Sisters in arms. Iryna Terehovich “The Unbreakable”
She is an air reconnaissance scout, a junior sergeant, a mother. Iryna “The Unbreakable” Terekhovych has been defending our country since 2015, currently she is the commander of the 1st reconnaissance division of the 128th Separate Mountain Brigade of the Transcarpathian region.
In November, we visited Iryna at the position and personally handed her many boxes with all kinds of goodies and a copter for the unit’s needs. Always smiling and joking, Iryna is another example of a sincere Ukrainian fighter who gladly took up arms for the future of her children and her country.
In 2015, Iryna served as a volunteer, and in 2016 she signed a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Although “The Unbreakable” was offered to become a medic, she preferred reconnaissance, adjusting fire, orienting on the terrain, and dealing with weapons. Iryna grew from a soldier to a junior sergeant and commander of the unit and now continues to protect our lands in the East of the country.
Read more about the interests of women in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, discrimination in the army and what motivates them to fight to the end!
How and when did you join the army and what position do you hold there now?
I got in 2015. I went through training at the base of the Right Sector near Kyiv in March and immediately got into the Aratta battalion. There they started to train me in terms of tactics for all that, and my first trip was to Shyrokina at the end of May. It was a good task for me because of my knowledge of topography, I can easily navigate with a map and compass. And in 2016, the 54th separate reconnaissance unit came to Shyrokina, we cooperated with them, and they offered us to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a separate group. The contract was signed in May… Now I am the commander of the unit.
How do you like the regular and thermal underwear for women in the army? This is a sensational topic right now.
In case of trouble, men’s boxers and thermal underwear will do. We have to wear what was sewn beforehand, and this is inconvenient. In addition, women need a sports bra that provides good support and does not chafe. We buy these things for ourselves, as well as hygiene products. I tested out the thermal underwear from the Armed Forces of Ukraine, those were universal and quite comfortable. But I would like to see women’s underwear for the military.
Have you faced gender discrimination before and after February 24 of 2022? How to keep your cool?
Yes, there’s a lot of “you’re a girl, you won’t do that” – this is still the case, nothing has changed. It’s hard to keep my temper, but it’s easier when my husband is by my side, because we support each other. And black humor helps to keep from going “cuckoo”.
What are the interests of women in the military?
Everyone has their own interests. Mine is for the war to end and my children to live in a peaceful country. Over the years, I have given a lot for that cause: first of all, my presence near my kids. My children, my youngest son, are growing up without me. No salary (and some think we go to the Armed Forces for salaries) will not make up for what my children are losing. In addition, we often use the funds we receive from the state for equipment, machine repairs, etc. Here, of course, volunteers help.
What are the current problems in the Armed Forces?
Lack of well-trained personnel. We have been here for 5-6 years now, a lot has been stored in our memory, and we had more time to study military logic and tactics. Because there had not been such a broad military offensive since the 16th year – there was time for training. And those who are just now taking up military affairs are forced to study in a very short time. And they do it quickly, because knowing this science leads to the protection of their lives. You need to know everything to survive and complete a combat mission.
What the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement means to you?
It is so special. Many girls are now engaged in various things: some are studying, some are volunteering, many are medical workers, and some have returned to the ranks of the Armed Forces. We try to support each other and call each other. The girls helped me a lot. And this is so cool because the interests of girls in the Armed Forces of Ukraine are first of all important to the Ukrainian Women Veteran Movement. I want to continue this important work.