Through the eyes of a Ukraine combat medic

STORY: An unexploded missile as tall as a man, sticking straight out of the ground.

And the sounds in the distance of munitions that, unlike this one, didn't malfunction.

The man that was talking is Damian Duda, 34 years old, an academic and media worker, originally from Poland, now a volunteer combat medic in Ukraine. He's been here almost 10 years.

Duda's helmet camera, and his own words, tell much of the story. Reuters met him in Warsaw.

"Our task is to get the soldier out of the line of fire, give him basic medical care, make sure he doesn't bleed out, remove problems with the respiratory system, airways, and take him to a relatively safe place where ambulances are waiting for him."

"I was very afraid of being under fire. The first time I had this man with serious wounds, it turned out that I kept my cool, I knew how to behave. It turned out that despite the fear, I could control it and turned it into the ability to think logically and make quick decisions."

Duda started doing this in 2014, originally by himself.

Now he has a team of six, all Polish, and with experience as far away as Iraq and Syria.

They use a specially-equipped vehicle, and put their efforts on social media.

This was all filmed in Soledar earlier in January, which, as this drone footage obtained by Reuters suggests, is a cratered hell-scape now. Russia claims to have captured the town.

Because he's a volunteer, if Duda dies, it's up to his family to get his body back home.

"Even if you eat a piece of bread, you should be happy, because first, you have something to eat, second, you have the opportunity to eat. You're alive. The stars shine brighter after such experiences because you can look at them. The mere fact that you can look at the stars proves that there are no drones. There is no artillery in the air, you can breathe fresh air. Being there makes you see things and little joys that you wouldn't normally notice."

Everyone on Duda's team is a volunteer. They travel to war zones on days off from their day jobs.