Ihor Hordiichuk was born on November 12, 1972, in the village of Zaliznytsia, Korets district, Rivne region. He studied in Kyiv Institute of Land Forces. He graduated with honors diploma from faculty of preparation of the officers of operational and tactical level of the National Defence Academy of Ukraine and the US Army College.
Ihor Hordiichuk began his service as a mechanized infantry platoon leader but his real vocation was Special Forces.
Having displayed will and persistence, he was transferred to a military unit of Special Forces; he was a deputy commander of separate Special Forces brigade, and later – a commander of 8th separate Special Forces regiment – one of the best units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in international contingent in Republic of Afghanistan. He occupied the position of the First Deputy Head of the Army Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi, served in the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and in the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine.
Colonel Hordiichuk took part in many missions during the anti-terrorist operation (ATO).
He headed a Special Forces detachment while performing tasks in the enemy’s rear and commanded the seizure of Savur-Mohyla hill.
Savur-Mohyla has become known from the times of the Second World War – it was the key position of German defence, during the assault of which several Soviet divisions in full force were annihilated. The hill also has kept its strategic importance during the Russian-Ukrainian war. After the seizure of Savur-Mohyla and arrangement of the observation post, Russian artillery spotters fully blocked all the transport in the “D” sector of the Ukrainian troops.
Withdrawal of forces was possible only in case of capturing the Savur-Mohyla, that’s why the best detachments of Russian mercenaries were involved to hold it.
On August 12, 2014, the scouts of Hordiichuk’s group “Krym”, comprised of 14 servicemen, penetrated into the positions of Savur-Mohyla, took the control over the observation post at the hill and began performing combat task on spotting artillery fire.
Adversary immediately assessed the appeared threat. A great number of Russian artillery, mercenaries and armored vehicles were involved in order to destroy the Ukrainian detachment. Communication means were put out of action because of the heavy permanent artillery enemy raids. Hordiichuk continued to correct fire by the phone. Voice communication worked badly, but in some points of the hill it was possible to transfer the information by mobile phone.
The group of Hordiichuk was under the concentrated fire of heavy artillery. The enemy infantry tried to assault the hill almost every day.
Shelters saved their lives, but the scouts received wounds from explosions – especially – severe contusions that disabled servicemen. Ihor Hordiichuk was also many times contused, but he didn’t leave his position.
Sometimes, the day assaults were repulsed by artillery support, but often there were only small arms and grenade launchers. Mercenaries attempted to capture Savur-Mohyla by night 6 times. The hill’s defenders withstood lots of battles on close distance. Due to skillfully organized defence and individual training, the defenders had minimal losses.
When the reinforcement arrived, Hordiichuk carried out rotation – “Krym” group went away. However, he stayed at the hill, continued to perform combat tasks and informed about the enemy's positions, despite of the wounded hand and contusion.
The order to withdraw from Savur-Mohyla was received on August 24, in the evening. By that time, it became clear that Savur-Mohyla was in dense encirclement. The vehicle of 3rd separate Special Forces regiment that broke through it in order to transport the wounded men was put out of action by Russian mercenaries.
At night, Hordiichuk gave the order to withdraw from Savur-Mohyla. The Ukrainian scouts left the hill dug by shells after 12 days and nights of the uninterrupted battles.
They managed to surreptitiously pass through the enemy’s rear about 60 km and joined Ukrainian troops near Mnohopillia. On August 29, together with all Ukrainian units, scouts went to make a breakthrough.
From reminiscences of Sergeant Stehar, the scout of Ihor Hordiichuk’s group: “We moved in a truck. Hordiichuk was in the driver’s cab. We were suddenly attacked. The truck was immediately straddled by shells and mortar bombs. There was an explosion occurred in the cab, the truck inflamed. We fell out from the burning truck, but couldn’t help the Colonel – there was an incredibly dense fire on the road and we had to reply to the enemy’s fire. Someone opened the cab’s door and Hordiichuk managed to get out of the truck himself. He crawled to us. We picked him up and dressed the wound. The wound was terrible – it was hard to believe that the man with such a wound could move and attempted to continue to fight.
The Colonel tried to further command the battle; he even tried to tear off the bandage. But soon, because of the blood loss, he fainted without any strength left. Hordiichuk, I and several servicemen were taken prisoners by the Russian paratroopers. Colonel Hordiichuk was unconscious. We were gathered on the field; Hordiichuk was abandoned aside, no one allowed us to help him. They said that he wouldn’t live. The Colonel lay all alone the whole day, with the same bandage that we had dressed him before. Later, we were taken away…
When I found out that that amazing officer was alive, I was so proud of him! I want to thank him; those terrible days, he was a role model of courage for us”.
“On behalf of the people of Ukraine, I thank You for the feats which You have done to defend the independence of our state, for courage and bravery You have demonstrated while protecting Ukraine. The whole Ukraine is proud of You. Next generations of the Ukrainian warriors will be raised at your example,” the President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said, attending Ihor Hordiichuk in hospital.
On October 21, 2015, according to a Decree of the President of Ukraine, Colonel Hordiichuk was awarded a title of the Hero of Ukraine and was presented the Order of “Golden Star” – for exceptional courage and heroism displayed in defending the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, adherence to the oath of allegiance.
Ihor Hordiichuk is also awarded with the Orders of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi of the 2nd and the 3rd Degrees.