Fedir Shandor has become something of an internet sensation when a photo of him delivering lectures online while serving on the battlefield went viral. Shandor, like many citizens, joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine at the start of the full-scale Russian invasion, which began on February 24. Previously, he ran a tourism enterprise and taught at a university in Ukraine’s western Uzhhorod city.
But that all changed when Russia’s Vladimir Putin began invading Ukraine in an attempt to destabilize the Volodymyr Zelensky administration. Even in the trenches, he continues to lecture as a professor. He worked out a proper duty roster with his commanding officers and colleagues so that he could provide lessons to his students.
Viktor Shchaedi, a fellow soldier, took the snapshot that became famous. According to the New York Post, it depicts a professor in army fatigues lecturing pupils via video chat from within a trench shielded by sandbags. The man is wearing a helmet and has an AK-103 weapon at his side while holding his phone in a bandaged hand.
‘We are working for an educated nation. It would be a shame for me not to conduct lessons,’ Shandor said in a statement posted by Uzhhorod National University, where he teaches tourism and hospitality subjects. ‘If there are shelling sounds somewhere in the background, they do not disrupt the lecture,’ Shandor stated in a university statement.
He’s been in the army for 70 days and hasn’t missed a single class since then. He stated he offered lessons at 8 a.m. every Monday and Tuesday throughout that time. ‘I didn’t miss a single one; I usually prefer morning courses because I read and then you have time for another work,’ he explained.
Shandor is fighting in eastern Ukraine, according to the university, although his particular location is unknown. Since Russia’s pullback from the outskirts of Kyiv in March, the eastern industrial area known as the Donbas has seen the majority of the conflict.