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    Ukrainian Soldiers Who Were Blinded in Combat Face the New Battle of Navigating the World Again

    Ukrainian Soldiers Who Were Blinded in Combat Face the New Battle of Navigating the World Again

    RIVNE, — Along a bustling street in a western Ukrainian city, Denys Abdulin takes his first independent strides since he was severely wounded and blinded while fighting invading Russian troops more than a year ago.

    The 34-year-old former soldier, wearing black glasses and gripping a white mobility cane, steps onto a more crowded stretch of sidewalk. His movements become tentative and tense. He accidentally blocks the path of a woman approaching an ATM to withdraw cash.

    Like many other pedestrians, she responds with a compassionate smile and gracefully moves aside. Gradually, Abdulin covers 600 meters (almost 3/10 of a mile), guided by a trainer walking ahead of him with a bracelet of small metal bells.

    Five other Ukrainian veterans conquered similar challenges while attending a rehabilitation for ex-soldiers who lost their vision in combat. Over several weeks, the men would learn to navigate the city of Rivne, to prepare their own meals and to use public transportation while traveling solo.

    Daily tasks they previously performed without thinking now demand focus, strength and dedication.

    “Everyone pays their price for freedom in Ukraine,” Abdulin, who spent months confined to a hospital bed and rarely takes off his dark shades, said.

    The war launched in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022 has killed tens of thousands of fighters on both sides. Countless others, both Ukrainian military personnel and…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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