On November 30, the 31st award ceremony for the People’s Hero of Ukraine non-governmental order took place in the Kharkiv National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater.
Dmytro Kotsyubaylo, commander of the first assault company of Right Sector Volunteer Ukrainian Corps, and Halina Almazova, founder of the Veterok volunteer medical rapid response team, awarded heroes with orders. Children of perished heroes were present at the ceremony.
Ten people were recommended for awards, two of them posthumously. Kharkivite Yana Chervona, call sign Vidma (Witch in Ukrainian), a legendary volunteer and machine gunner, was killed in April 2019 as a result of hostile fire. She left behind two young children.
Dnipro resident Andriy Shyrokov, call sign Semyanin (Family Man in Ukrainian), carried a wounded sword brother after the anti-personnel mine exploded in Butivka mine area. Andriy was killed near Svitlodarsk in 2016. He left behind five children.
Seven more military personnel and one volunteer received their awards personally.
Among them is Yuriy Serhiychuk, call sign Syrota (Orphan in Ukrainian), who took part in military operations to liberate so-called “grey zone” and Ukrainian lands on various sectors of the front line.
Mykhaylo Hoyda, nicknamed Doc, and his sword brother nicknamed Charlie are from Kropyvnytskyi. Mykhaylo took part in the battle for Ilovaysk and stayed with wounded soldiers, helping to look for them in the fields, provided them first aid until they were evacuated by the Red Cross representatives.
Andriy-Vasyliy Dzuba, nicknamed Prince, and Valeriy Kindzerkiy, nicknamed Engineer, have fought from the first days of Russian-Ukrainian war. Under Andriy’s command, the Crocodile enemy post was destroyed in the vicinity of Maryinka.
Vadym Kraynenko, call sign Thirtieth, destroyed a terrorist diversion group amounted to six people and was able to lead the soldiers to a safe place.
Hryhory Sivachenko, call sign Hora, (Mountain in Ukrainian) destroyed a group of Russian officers. Also, volunteer Yuriy Moskalenko was awarded for helping the army since the first days of the war.
Many people took part in the preparation and conducting of the awarding ceremony. Amulets made by schoolchildren from Kramatorsk are traditionally brought to the ceremony by Stalina Chubenko, mother of 16-year-old Stepan Chubenko, who was killed in 2014 in Donetsk for a yellow-blue ribbon on his backpack. Yellow and blue butterfly brooches are always put into cases with awards. And this time, she delivered letters from children to the heroes.
This touching moment brought tears to the eyes of the fighters who passed through heavy combat and saw death.
There is also a motanka in each case with the order. These dolls-amulets were made during the annual meeting of the People’s Heroes of Ukraine in Kyiv on October 13 this year. Some of these are signed by the names of the children who crafted them under the guidance of the craftswomen. They were involved in the master-class by the theater and film artist Iryna Horshkova.
“The ceremony turned out to be touching and solemn at the same time. It allowed the military personal and volunteers to feel important and needed. And they enjoyed the event,” People’s Hero of Ukraine Facebook page informs.
The next ceremony will take place in Odesa.
Reference: People’s Hero of Ukraine order is a non-governmental Ukrainian award launched in 2015 at the initiative of antique collector and volunteer Andriy Boyechko and jeweler Dmytro Shcherbakov.
There are two types of awards: with a red-and-black ribbon – for warriors who defended Ukrainian land with arms, and with yellow-blue ribbon – for volunteers and medics.
The order is given to both Ukrainian and foreign citizens for outstanding services in the defense of the independence of Ukraine and volunteer assistance to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Any person can submit People’s Hero on behalf of someone else. Final award decisions are made after a public discussion of the candidates on the project’s Facebook page.
Text: Natalia Ivanova
Photo: Vsevolod Kozhemyako, censor.net.ua