Such people are called the pride of the nation, its hope and its future. Thanks to them, the Ukrainian believe in their defenders and, eventually, in the Ukrainian state.
We won’t ever know, what Senior Lieutenant Yevhenii Zelenskyi was thinking in the last minute of his life. Maybe he was thinking about his beloved girlfriend, whom he promised to love forever, watching in her depthless eyes; maybe about his mother, who prematurely went grey, who was fated to send her husband and son to war and wait for their calls in the endless, sleepless nights; and maybe about his plans for a happy future with his girlfriend, mother and father, sisters, friends and, certainly, with him – a Special Forces officer, a military scout…
From the childhood, he wanted to become an officer and defend the Motherland. The dream came from his father, who is Colonel in the military intelligence with a great combat experience.
After finishing the secondary school, Yevhenii had entered the Army Academy named after Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi, where he had been studying for four years, acquiring the profession of a reconnaissance officer. Studying in the higher educational military establishment, cadet Zelenskyi was appointed a commander of a study group, thanks to his skills. Yevhenii was always eager to achieve positive results with the whole team; he never placed his own personal interests above the others. He paid thorough attention to acquiring of practical skills by his subordinates during field trainings. As his professors remember, the notion of personal role-model, responsibility for subordinates and decency were prior to the scout, that’s what the comrades and commanders respected him for.
After the graduation, Lieutenant Zelenskyi was appointed to the position of the reconnaissance group commander in 8th separate Special Forces regiment. When the security and integrity of our state appeared at risk, Yevhenii, as a real warrior, was among the first who went to the anti-terrorist operation area.
He always was in the most dangerous trouble spots with his subordinates. The command empowered him the most responsible tasks, and his comrades-in-arms were always sure in their commander – one of the best scouts of the regiment.
On June 17, 2014, in the town of Shchastia, Luhansk region, the group of Yevhenii Zelenskyi, comprising five warriors, was tasked to free the other group of the volunteer battalion “Aidar” from the captivity. The scouts accomplished their task, but fell into the ambush. They countered the attack, but their commander was fatally wounded. Trying to escape, the scouts moved in armored personnel carrier BTR-80 from which Yevhenii covered his fellows by the gun fire. The armored personnel carrier was hit from the grenade launcher. Comrades-in-arms still believe that their commander took the shot from grenade launcher upon himself to save their lives.
A talented commander, courageous officer and a true patriot of Ukraine Yevhenii Zelenskyi died on June 24, 2014, in the Military Clinic Hospital of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv. He was only 23.
The “Golden Star” Order of the Hero of Ukraine which was awarded to Senior Lieutenant Zelenskyi (posthumously) for his courage and heroism is the highest appreciation.
Heroes don’t die, they live forever in the memory of their relatives, friends, comrades-in-arms, in the memory of future generations, for the sake of the future Life.