As Ukrainian authorities hope to revive peace talks with Russia, the death toll for Ukrainian troops killed in action keeps growing.

Since the start of the year, at least 72 Ukrainian soldiers – 29 of them in summer alone – have been killed in the Donbas, according to the Kyiv Post count based on military and media reports.

The overall death toll for Ukrainian military killed in action since hostilities began in 2014 has reached 3,009 soldiers as of Aug. 29.

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After getting elected in April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for a four-way meeting with Russia, Germany, and France, known as the Normandy format. Moscow has said there is interest in renewing peace discussions, but no date has been set. On Aug. 26, French President Emmanuel Macron said the leaders of the four countries will hold talks in September aimed at ending the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

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More than 13,000 people have been killed in the Donbas conflict since hostilities started in April 2014, when Russian-backed separatists took up arms against government forces in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. Some 1.5 million people have been internally displaced, the largest migration of people on the European continent since World War II.

Below is the list of those known to have been killed in action from June till August.

June: 

Eduard Lazarev, 48, a soldier of the 17th Tank Brigade. He was born in Russia but his parents moved to Lviv Oblast when he was little. His fellow soldier Anatoliy Prokazyuk recalled that Lazarev asked his military enlistment office to be sent to the Donbas. On June 4, Lazarev was driving a military vehicle to deliver food to his military unit when an anti-tank guided missile hit them. Lazarev’s death was instant. “He was very brave, patriotic. Despite his Russian name, he loved Ukraine very much and tried to protect it from enemies,” Prokazyuk said.

Lazarev leaves a wife, a daughter and grandchildren in Lviv Oblast.

Oleksandr Lyn, 48, a soldier of the 17th Tank Brigade from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. Lyn used to work at Kryvorizhstal, Ukraine’s largest integrated steel company, located in the Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih for 30 years. He decided to join the army at the beginning of 2019. Lyn was killed together with his fellow soldier Eduard Lazarev when an anti-tank guided missile hit their military vehicle near Novoselivka Druha village in Donetsk Oblast. “He was like an older brother to us, always supportive, always tried to cheer up,” said Lyn’s fellow soldier who asked to be referred by his first name Serhiy.

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Lym leaves a wife and two daughters – 26-years-old and 14-years-old.

Vladyslav Berezhniy, 22, a soldier of the 54th mechanized brigade from Luhansk Oblast. He joined the army when he was 18. In March 2018, in an interview Berezhniy said that he “decided to become a soldier when he saw what’s going on in the country.” He told the journalists his family “had always been pro-Ukrainian and we didn’t want our city and Donbas to turn Russian.”  He dreamt that all the occupied territories would return under Ukraine’s control and there “would be a Ukrainian flag flying over them,” he was quoted as saying.

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Berezhniy was killed by a sniper on June 5 near the village Zolote in his native Luhansk Oblast. He leaves a wife and two-year-old son in Popasna.

Dmytro Pruhlo, 28, a soldier of Azov Special Battalion from Poltava. In 2014, Pruhlo volunteered to the army and joined Azov Battalion. He took part in all the major battles of his battalion. “He never gave up. He was respected by all. I never saw him confused or scared,” Pruhlo’s fellow soldier who goes by nom-de-guerre Podvoh said. “Although we all went to war in 2014, with no experience, he behaved as if it was no longer his first war. He always knew what was going on around him. Older fellow soldiers could always seek his advice or help.”

Pruhlo was killed with his fellow soldier Maksym Oleksyuk on June 7 near the village of Novoluhanske, Donetsk Oblast, when Russia-backed separatists opened fire on the Ukrainian army positions. He leaves a wife and a mother.

Maksym Oleksyuk, 23, a soldier of the Azov Battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine from Vinnytsia Oblast. Oleksyuk joined the army in June 2016. “He was a modest boy,” Oleksyuk’s relative Hryhoriy Shvets was quoted as saying. “I will always remember our last meeting – he was working in the garden with his father last year and I asked him when shall we think about (his) wedding. He just looked at me, smiled and said nothing. Later I learned that he had signed a contract to join the army.”

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Oleksyuk died on June 7 near the village of Novoluhanske, Donetsk Oblast, when Russia-backed separatists opened fire on the Ukrainian army positions. According to Oleksyuk’s fellow soldier who goes by nom-de-guerre Biliy (Ukrainian for White), Oleksyuk didn’t have to go on the positions that night but he wanted to help his comrades. “He was one of those people whom you can’t keep on the home front,” Biliy said.

Oleksyuk leaves a mother and a brother.

Oleksandr Lyashok, 24, a soldier of the 137th Naval Infantry Battalion from Kirovohrad Oblast. As soon as Lyashok graduated high school in 2013 he joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine under a contract. It was a few months before the start of the EuroMaidan Revolution. He signed a new contract in April 2019 after had been serving in the army for six years. Lyashok was killed by shrapnel after the shootout that took place in early hours of June 19 near the town of Novotroitske in Donetsk Oblast.

“He was a joyful friend, young and optimistic who will always remain a 24-years-old,” Lyashok’s fellow soldiers wrote on the page in social media.

He leaves a mother and two brothers in Kirovohrad Oblast.

Anatoliy Sorochynsky, 30, a soldier of the 24th mechanized brigade from Lviv. He used to serve at Aidar Battalion from 2015 until the end of 2017. On June 22, Sorochynsky died after stepping on a landmine near the village of Olenivka in Donetsk Oblast. However, the intensive shootout prevented his fellow soldiers from retrieving his body. After two days, the volunteers of the humanitarian project of the Armed Forces of Ukraine ‘Evacuation 200′ found Sorochynsky’s body. “Anatoliy died as a true soldier,” his brigade reported. “Until the last minute, he didn’t put his firearms down – that’s how he was found.”

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Oleksiy Karlash, 26, a soldier of the 54th mechanized brigade from Kyiv Oblast. He graduated from a college at Ukrainian State University of Food Technologies and managed to bake cakes for his fellow soldiers even on frontlines. Karlash joined the army in summer 2014. Between the rotations he worked at Kyiv restaurants as a cook. His last rotation was scheduled till July. On June 19 he was fatally wounded in head when Russia-backed separatists opened fire at the Ukrainian army positions near Popasna, Donetsk Oblast. Karlash died in the hospital without regaining consciousness. He leaves a mother and a brother.

July:

Serhiy Mayboroda, 47, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Donetsk Oblast. He was killed on July 1 when Russia-backed fighters opened fire on medical Humvee which Mayboroda was driving back to the home lines bringing a wounded fellow soldier to his unit’s positions. He leaves a wife and two children.

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Iryna Shevchenko, 48, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Kherson Oblast. Until 2015 before joining the brigade, she volunteered bringing equipment and medical supplies to the Ukrainian soldiers. She was killed together with fellow soldier Serhiy Mayboroda when Russia-backed fighters opened fire on their medical Humvee. She leaves a sister in Kherson.

Eduard Loboda, 25, a soldier of the 24th mechanized brigade from Sumy Oblast. Loboda, as a sapper, led a group of scouts, passing through a so-called “gray zone” near Maryinka, Donetsk Oblast. On July 3, the group carried out a combat mission to counter enemy enemy aircraft. The explosion struck unexpectedly as the mine was supplied with the latest motion sensors. Loboda had covered his fellow soldiers. He was immediately taken to hospital, but his injuries were incompatible with life. Loboda leaves a parents and younger brother who serves in the 27th brigade.

Oleh Zhukov, 43, a soldier of the 54th Brigade from Donetsk Oblast. He was killed by a sniper on July 4 near the Vilniy village in Luhansk Oblast. He leaves a mother and a brother in Kramatorsk.

Vladyslav Loktionov, 42, a soldier of the 53rd Brigade from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. He joined the army for the first time in 2015 and served in the 92nd mechanized brigade until May 2016 when he was taken prisoner by Russia-backed separatists. He spent almost two years in captivity until the prisoners swap that took place in December 2017 when Ukraine handed over about 300 captives to pro-Russian separatists and took back around 70 soldiers.

After treatment and rehabilitation, Loktionov signed a contract with the Armed Forces and returned to the front again. On the evening of July 7, militants fired on positions of the Ukrainian Armed Forces near the village of Yuzhne in Donetsk Oblast. Loktionov had no chance to survive after being hit by an enemy mine. He leaves a mother and a son he had been raising himself.

Anton Faka, 21, a soldier of the 406th Separate Artillery Brigade of Ukraine’s Naval Forces from Mykolaiv Oblast. He was killed near the village Hranitne in Donetsk Oblast on July 10. Faka leaves his parents and a brother.

Oleksandr Kolodyazhniy, 45, a soldier of the 74th Battalion from Dnipropetrovsk Oblast. He was killed after stepping on a landmine near Maryinka in Donetsk Oblast. He leaves a mother and a son.

Volodymyr Salitra, 29, a soldier of the 24th mechanized brigade from Lviv Oblast. He was killed by a sniper on July 11 near Taramchuk village in Donetsk Oblast. He leaves a brother and a sister.

Dmytro Lisovol, 31, a soldier of the 92nd mechanized brigade from Kyiv Oblast. He was fatally wounded by a sniper near Avdiyivka in Donetsk Oblast on July 15 and died later in a military hospital. He leaves a wife, a son and a daughter.

Bohdan Bihus, 28, a soldier of the 8th Special Regiment of Special Purpose Detachment of the National Guard. Bihus was born in Khmelnytsky. He joined the National Guard in 2014. On July 18, he was killed as a result of a blast. He leaves a wife and two children.

Oleksandr Bardalym, 33, a soldier of the 24th Brigade from Cherkasy Oblast. he was killed by a sniper on July 19 as he was trying to evacuate his wounded fellow soldier. He leaves a wife and a son.

Roman Dzhereleiko, 31, a soldier of the 24th Brigade from Khmelnytskiy Oblast. On the evening of July 19, he was carrying out engineering work to reinforce his unit positions in the Maryinka area when a sniper shot him. A military doctor tended to him but Dzhereleiko died later in a Kurakhove hospital from blood loss. He leaves a wife and a son.

Semen Rumyhin, 21, a soldier of the 25th Brigade from Dnipro. He joined the army in early 2019 and died as he stepped on a landmine near the town Shchastya trying to rescue his wounded fellow soldier. He leaves his parents in Dnipro.

Mykyta Skitchenko, 19, a soldier of the 25th Brigade from Luhansk Oblast. He died as he stepped on a landmine near the town Shchastya. Skitchenko was the only son.

August:

Oleksandr Sharko, 30, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Chernihiv Oblast. He joined the army in 2017. On the morning of Aug. 6, four marines were killed while doing engineering work to equip the positions of their unit near the village of Pavlopil in the south of Donetsk Oblast. Sharko was killed as a result of hostile shelling and explosion injuries, which were incompatible with life. He leaves his parents.

Vladyslav Rak, 20, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Chernihiv Oblast. He joined the army when he was 18. Rak was one of the four marines killed during engineering work to equip the positions of their unit near the village of Pavlopil in the south of Donetsk Oblast. He leaves his parents, sister and a brother.

Serhiy Shandra, 24, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Vinnytsia Oblast. He was enlisted in the army in 2018. Shandra was one of the four marines killed during engineering work to equip the positions of their unit near the village of Pavlopil in the south of Donetsk Oblast. He leaves a mother and a sister.

Vasyl Kurdov, 20, a soldier of the 36th Separate Coastal Defence Brigade from Mykolaiv Oblast. Kurdov was the youngest among the four marines who were killed on Aug. 6 during engineering work to equip the positions of their unit near the village of Pavlopil in Donetsk Oblast. Kurdov turned 20 in May. He leaves his parents and two younger brothers.

Roman Romanenko, 25, a soldier of Azov Battalion of the National Guard of Ukraine. Since the end of 2015, he was serving as a sniper. Romanenko was killed on Aug. 10 as a result of blasting at the Svitlodarska Duha bulge in Donbas.

Vasyl Yevstyhneyev, 38, a soldier of the 72nd mechanized brigade from Kirovohrad Oblast. He was killed when Russia-backed fighters opened fire at the Ukrainian army positions near the village of Vilniy in Luhansk Oblast.

Tykhon Kurbatov, 26, a soldier of the 24th Brigade from Luhansk Oblast. He was enlisted in the army in 2013 and in two years signed the contract to continue his service. In May 2019, Kurbatov was awarded a medal “For military service.” He was killed as a result of a shootout near the village of Shumy in Donetsk Oblast. He leaves his parents and a sister.

 

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