Such people are called the pride of the nation, its hope and its future. Thanks to them, Ukrainians 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 minutes 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, the boy wanted to become a military man and defend the Motherland. The dream came from his father, who is Colonel in the reconnaissance with a great combat experience. After ending the school, Yevhenii entered the National Academy of the Army named after Petro Sahaidachnyi, where he has studied 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 Yevhenii Zelenskyi was appointed to the position of the reconnaissance group commander in the 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 – the best scout of the unit.
On June 17, 2014, in the town of Shchastia, Luhansk oblast, the group of Yevhenii Zelenskyi, comprising five warriors, was tasked to free the other group of the "Aidar" battalion from the captivity. The scouts accomplished their task, but fell into the ambush. The warriors countered the attack, but their commander was fatally wounded. Trying to escape, the scouts moved in BTR-80, from which Yevhenii covered his fellows by the gun fire. The BTR was hit from the grenade launcher. Comrades-in-arms still believe that their commander took the shot from RPG upon himself to save the armored carrier. He covered his soldiers till the last moment, giving them the opportunity to regroup.
A talented commander, courageous officer and just decent and understanding son of his country – Yevhenii Zelenskyi died on June 24, 2014, in the emergency unit of the Chief Military Clinic Hospital of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Kyiv. He was only 23.
The Golden Star of the Hero of Ukraine, which was awarded to Senior Lieutenant Yevhenii Zelenskyi (posthumously) for his courage and heroism, is the highest state award of the patriotic warrior who defended the integrity and independence of the Motherland. We all know that heroes don't die; they live for ever in the memory of their relatives, friends, comrades-in-arms, in the memory of future generations, thankful for their sacrifice for the sake of the future Life.