Oleksandr Petrakivskyi was born on June 4, 1988, in the city of Zhytomyr. In 2009, he finished Lviv Academy of the Army named after Petro Sahaidachnyi with a degree in "Combat employment and control of airmobile units". He was a commander of the 8th separate Special Forces regiment.
Oleksandr Petrakivskyi liked military from the very childhood. All members of his family are servicemen. Father Petro and mother Tetiana are Colonels, wife Halyna is a cadet in the National Army Academy named after Petro Sahaidachnyi, sister Svitlana and her husband are officers. The parents are proud of their children.
When Oleksandr was 7, he has already jumped with a parachute, as well as his sister did. He liked the art of war from the childhood and never thought of life without the armed forces. Besides, he had a talent. Oleksandr has become 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 Oleksandr Petrakivskyi became the commander of the Special Forces group.
On June 20, 2014, the reconnaissance group under his command came back from reconnaissance. The officer reported about the results of their activity to his 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 of forces of the volunteer battalion "Aidar" to the airport of Luhansk.
Everything started in a village with a life-affirming name – Shchastia. Maybe, some times 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 went to reconnaissance of 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 military men. In the course of the tough fight, one of the soldiers lost his helmet. Having seen that, Captain Oleksandr Petrakivskyi gave the subordinate his own kevlar 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, a part of a shell hit his head. Despite a heavy injury, he carried out wounded soldiers from the bombardment and continued to command the unit.
The column used the combat to break through the enemy's ambush, and managed to do that without any losses. For this feat, the President of Ukraine awarded the scout with a Golden Star of "The Hero of Ukraine" and promoted him to the senior rank of Major. 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.