the path to retreat. They opened fire – the machine gun prevented us from even looking up. Then I decided to draw artillery fire upon myself. I gave our artillery guys the coordinates fixed to a distance of up to 200 meters from us - the gunner’s nest was there. The first two mines hit an area very close to where our group was, one of them even injured me lightly. The next three landed in the bull’s eye, - recalls the former intelligence officer.
... Pavlo found it very difficult to return to civilian life.
- During the first couple of days I really wanted to go back, I did not even take off my uniform - there were thoughts in my head: the commander might call any minute now…
When I returned from the troops I only had 20 thousand hryvnias. I gave this money to my wife for our child’s school supplies. Then I realized that there was no money left for business development. But friends came and helped with the promotion, - says Pavlo.
The work of his construction firm had stopped at the beginning of the war, in 2014. Therefore, it was necessary to start from scratch. It was then that Pavlo decided to recruit his military commanders, because who if not they understood each other without words.
After demobilization he met with volunteer Roman Sinitsyn who dedicated a post to him on a social network. After that, Pavlo began receiving calls from people in search for employment with his construction firm. Subsequently, the first orders started coming in.
The startup of Pavlo’s construction company was the repair of the already well-known in Ukraine pizza place “Pizza Veterano”. Currently, the ATO veteran’s firm “Vip-electric” has nine objects, four of which are already completed (in general, these are private objects). In the future, Pavlo plans to continue developing his own business and to employ former servicemen who have gone through the hell of war. The only condition he has is the lack of bad habits.