The Girl in Kherson – SETTING
Kherson, Ukraine during the Russian-Ukrainian Was (2022-2023)
AMAZON.COM – SUMMARY
Two Ukrainian soldiers fight over a girl during the Russo-Ukrainian War.
The story of Lt. Artem Melnyk is a story of two wars — that which he is fighting with a forward observation crew for artillery liaison and the one within himself about young Sergeant Dymtrus Ylchuk, a replacement drone operator, whom he first distrusts, learns to admire and then despises. Ylchuk makes like a hero too quickly, handles all the angles with confidence, stands up under unceasing shellfire and demands made on courage with competence until Melnyk at last can commend him. Oh leave, Melnyk meets the wealthy Ukrainian, Mrs. Honcharuk, and her privileged daughter, Angelique, but it is Ylchuk with whom Monique falls in love and his Ukrainian blood, which cannot surmount the fact of her is a powerful Russian, drives her to travel to Moscow. From then on hate controls Melnyk’s dealings with Ylchuk, forces them into a long odds assignment — of locating and directing fire on enemy tanks– drives him to a deadly vengeance when Ylchuk betrays his cowardice and treachery, and leaves him a maimed casualty. Solidly set in its war background, the television mini-series promises a violent climax for a strong, masculine story.
Lt. Artem Melnyk –
Sgt. Dymtrus Ylchuk –
Angelique Honcharuk –
Victoria Honcharuk –
Large Sarge –
Skinny Sarge –
The Major –
The General –
Madame Belyaev –
Original Draft – The Girl in Kherson
In the final year of the current Ukrainian/Russian War, units of the Ukrainian Army are knocking on the door of Donetsk, trying to dislodge the Russian soldiers from a captured city. 1st Lt. Artem Melnyk is in charge of an artillery observation unit that has just lost its communications sergeant. A truckload of fresh young soldiers arrives, one of whom, Sergeant Dymtrus Ylchuk admits to communications training and experience flying drones. Ylchuk is immediately appointed the unit’s communications sergeant by Melnyk.
Ylchuk is a lady’s man and a schemer, acquiring girlfriends, food, and other luxury items. Ylchuk is the son of a wealthy businessman in Kyiv; in order to avoid criminal charges of trying to bribe a member of the local Draft Board, Ylchuk has “volunteered” for combat duty in the war. Ylchuk does show bravery while rescuing a group of men trapped in a minefield and while defending a position from a Russian attack almost single-handedly. Ylchuk saved Melnyk’s life but still Melnyk has his reservations about the man.
The Colonel grants Melnyk leave in the riverside town of Kherson while he’s recovering from a bullet wound. While in the military hospital, Melnyk is attracted to Angelique Honcharuk. They go to dinner, and she explains she was born in Moscow, but has lived in Ukraine since she was a small child. Melnyk asks her to meet him in the same cafe the next week. He waits, but Angelique doesn’t show, and he walks out despondent, only to be asked to have a drink by an older American woman who has apparently been waiting for him. It is Angelique’s mother, who was checking him out. She takes him to her riverfront villa to join Angelique. The two spend a great deal of time together after that. One night he tells her he loves her, and Angelique finally reveals to him that she is afraid to get involved with a US soldier because her father is Vladimir Putin, and she has seen the general hate all Ukrainian soldiers seem to have for the Russian dictator/aggressor. Melnyk is confused and leaves, not sure about his feelings.
After a week of anguished consideration, Melnyk decides to put aside the prejudices he has had about Angelique’s parentage, and goes to see her. She and her mother are delighted to see Melnyk. Melnyk invites Angelique to go out on a date with him. They end up going to a smokey jazz cafe, where they are surprised to see Ylchuk play a fantastic jazz solo on a trumpet, to the acclaim of the entire French crowd. Ylchuk joins Melnyk and Angelique at their table, and Melnyk is left on the sidelines as Ylchuk and Angelique are immediately drawn to each other. Ylchuk and Angelique dance closely late into the night. After Melnyk takes Angelique home, she asks Melnyk to tell Ylchuk about her father being Russian President, Putin.
Back on surveillance duty of a town where the Russians have set up, Melnyk does so, and it doesn’t seem to bother Ylchuk. Then the Russians begin shelling their observation position. After three days of shelling, Melnyk suggests to Ylchuk that they should infiltrate the village on a covert mission to observe from a cell tower in the middle of town; Melnyk goes in to see the Colonel who says he’ll pass the idea on up to Headquarters.
The next weekend, Melnyk and Ylchuk return to Kherson to visit Angelique. Once again, Melnyk is forced to the sidelines as the handsome and smooth-talking Ylchuk takes over. Melnyk returns to his hotel room alone. Ylchuk and Angelique stay out most of the night. When Ylchuk returns to the hotel, he tells Melnyk he’s asked Angelique to marry him, and she has said yes. Melnyk is shattered, but he puts on a brave face. He tells Ylchuk about the paperwork he will need to fill out to get the army’s permission to marry. When they return to their unit, Ylchuk immediately asks for the marriage permission form. Two months pass, and Ylchuk still hasn’t received an answer from the army on his request to marry. On his way to report to the Colonel, while talking to Corporal Gida, Melnyk finds out that Ylchuk had indeed picked up the completed paperwork three weeks earlier. In fact, Ylchuk had told the corporal that the whole thing was a gag. Melnyk is furious when he hears this.
Thereafter, the Colonel tells Melnyk that Headquarters has approved the covert operation of Melnyk with Ylchuk as his drone operator. Melnyk asks for a few hours leave for both of them to take care of some personal matters in Kherson, to which the Colonel agrees.
Melnyk and Ylchuk go to the Honcharuk mansion, and Melnyk forces Ylchuk to admit to Angelique that Ylchuk is not going to marry her. Angelique runs away in tears. Ylchuk tries to explain himself to Melnyk (“it was a kick”), and Melnyk punches him. Melnyk then goes out to find Angelique. It turns out she had tried to drown herself, but she is saved by a fisherman.
Back at the Ukrainian Army base, Melnyk and Ylchuk prepare for their mission. Soon after leaving, Melnyk tells Ylchuk he is going to kill him. Ylchuk responds that threat “works both ways”.
On the mission, they encounter and kill a Russian soldier together. The duo establishes themselves at 2 a.m. in the cell tower, calls in, and reports their observations, especially that a hidden section of the village contains an enormous Russian artillery/ammo dump. Melnyk sends an order back to the base to begin a bombardment that will certainly destroy most of the Donetsk. They leave the tower, and are soon discovered by a Russian patrol. Ylchuk is shot by the Russians and dies after Melnyk drags him out of the line of fire, but Melnyk is pinned down. The Russian officers, panicking at the thought of Ukrainian soldiers in Donetsk, order an immediate evacuation. Hearing this, Melnyk grabs the radio and tells the Ukrainian artillery to begin firing. Shells fall on the village and the ammo dump, and everything blows up.
The television mini-series ends with Melnyk relating how he was found under the rubble still alive by Ukrainian troops, and brought to a hospital, where his right arm was amputated. He had gotten two letters from Angelique. In one of them she says that she has learned that Ylchuk was killed. She also tells Melnyk that her mother has died. When Melnyk is finally released from the hospital after many months, he decides to go to Kherson to visit Angelique one last time before returning to work on a farm. He finds that she is now heading up a school for war orphans. She invites Melnyk to come into one of the classrooms. As a tribute to Melnyk and all the soldiers who fought to free Kherson, the children sing a song of appreciation. During the singing, Angelique and Melnyk look earnestly at each other.