Over the first month of 2018 following fighting in East Ukraine 14 Ukrainian fighters were killed – they served in the Armed Forces, the National Guard, and the Volunteer Corps. They paid the highest price for our ability to work, celebrate, live our everyday lives and think of the war the least possible time.
The most senior of them was 48, and the youngest one was just 22 years old. A tractor operator, a seminary student, an agronomist, an engineer, a security guard, a professional military… They got united by the war for Ukraine. And their death for their homeland. Four of them died in the Svitlodarsk bulge, three fighters – near Avdiivka, two – near Pisky, and one at a time in Hranitne, Slavne, Novotoshkivske, Verkhniotoretske and Vodiane.
Let us remember the guys by their names…
The martyrology of 2018 was opened by the senior gunman of the 13th Mechanized Infantry battalion “Chernihiv-1” of the 58th Mechanized Brigade of AFU Oleksandr Hryhorovych Kovtun. As early as at 1:05 AM on the 1st of January he hit an explosive device at an observation post near the village of Novotoshkivske, Popasna district, Luhansk region.
Following the regular service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Sashko Kovtun used to work in security service. At the beginning of the war he called up to the army within another mobilization wave. After a little break, in November 2016, he returned to the Armed Forces on signing a contract. He has been on the forefront since July of 2017. Oleksandr’s father and sister survived him.
Volodymyr Anadymb, callsign Batman
Volodymyr Borysovych Anadymb died on the 10th of January at 8:15 AM following hostile mortar shelling of the AFU’s stronghold near the village of Novoluhanske, in the Svitlodarks bulge. A grenade fragment hit the fighter on the neck which caused a mass blood loss leading to his death during evacuation to a hospital.
A senior soldier, scout of the recon team of the reconnaissance and sabotage squadron of the 46th Special Forces “Donbas Ukraine” battalion of the AFU. Volodymyr was born on the 14th of October in Kherson region (the village of Fedorivka, Kakhovka district). Served a regular service as a paratrooper. After the army he got married and relocated to the village of Terebleche, Glybotskyi district, Chernivtsi region. Worked in Chernivtsi.
In 2014-2015 Volodymyr was mobilized to the Armed Forces of Ukraine where served with the 8th of “Podillia” territorial defense battalion (8th Mechanized infantry battalion) as a cook, an ATO combatant. In June of 2016 he signed a contract with the “Donbas Ukraine” battalion. He orphaned his wife and two sons, his parents and brother. Buried in the village of Terebleche.
On the 10th of January, two Ukrainian military men of the 34th Mechanized infantry battalion of the 57th Motorized Brigade of AFU were killed in action when their BRDM-2 (armored combat reconnaissance vehicle) hit the explosive device while crossing a basin near the village of Pisky in Donetsk outskirts. The blast was so powerful that the vehicle got overturned and its fragments scattered around within a radius of 200 meters.
Sukhin Victor Victorovych, a 37-year-old driver of the mechanized infantry company of the 34th Kirovohrad battalion was one of the killed. He was born on the 17th of December in 1979 in the village of Dymyne (Novoukrainka district, Kirovohrad region). He was buried in his home village. He had been serving his contract service for more than a month, since the 30th of November, 2017. He was survived by his wife and daughter aged 10.
Hennadiy Vehera, callsign Zelenyi
Hennadiy Petrovych Vehera is the second soldier killed in a BRDM blast on the 10th of January near Pisky. A senior gunman with the 3rd motorized infantry company of the 34th battalion of the 57th Motorized Brigade.
Hennadiy was born on the 10th of May, 1980 in the village of Kurylivka, Volochyskyi district, Khmelnytskyi region. He graduated from Poltava technical training college #21 where he got educated as a welder. In 1998-2000 he served with the 3rd Special Forces Regiment in the Crimea, then for another six years – in a special squadron of military guard. Worked at Agrocompany 2004.
Later he volunteered to the front; since May 2014 he served with the 34th “Batkivshchyna” Kirovohrad territorial defense battalion, fought near Horlivka. In March of 2015 he was transferred to the 128th brigade of AFU to Kramatorsk where he guarded the HQ. “Green” as the comrades used to call him, got heavy wounds to his legs in Luhansk region, and following the recovery proceeded with his service in the guard subdivision where his task was to accompany army medics. Since the autumn of 2016 he has been fighting in the forefront again. In May 2017 he returned to the 34th battalion positioned near Donetsk airport. That New year became a fourth one that he spent in the ATO zone. He is survived by his mother, brother, wife, two step daughters and a youngest daughter who just entered school. He was buried in his native village of Kurylivka.
Tymofiy Pukhalskyi, callsign Murchyk
On the 26th of January Tymofiy had to get married in Myrnohrad (former Dymytrov) in Donetsk region where his wife-to-be lived. On the 4th of February he would have been 30. Still he was never destined to reach that age. On the 11th of January, around 12:15 PM a de-miner Tymofiy Viktorovych Pukhalskiy was killed near the village of Slavne (Mariinka district) following the blast in the course of his combat mission on de-mining. According to the official report, a TM-62 mine went off during transportation.
The senior soldier Pukhalskyi was a sapper of the 30th Mechanized Brigade of the AFU. An ATO combatant, a sapper and a grenade launcher operator, he was mobilized in 2015 from the city of Kryvyi Rih. In August of 2017, on signing a contract he returned to the Armed forces, to his home 30th Brigade.
He was born on the 4th of February in Kryvyi Rih, Dnipropetrovsk region. The guy had been raised by his grandmother. Buried on the 16th of January in Myrnohrad, Donetsk region, in Stepove cemetery. Closer to his sweetheart.
Andriy Vytvytskyi, callsign Speaker
The ATO HQ as well as MOD spokespersons keep excluding the fighters of the Volunteer Corps and Ukrainian Volunteer Army from the official fatalities lists as well as never mention them in their reports. Nevertheless, despite their non-official status, the volunteer battalions in their designated sectors of the frontline effectively fight alongside with the Armed Forces sometimes even outperforming them.
In the evening of January 16th, in Avdiivka industrial zone, two fighters of the “Pravyi Sector” Ukrainian Volunteer Corps hit an enemy landmine. Andriy Vytvytskyi callsign Speaker died immediately on the spot. Mykhaylo Dimitrov callsign Haydamaka was evacuated to a hospital where he died on the following day.
Andriy Vytvytskyi was born on the 31st of December, 1987, in Ivano-Frankivsk. Got educated at Lviv Catholic Seminary. A member of the “Pravyi Sector” movement since its very first days; participated in the street fighting in Hrushevskoho street and downtown clashes on 18-20 of February, 2014. After Maidan, from the very first days of war he fought in Donbas as a fighter of the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps. He was a scout with “Santa’s” recon unit.
Andriy’s honoring funeral ceremony took place in Maidan in Kyiv. He was buried in his native town of Ivano-Frankivsk. He orphaned his mother, sister, wife and little daughter.
Mykhaylo Dimitrov, callsign Haydamaka
A fighter of Pravyi Sector (Right Sector) Volunteer Corps, Mykhailo Serhiyovych Dimitrov, comrade Haydamaka, died due to massive blood loss the next day following the mine blast in Avdiivka Promka (industrial zone).
A Cossack, a fascinator, a Kholodhyi Iar national liberation movement participant. The toast of his unit and owner of a colorful Kossack hat. He was born on the 26th of October in 1983, lived in the town of Smila in Cherkasy region. Graduated from the National University of food technologies where he acquired qualification as an electrician engineer. Served a regular service. Worked as an engineer at Merkuriy confectionery in Smila, his home town.
An active participant of the Maidan events. Fought in the forefront since 2014 with Praviy Sector UVC, then in the National Guard (Kulchytskyi battalion); later returned to the UVC where joined “Santa’s” recon unit. Participated in Donetsk airport defense. Recently, he fought near Avdiivka as a grenade launcher operator. According to his comrades, he was an outstanding gunman. He is survived by father and daughter whose picture was always pinned above the fighter’s bed. He was buried in the village of Kostyantynivka, Smilianskyi district, next to his mother and brother’s graves.
Dmytro Ivanov, callsign Akula
On the 17th of January another AFU armored vehicle carrying military personnel, struck an explosive device in Svitlodarska bulge. Most probably, the MT-LB vehicle belonging to the 54th Mechanized Brigade, went off the road due to heavy snow and hit a land mine or roadside bomb. Two of the team who were inside the vehicle, got killed on the spot; another five soldiers got wounded. The commander of the unit, senior sergeant Serhii Ivanov, callsign “Shark”, was among the dead.
He was born on the 16th of November in 1988 in a small town of Sanzhary, Poltava region. Studied at Khorol Agroindustrial college, but did not finish it because he went to the army. He served his regular military service in the 275th Arsenal of artillery munitions depot, in the village of Novobohdanivka, Zaporizhzhia region (in 2006, two years after the catastrophic explosions that took place in the warehouses). Later he continued the service having signed a contract with the Ukrainian Naval Forces as a senior radioman of the transmitting office of the Ukrainian navy’s flagship “Hetman Sahaidachnyi”. His “Akula” (Shark) callsign originated from there. Following the discharge, he used to work at various security services in Kyiv. In August of 2014 he was mobilized and served with the 93rd Mechanized Brigade of AFU. At that time, he got a qualification of a MLRS operator. Since October of 2014 he served in the ATO zone. Used to serve as a BM-21 Grad MLRS’s commander. Shortly after the discharge from military service he signed a contract and went to the ATO zone again. First, he served in the 93rd Brigade, then in the 54th one. Took the position of a platoon commander of the anti-tank artillery battery of the 54th Mechanized Brigade’s artillery group. He is survived by his wife and daughter, mother, step father, sister and brother. Serhii was buried on the 19th of January in the central cemetery of his home village of Novi Sanzhary.
Dmytro Volodymyrovych Beliaiev is another fighter killed in a MT-LB’s explosion in Svitlodarska bulge on the 17th of January. A senior soldier, senior driver and mechanical engineer, a radioman of the 2nd antitank artillery battery of the 54th Brigade’s antitank artillery division.
Dmytro was born on the 26th of May, 1990, in the village of Botiyeve, Pryazovskyi district, Zaporizhzhia region. Entered the military service on signing a contract in September of 2016. He orphaned his mother, brother, wife and 6-ear-old son. Dmytro was buried in his home village.
Oleksandr Chopenko, callsign Koldun
Sashko was killed on the 17th of January, about 21:00, following a deadly gunshot injury under the enemy shelling of the village of Hranitne, Volnovakha district, Donetsk region.
Oleksandr Anatoliiovych Chopenko was born on the 30th of October in 1969, in the village of Saiivka, Piatykhatky district in Dnipropetrovsk region where he lived. In 1986 he had been called up for a regular military service in Afganistan. He graduated from the Technical Training college #77 in the village of Saksahan where he obtained the profession of a tractor operator; besides, he took a course in driving at a local DOSAAF training center in Zhovti Vody. Worked as a tractor operator and a fuel truck driver.
In 2014-2015 he was mobilized to the army. Served in the 21st Brigade of the National Guard in the “M” sector. On demobilization Sashko took a course in management: he was aspiring to start his own business. But when his son Oleksandr joined the army, he returned into service and entered the same division with his son. In February of 2016 Koldun signed his first, a half-year long contract with AFU, and started to serve in the 93rd Mechanized Brigade. Since October 2016 he continued it with the 54th Brigade which was dislocated in Svitlodarsk bulge. On the 26th of June, 2017, he renewed the contract with the Armed forces of Ukraine, and prolonged his contract service in December again. The 48-year-old man served as the commander of the machine-gun division of the 11th “Kyiv Rus” Mechanized Infantry battalion of the 59th Motorized Brigade. He orphaned his five kids, – four daughters and a son. The fighter was buried on the 21st of January in his home village.
Serhii Serhienko, callsign Poltava
Poltava, as his comrades called the fighter, was killed on the 22nd of January, about 7:45 AM due to the severest shrapnel injuries he got in an enemy grenade shelling near the small town of Luhanske in Svitlodarsk bulge. Army medics tried to evacuate wounded Serhii but in vain: during transportation his heart stopped.
A soldier, sniper of the 1st division of the sniper unit of the 54th Mechanized Brigade, Serhii Oleksiyovych Serhienko was born on the 22ns of July, 1988, in the village of Novoavramivka, Khorol district, Poltava region. As a kid, he lost his father. Since childhoodl he worked at the milk farm and as a construction worker. In 2006 he entered Khomutets Zooveterinarian college where he obtained the qualification of a veterinarian. Worked as a vet at the Astarta agrarian holding, then as an operator at a milk factory. Signed a contract with AFU in October of 2016. Serhii orphaned his mother and two sisters. The fighter was buried in his home village of Novoavramivka.
Myroslav Slyvka, callsign Manakh
The fighter was killed in an enemy sniper fire aimed at the Ukrainian positions near the small town of Verkhniotoretske, Yasynuvata district of Donetsk region. The fire came from the occupied village of Panteleimonivka.
The fallen guy was a senior soldier whose name was Slyvka Myroslav Mykolayovych. He served in the National Guard, in the 1st General Kulchytskyi Special Forces battalion of the 27th Brigade of NGU. While at war, he took a comic Manakh callsign and insisted that it should have always been spelt with “a” as distinct from Monakh which means “monk”.
The fighter was born on the 17th of January, 1990, in the town of Polonne, Khmelnytskyi region. In 2012 he graduated from Zhytomyr National university of agriculture and ecology. Until August of 2014 he worked as an agronomist at Mriya agricultural holding. Later he served in the National Guard; in 2015 the guy signed a contract with NGU. Myroslav was survived by his mother, sister and brother.
22-year-old marine, a native of Kherson region, Artem Skupeiko was killed on the 30th of January in Azov region near Vodiane–Talakivka, when the enemy shelled the ATO forces’ positions using machine guns of large caliber and small arms.
A leading crewman, a sniper scout of the 503 battalion of the 36th Ukrainian Naval Infantry Brigade, Artem Victorovych Skupeiko was born in the 22nd of March, 1995, in the small town of Hornostaiivka, Kherson region. Since 2013 was in his regular military service. In March of 2016 he began his service under contract; following training at the 198th Training Center of the Ukrainian Navy was assigned to the Naval Infantry battalion. Awarded with “For Mariupol Defense” insignia. The hero’s memory was honored at his funeral ceremony that took place in his native town of Hornostaiivka. The guy is survived by his mother and 2-year-old sister.
On the last day of the month, on 31st of January, Yan Putsulai, a soldier of the 79th Air Assault Brigade, a native of Mykolaiiv, was killed. He got severely injured while on combat mission, as a result of heavy fighting at combat positions near the village of Avdiivka, Donetsk region.
Yan was born in the village of Calabatyne, Berezan district, Mykolaiiv region. In August he turned 22. He began his military service under a contract in 2016, and since September of 2017 served in Mykolaiiv Air Assault Brigade. The guy orphaned his mother and father.
Eternal glory to the fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for Ukraine!