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With a blue beret perched on his head and dressed in army camouflage, Grisha keeps guard behind one of the barricades erected by protestors on Kiev's Independence Square. "We are ready to fight to the death against these bandits," said the veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He gave his name as Grisha, a diminutive for Grygoriy, while refusing to give his surname because he "is no hero." He said he spent four years as a paratrooper during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989 and now works as a driver in Kryviy Rig, an industrial town in eastern Ukraine.