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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

“Sasha was proud of being a paratrooper”

22-year-old Oleksandr Holiachenko died in Kharkiv hospital from grave wounds he received near Sloviansk
26 June, 2014 - 11:39

Tragic news came to the village of Slaviv, Cherniakhiv raion, Zhytomyr oblast: 22-year-old Oleksandr Holiachenko died in Kharkiv hospital from grave wounds he received near Sloviansk. He left grieving pa­rents and elder sisters, who hoped that Sasha would survive. His fa­mily cannot accept this huge loss. His mom cannot believe that she won’t see her son ever again. He did not want his parents and sisters to worry, so he did not tell them he was serv­ing near Sloviansk. He kept telling, “I’m in Mykolaiv. I’m okay.” His mother saw Oleksandr burnt and wounded in the Kharkiv hospital. Only his feet, protected by army boots, were unhurt.

Oleksandr Holiachenko came from an ordinary village family: his father is a driver, and his mother is a milkmaid. He underwent compulsory military service in the 95th Air­mobile Brigade. According to his cousin Andrii Holiachenko, Sasha was proud of being a paratrooper, he was proud that he jumped with a parachute, that he was a specialist, an armored vehicle driver. And his relatives were proud that he belonged to “winged infantry.”

After Oleksandr returned from the army, he studied in Odesa Marine School. Later he decided to earn some money: he worked as a builder in Russia. In March he came home on vacation. That was when he received the draft notice. He immediately went to the military registration and enlistment office, so he filled the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine due to partial mobilization. As a specialist, he was sent to the 95th Airmobile Brigade where he used to serve.

On June 13 when the column of the military vehicles near Sloviansk was transporting water and food, an enemy shell hit the battle vehicle. Oleksandr Holiachenko was wounded, as well as his comrades-in-arms, Senior Soldier Oleksandr Nikolaichuk from Stary Solotvyn village, Berdychiv raion, Lieutenant Serhii Babsky from Korosten, and Soldier Serhii Khartnyk from Zhytomyr. Oleksandr was the last to leave the vehicle, so he received more severe burns than the others – they affected 80 percent of his body. The best doctors were trying to save Oleksandr’s life. But, unfortunately, on June 16 he died.

People in the village Slaviv bid last adieu to Oleksandr Holiachenko, a serviceman of the 95th Airmobile Brigade. He was buried at the village cemetery. Not only the residents of Slaviv, but also people from nearby villages and his comrades-in-arms came to bid last farewell to the defender of independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. Everyone was shocked by the irreparable loss. The 22-year-old man, who was hard-working, full of energy and optimism, had a long life ahead of him, but he was killed by the shell hit by the separatists into Oleksandr’s armored vehicle. Hundreds of people came to the funeral. The parents feel never-ending pain because of the loss of their youngest son. His relatives, friends, fellow villagers, caring citizens, and representatives of the authorities came to express condolences and offer support.

Tens of Oleksandr’s friends wrote on his page in a social network. Below are few of them:

“I still cannot believe and realize that you no longer live. How could such fate await you, a person of big heart, so loving, kind, and sincere?”

“We are grieving. We are missing you so much. We are missing your laugh, sincere smile, jokes, and words that everything will be fine. You were always in a hurry because you wanted to do plenty of things. But what’s most important, you never lost heart. You believed that the good would win, and time would come when our country would prosper and our people would live decently.”

“I am proud that there are courageous people like you in my country, who are ready to give their lives for their country and people. Rest in peace. Glory to the heroes!”

By Oksana KLYMCHUK, Zhytomyr oblast