On July 14, 2011, Valery Ananiev came of age, and the next day he went to the enlistment office and filed a report that he wishes to serve in the Airborne Troops. Two months later he became a soldier in the 25th separate airborne brigade.
During his service in the ATO, Valeriy kept a video blog, trying to show the army as it was: not exaggerating the horrors of war and not belittling the mistakes of the command. He published videos: about the capture of Sloviansk, the results of the fighting, shelling and army life.
In 2016, he was hospitalised. He was treated first in Dnipropetrovsk, then in Starokonstantinov in Khmelnytsky region, then in Odessa, where he was discharged from the ranks of the AFU after being declared unfit for service for health reasons. He moved to Kiev and started working in an IT company. After working there for six months, he took up various part-time jobs, such as hosting sports events.
In 2017, after medical treatment, Valery Ananyev began his hiking journey from Paris to Cape Finisterre, through France and Spain on the ancient pilgrimage route of St James - El Camino de Santiago. With a military rucksack on his back, no knowledge of the language and the minimum amount of money required, Valery left Paris and headed south. After reaching the town of Sainte, he headed west towards the Atlantic Ocean and followed the ocean coast through the Landes de Gascony Reserve, crossing the border into Spain and continuing along the ocean along the Cantabrian spine westwards. After crossing the mountains, he headed south again, visiting the town of Santiago de Compostela, from where he went further west towards Cape Finisterre . In total, Valerius covered 1,811 kilometres exclusively on foot.
Only after travelling on foot was Valery able to finish his book about the armed conflict in the Donbas, Traces on the Road. The writing process was difficult for the author. At the beginning of February 2018, the manuscript was completed and preparations for printing began.