A modern Viking from Denmark has been part of the International Legion for the Protection of Ukraine for the past 7 months.
Khristiania Chervenkova meets us exclusively with the Viking, who has died several times according to Russian propaganda.
The date February 24, 2022 – the beginning of the war. The day that changed millions of lives – and the life of Storm Balderson. It is no coincidence that his name means “storm” – like his life. And the root of his surname comes from the name of the god of justice.
“I see Moscow’s war crimes. For me, there is no hesitation about what is right and what is wrong. I am afraid that the world will forget about the war. This terrifies me. This is terrorism, not war. It’s disgusting,” says Balderson.
Without military experience, but with knowledge as a firefighter and rescuer, the Dane quits his job, tells no one in his family, takes his ax and goes where millions are fleeing.
“I’m not being a hero, I just wanted to help, even if I just had to put out fires. I knew that if I told my family that I was going to war, they would try to stop me. I didn’t want to give them headaches. Only one friend knew, and he told my relatives when I was already in Ukraine,” says Balderson.
In the foreign legion, together with hundreds of volunteers, he trains and prepares for the front every day.
“I have been on 3 military missions outside Kyiv. We liberated occupied villages from the Russians. Our clash lasted more than 3 days. It was my first experience in combat. “I’m lucky that our missions were successful,” the man said.
Russia called Storm – “the hired killer from Denmark”. According to Russian propaganda, he died as many as 3 times.
“I am the walking dead. Ghost. Russian media wrote that I went against a tank with only my ax. It’s ridiculous. I read that I was killed by Russian special forces and other nonsense and fake news,” Balderson recalled.
He also survived a rocket attack on the military base. Russia launched 36 missiles that night.
“I woke up to the sound of bombs hitting our base. I will never forget it. Many soldiers died. One of the rockets didn’t explode and the boys and I got lucky. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here now and the 400 soldiers we were with that night wouldn’t have survived,” says Balderson.
There are also days when luck leaves them. Forever losing his brothers in arms
“I lost 8 of my friends at the front. This is the war. Another friend of mine committed suicide, he couldn’t stand the pressure,” explained the legionnaire.
In Norse religion, Vikings were believed to live a glorious life after death.
“For me, to die in battle is one of the most beautiful, dignified and honorable things in life,” says Balderson.
He will never forget his encounter with a little boy during the Russian shelling and whom he saves.
“He was 3-4 years old. He played with prams while the village was being shot and bombed. It was unreal! The Russians had occupied the village for 3 months. I couldn’t believe it. Shake me up. The child was just playing. And now I’m getting goosebumps! I tried to hold back my tears, but it was hard. There was no way this child should have been there and lived through such a nightmare. Ukraine’s children are strong and forced to grow up too fast,” says the legionnaire.
The twist in Storm’s story will shock you. A few days ago, the authorities informed him that he had to leave Ukraine. The reason – documents from the military forces of Ukraine are missing.
However, the man does not want to leave the war-torn country. He even has the Ukrainian flag tattooed on his arm.
“I decided to get a tattoo after the Russians bombed us. The symbol is simple, but strong and beautiful! means freedom! What I really believe in is freedom. We all need freedom and we shouldn’t take it for granted,” Balderson said.
If he returns to Denmark without military documents from the International Legion, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
For now, Storm remains in Kyiv – hoping for a Ukrainian passport, a new citizenship and a new life even after the end of the war.