Gallery of Нeroes
Hero of Ukraine
Oleksandr Petrakivskyi was born on June 4, 1988, in Zhytomyr town. In 2009, he graduated from the Army Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi in Lviv.
Oleksandr Petrakivskyi liked military from the very childhood. All members of his family are military servicemen. Father Petro and mother Tetiana are Colonels, wife Halyna, sister Svitlana and her husband are military officers.
When Oleksandr was 7, he jumped with a parachute as well as his sister did. He never thought of life without the armed forces. Besides, he had a talent. Oleksandr became one of the best scouts in its unit in Khmelnytskyi.
With the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation (ATO) in the East of Ukraine, Captain Petrakivskyi became the commander of the Special Forces group.
On June 20, 2014, the group under his command was coming back from reconnaissance. The officer reported about the results of their activity to commander and was going to have a rest with his fellows, but this time he didn't manage to sleep.
They needed to ensure the passage of the column of vehicles of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the volunteer battalion “Aidar” forces to the airport of Luhansk.
Everything started in a village with a life-affirming name – Shchastia (Happiness). Maybe, some time ago people of the village could consider themselves happy, but with the beginning of the warfare, their life became full of grief. This time, the group of Oleksandr Petrakivskyi also faced misfortune. The commander was with his group in the combat zone from the very first days of ATO. He participated in complicated and dangerous missions a great many times. He always managed to fulfill the tasks without any losses, because he acquired the necessary experience and a specific feeling of danger which can appear while being in the adversary’s rear.
But that time, on July 21, when Captain Petrakivskyi group reconnoitered the area and the way which the unit’s bulk strength column should have used, the scouts fell into the terrorist ambush. Having immediately assessed the situation, Oleksandr decided to accept the battle.
Terrorists severely mortared positions of the Ukrainian soldiers. In the course of the tough fight, one of the scouts lost his helmet. Having seen that, Captain Petrakivskyi gave the subordinate his own helmet, and saved the fellow’s life. After the fight, the soldier saw seven hollows from explosive debris in the helmet and quietly said: “But for the commander’s helmet, I wouldn't have been alive…”. But in several minutes after the officer had given his helmet to the scout, shell fragment hit his head.
Despite a heavy wound, he carried out wounded soldiers from the bombardment and continued to command the unit.
The column used the battle to break through the enemy’s ambush, and managed to do that without any losses.
According to a Decree of the President of Ukraine, the officer was awarded with the “Golden Star” Order of Hero of Ukraine and promoted to the rank of Major, for exceptional courage, heroism and unconquerable spirit.
But the most difficult battle for the wounded officer and his family has just only begun.
On May 26, 2015, a lot of people gathered at the schoolyard of Iziaslav lyceum to honor the graduate of the establishment, Major of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Hero of Ukraine Oleksandr Petrakivskyi. A memorial plate in the honor of the scout was opened by his parents and a five-year old daughter. The solemn assembly gathered relatives of the Hero, the school team, representatives of the authorities and all not indifferent citizens.
“I promise that, as soon as I put my son on his legs, I will go with him to the frontline to punish all those who kill and cripple our young fellows,” said Oleksandr’s father.