The 13th ceremony of awarding with the Order "The People's Hero of Ukraine" was held in Poltava
It is entirely the volunteer initiative to award with the Order "The People's Hero of Ukraine", which was introduced by Andrii Boiechko, a well-known journalist and volunteer.
The first ceremony of awarding took place in June in the city of Kyiv, after that the medals were received in Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr, Sloviansk, and Kramatorsk, as well as on the combat positions and on the temporary border with occupied Crimea. In Odesa the heroes received the awards from Mikhael Saakashvili, a great venerator of Ukraine, ex-president of Georgia, and currently a Governor of Odesa Region Administration. It was him who has awarded Mustafa Dzhemiliev, a leader of the Crimean Tatar People.
Yevhen Mezhevikin (a call sign "Adam") - a legendary tanker, who has defended the Donetsk Airport, the Hero of Ukraine, the People's Hero of Ukraine, a knight of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi Order - handed the medals at the ceremony in Poltava.
Twenty heroes have received the awards from the people of Ukraine, from those seven were posthumously.
For the first time in the history of this war a family was awarded with the Order "The People's Hero of Ukraine". There are a son Yaroslav, his father Yurii, and mother Larysa - the Kirikovych family. A front knows their call signs: "Yarik", "Batia", and "Mama". The friendly Kirikovych family are the fighters of the legendary unit "The Hospitallers" that is a part of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army (in the past the Ukrainian Volunteer Corps).
The awardees were represented by Ivan Zviahin, the People's Hero, and the other family of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army (UVA) - Serhii Ilnytskyi (a call sign "Sokil"), a chief of UVA headquarters, and Vladyslav Ilnytskyi (a call sign "Irlandets"), in the past a medical chief of the 5th SBAT UVA.
Friend Sokil said, "...The tankers say that they are fighting by crews, but we are fighting by families! We all are one great and friendly family, where a fighter is for his fellow fighter, a father is for his son, and a mother is for her husband that is why we are invincible."
Friend " Irlandets" said, "My father was beside me at the front, but this family became mine as well. War - it is sad. Indeed, it is great to know that we are together, when you see the eyes of people loved by you.
Ivan Zviahin said, "As of today more than 170,000 people were granted a status of Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) participant. There are 50,000 employees of Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) among them; there is also a significant number of government representatives of different levels, who were "passing through" the ATO zone, the safest places, within a week or sometimes in three days. At the same time, none of the volunteers of "The Hospitallers" unit has a status of ATO participant.
Here is the following information:
- More than 2,000 volunteers fought with UVC (The Ukrainian Volunteer Corps), some part of them is still performing the combat missions in cooperation with the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), the Security Services of Ukraine (SSU), and other units.
- There are 64 fallen and over 500 wounded, about 20 volunteers of them became disabled.
- Only 3 seriously wounded and 4 fallen volunteers have received the appropriate statuses: "ATO Participant" and "A Family of the Fallen".
Finally, the media have worked as usual "at their high level" - there was not a single word about the volunteer movement or "The Hospitallers", being without status, government support or money, who have performed and continue to carry out the sacred duty - to save people's lives and defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and inviolability of Ukraine.
We want to thank the organizational committee and personally Andrii Boiechko for having courage to give us these remarkable and truly people's awards, despite the authorities' silence to ignore the volunteers' merit to their Motherland.