«Berkut» + «commander» + «Crimea» – would you agree that this peculiar word chain can sound a bit nasty as it evokes exceptionally dark memories in every Ukrainian. Still this person belongs to one of the really glorious pages in the current Ukrainian history. A bright and a sad one at the same time.
On the 5th of February we should commemorate the anniversary of the Ukraine’s defender’s death. His accomplishments included sports schools, sections and lots of awards. Stepan Kryvoruchenko possessed solid military experience: he used to serve in the Soviet «Spetsnaz» in which he occurred to be among the founders of the Crimean «Berkut» (special police skewed on tactical law enforcement and riot control; now dissolved in Ukraine). Despite this, in the stormy times of Maidan Kryvoruchenko joined the insurgent Ukrainians as he faced the System from the inside and knew well what ugliness and injustice ordinary citizens were rebelling against. When the war started, Kryvoruchenko supported the Ukrainian army as much as he could, but as soon as the Crimea was annexed, he and his wife left all his belongings and relocated to Boryspil, Kyiv region.
Soon, he volunteered to the Army: since he could not join it officially due to the absence of some documents that he had left in the Crimea, the man went to the «Zoloti Vorota» volunteer battalion. There Stepan brought together all the men aiming to really defend Ukraine instead of merely playing with a gun or combat imitating. Strict discipline and hard training became their everyday practice. Shortly, all the company headed by Kryvoruchenko, joined the «Azov» volunteer regiment of the National Guard of Ukraine as a special scouting unit.
Martial arts and continuous hard exercise on the edge of human performance; severe military drills and the whole integrity of a Special Forces chief’s experience – and despite all this absolutely negative attitude towards alcohol or tobacco combined with caring for his personnel and even total prohibition for swearing. Can you imagine an army without any profanity? But this was the reality for their unit. A strict believer, Stepan Kryvoruchenko was caring not only of the bodies but also the souls of his comrades.
Stepan Kryvoruchenko’s combat experience was rather not too extensive but exceptionally rich. In the beginning of 2015, the Azov battalion started intensive preparation for operational activities near Mariupol: the fighters were arranging for capture of Shyrokyne and further advance. The scouts were shuttling along the contact line examining prospective routes and directions of the forward movement. The misfortune, quite common for this war, happened on the 5th of February 2015, during a routine outing to the occupied territory: the fighter who was going first, hit the trip wire, and the second one got the whole mass of shelling from the explosion. Stepan Kryvoruchenko was this second one. The guys told that Stepan covered the comrades with his own body having saved the six of them. The fighters evacuated the body of their fallen commander. He was buried on his second homeland, in Boryspol’s Rohoziv cemetery. Still, his death was not in vain: in a week the Azov battalion fighters cleared the outskirts of Mariupol and started to fight the terrorists in Shyrokyne.
Over time, following the liberation of Mariupol, another legendary squadron proceeded to guarding the positions and holding defense of this glorious and exceptionally important city. Those military are good friends of People’s Project to whom we dedicated a separate charitable project titled Mariupol Defenders. Still this is another story which is to be continued soon.
Eternal glory to the fallen fighter!
Thanks to censor.net for the provided materials