"They will never be forgotten": Zelensky presented the title of Hero of Ukraine to 21 fallen warriors. Video
On Friday, October 27, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky honored 21 soldiers who died for Ukraine's independence. The Head of State presented the Order of the Golden Star to family members of Ukrainian defenders who were posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
The ceremony took place at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv. The President announced this on his Telegram channel, and the video was published in the Presidential Office.
"It is an honor for me to present the Golden Star Orders to the families of our heroes. Twenty-one Heroes of Ukraine. Posthumously," the president said.
Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine will never forget its Heroes.
"I really want these orders of the Golden Star, which are awarded to our Heroes - Heroes of Ukraine - to mean that they will never be forgotten. That their names and stories will be known. That Ukraine will always be grateful to them. And that you, like all other citizens of Ukraine, will always be able to feel that the life of our state, saved by the lives of Ukrainian Heroes, is truly dedicated to all our people," he said.
Volodymyr Zelensky presented the Order of the Golden Star to the family of the Hero of Ukraine, Junior Sergeant Sviatoslav Aleksapolsky, who died of shrapnel wounds in August 2022 in the Mykolaiv region when he was providing medical assistance to a wounded combat group commander under enemy artillery fire, for personal courage and heroism in the defense of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The Golden Star was also presented to the parents of Major Oleksandr Borys. The Mi-8 helicopter he was flying was shot down by an enemy missile near Mariinka, Donetsk region, in March 2022 after performing a mission to destroy enemy targets. Oleksandr Borys's total flight time amounted to 923 hours, including more than 17 hours during the large-scale invasion of Russia.
Oleksandr Borys's father handed over to the Head of State the flag of the 11th Separate Army Aviation Brigade "Kherson" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, where his son served.
Family members of the reconnaissance company commander, Captain Stepan Vorobets, who was killed in June 2014 near Yampil, Donetsk region, received the order from the Head of State. When his reconnaissance unit was ambushed by the enemy, the captain personally killed three terrorists but was wounded by a sniper's bullet and died due to heavy blood loss.
The highest state award was presented to the relatives of the fallen Hero of Ukraine, commander of a special reconnaissance group, Junior Sergeant Yevhen Hloba, who in June 2023, while moving the group in a forest in the Sumy region, came across a tripwire and covered his comrades-in-arms, protecting them at the cost of his own life.
Volodymyr Zelensky handed the Order of the Golden Star to the family of the Armed Forces Special Forces officer, Chief Sergeant Volodymyr Dudchenko. In September 2022, near the village of Yampil, Donetsk region, his group encountered overwhelming enemy forces, and the wounded sergeant major provided medical assistance to his comrades. At night, while carrying the heavily wounded group commander to the evacuation site, Volodymyr Dudchenko himself hit a mine and, covering the wounded commander with his body, died of his injuries.
The highest state award was also handed over to the mother of the fallen Hero of Ukraine, drone operator soldier Yevhen Zinoviev, who from January to May 2023 destroyed a large number of enemy vehicles, infantry, firing points, warehouses, and ammunition caches. In May 2023, while performing a combat mission in the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Yevhen Zynoviev was killed by artillery fire.
"The Golden Star was presented to the parents of Senior Lieutenant Yurii Kaniuk, whose platoon launched an attack on May 23, 2022, and broke into the enemy's defense, but came under heavy fire from enemy tanks and artillery, which prevented them from moving forward. The senior lieutenant handed over command to the company commander, and he stayed with the wounded and held the position until the last soldier was evacuated. Covering the retreat of the evacuation group, he engaged in a firefight with the enemy and died from bullet wounds.
The President presented the order to the family members of the fallen Hero of Ukraine Junior Sergeant Dmytro Kramar, who participated in battles with Russian occupants during the defense of the Kharkiv region, Severodonetsk, as well as in the defense of the Ukrainian border in Sumy and Kharkiv regions, in battles on the outskirts of Kreminna and in Bakhmut. While performing a combat mission in Bakhmut as part of a special forces group in May 2023, the junior sergeant was heroically killed in action, suffering a fatal gunshot wound to the neck.
The family members of the fallen Colonel Ihor Liashenko, commander of the Mechanized Battalion of the 24th Separate Mechanized Brigade of the Operational Command "North" of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, who in 2004-2005 participated in the Ukrainian peacekeeping contingent in Kosovo, and since 2014 his battalion has been skillfully performing its tasks in Donetsk region, received the Golden Star from the President. While moving between control points, the colonel's unit was ambushed by terrorists, and Ihor Liashenko personally killed several enemies during the battle, but he himself was killed by bullet wounds.
The Golden Star was also presented to the family of an anti-aircraft gunner, soldier Maksym Liakh, who defended Bakhmut in Donetsk region in April 2023. While repelling an enemy assault in May, he was hit by a sniper's bullet in the heart and died on the spot.
The highest state award was presented to the family of the fallen Hero of Ukraine, rifle company commander Lieutenant Mykola Makarevych, who performed a combat mission near Bakhmut, Donetsk region. In March 2023, he sustained multiple shrapnel wounds from a mine explosion, but tried to provide medical care to his comrades-in-arms and died in an evacuation vehicle. The enemy's assault was repelled due to the tactical advantage gained under the command of Mykola Makarevych.
The President handed the order to the mother of the Hero of Ukraine, reconnaissance operator, soldier Vasyl Matiychuk, who died in April 2023 while conducting aerial reconnaissance near Malynivka, Zaporizhzhia region, as a result of enemy artillery shelling. The soldier was credited with blowing up an enemy warehouse, detecting a sniper pair, and more than 300 raids on enemy dugouts and trenches.
The Head of State also handed over the Golden Star to the family of Junior Sergeant Serhii Mishchenko, who personally destroyed a large number of armored vehicles with enemy personnel in battles with the Russian aggressor. For his services in battles with the aggressor, the sergeant was awarded the Order "For Courage" of the I-III degrees, as well as the Presidential Cross of Military Merit. On December 1, 2022, during a battle and shelling from enemy tanks at the positions of a consolidated platoon in the Luhansk region, Serhii Mishchenko was mortally wounded.
The order was handed over to the family of the fallen Hero of Ukraine, commander of the 15th Separate Mountain Assault Battalion, Major Vadym Odud. The battalion's skillful actions under his leadership allowed it to break through the enemy's defenses 30 kilometers deep and force the occupier to leave the city of Kherson. After the Russian invaders fled the Kherson region, the major skillfully organized the occupation of the positions left by the enemy. In November 2022, Vadym Odud's car hit an explosive device in the Kherson region, and the officer died from his injuries.
The wife and sons of Senior Sergeant Volodymyr Prymachenko, who was killed in action in June 2022 in the Donetsk region, also received the Golden Star. Thanks to the courageous and heroic actions of Volodymyr Prymachenko, the positions held were secured and the breakthrough of the enemy's superior forces in a certain area of defense was prevented.
The President handed the order to the family of Sergeant Mykhailo Reutskyi. During the battle in Bakhmut in February 2023, Mykhailo Reutskyi diverted the enemy's attention and fire at the cost of his own life, covering the exit of his comrades from a possible encirclement. As a result of dense enemy artillery fire, the sergeant sustained an injury incompatible with life.
Volodymyr Zelensky also presented the highest state award to the wife and daughter of the Hero of Ukraine, Sergeant Volodymyr Sova-Lisovets, who died in June 2022 while performing a mission in the Pryvillia area of the Luhansk region. In a battle with overwhelming enemy forces, Volodymyr Sova-Lisovets sustained multiple gunshot wounds. In the last seconds of his life, he destroyed the enemy's firing position, which allowed the Special Forces servicemen to retreat to safe ground.
The families of Captain Oleh Tarakhkal and soldier Bizhan Sharopov received the Hero of Ukraine. During a mission near Shyikivka in the Kharkiv region, they mined and blew up a bridge, which prevented the enemy from getting closer, and also adjusted the fire of Ukrainian artillery, which destroyed the enemy column and stopped its offensive. In April 2022, near Borova, the enemy fired mortars and surrounded the unit of Oleh Tarakhkal and Bizhan Sharopov. Despite the damage to their equipment, the soldiers took part in a battle during which Oleh Tarakhkalo and Bizhan Sharopov went missing. In October 2022, a search group of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine discovered a mass grave in Kopanky, Kharkiv region, which included the bodies of the heroically fallen Oleh Tarakhkalo and Bizhan Sharopov.
The President handed over the Order of the Golden Star to the family of Captain Ihor Nebos, a specialist of the SSU Center of the first category. In January 2023, during the battles near Bakhmut and Opytne in the Donetsk region, the captain personally destroyed the enemy, who was firing at the positions with a hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher. The fighting lasted for nine hours, and all SSU officers were wounded in the clash. Captain Ihor Nebos was killed while performing a combat mission.
"The Golden Star was awarded to the family of Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Ukrainets, a senior operational officer of the SSU Office in the Zaporizhzhia region, who was killed in November 2022 while identifying enemy positions near the village of Bilohiria in Zaporizhzhia. He effectively adjusted the artillery, suppressing firing points and inflicting losses in manpower. During massive air and artillery fire and repeated direct hits on a closed Ukrainian position, Lieutenant Colonel Volodymyr Ukrainets sustained life-threatening injuries.
On September 25, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the defenders of our country for their courage and efforts. He instructed to award soldiers with the Bohdan Khmelnytsky medals of the second and third degree, the medal "For Military Service in Ukraine", and the medal "To the Defender of the Fatherland".