LATEST: Thousands Gather in Kyiv to Mourn Fallen Hero of Ukraine ‘Da Vinci’
On the evening of March 7, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the famous Ukrainian military officer Dmytro Kotsyubailo, known as "Da Vinci", died in the battle near Bakhmut.
The 27-year-old was mortally wounded in an enemy attack.
"Today, Dmytro 'Da Vinci' Kotsyubailo, Hero of Ukraine, military volunteer, symbol of courage, was killed in action; a fighter of the 67th separate mechanized brigade and commander of a battalion," President Zelensky said during his daily address on Tuesday evening.
"He was killed in a battle near Bakhmut – a battle for Ukraine."
Junior Lieuteunant Dmytro Kotsiubailo, call sign Da Vinci— Defense of Ukraine (@DefenceU) March 7, 2023
Hero of Ukraine.
The youngest battalion commander in the #UAarmy
Died in a battle for Ukraine's Freedom and Independence.
Kotsyubailo was one of the youngest Heroes of Ukraine, receiving the title in 2021. He defended Ukraine in 2014, when he was 18 years old. In 2015, he became a company commander.
He was also the first military volunteer to receive the title of Hero during his lifetime for personal courage shown in the defense of state sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
"This is an award for everyone who took up arms in 2014 and who all this time had to call themselves volunteers," Kotsyubailo said at the time.
Zelensky called "Da Vinci" one of those "whose personal history, character, and courage have forever become the history, character, and courage of Ukraine."
In an interview with Radio Freedom, Kotsyubailo said that he wanted victory for Ukraine. "As long as there is danger, I consider it my civic duty to protect it with a weapon in hand," said the soldier.
He got the nickname "Da Vinci" because of his dream to become an artist.
After the news of his death became known, social media was flooded with tributes to 27-year-old.
I am blessed to know Da Vinci and to support his battalion.— Dimko Zhluktenko 🇺🇦 (@dim0kq) March 8, 2023
This is the last picture we took with him, about a month ago.
Yesterday, he was killed in action - leading his unit into fight.
Hero who fought for Ukraine since he was 18 - non stop. 9 years of his life for 🇺🇦.
A Hero of Ukraine - Dmytro Kotsubaylo (“Da Vinci”) killed by Russians near Bakhmut. He has defended Ukraine since 2014… RIP, Hero. Eternal Glory #StopRussia #StandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/FCh72Udtdh— Mariana Betsa (@Mariana_Betsa) March 7, 2023
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