The farewell ceremony for the fallen special forces commander and Hero of Ukraine Dmytro Kotsiubailo – popularly known by his call sign “Da Vinci” – was held at St. Michael’s Monastery in Kyiv today.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, who arrived in Kyiv on Friday, also attended the farewell ceremony for Da Vinci to honor his memory.
The president handed over to Oksana Kotsiubailo, Da Vinci’s mother, the Cross of Military Merit, which her son was awarded posthumously.
“It hurts to lose our heroes. Brave, courageous, strong. Loyal to themselves and to the state. Together with Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, we bid farewell to Dmytro Kotsiubailo. We will never forget. And we will always be grateful. May his memory be eternal!” Zelensky said.
After the memorial service in St. Michael’s Cathedral, the procession went to Independence Square.
🕯️Thousands of people in #Kyiv came to say goodbye to Dmytro “Da Vinci” Kotsyubailo.— KyivPost (@KyivPost) March 10, 2023
📷: @sternenko pic.twitter.com/9PbIMeOIGn
Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, and his Deputy, Lt. Gen. Alexander Pavlyuk, and head of Ukraine’s military intelligence Kyrylo Budanov took part in the farewell ceremony on Independence Square.
On the evening of March 7, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that the Ukrainian military officer Dmytro Kotsiubailo, known as "Da Vinci", had died in a battle near Bakhmut. The 27-year-old was mortally wounded in an enemy attack.
Originally from the Ivano-Frankivsk region, Kotsiubailo was one of the youngest Heroes of Ukraine, receiving the title in 2021. He participated in the Revolution of Dignity and defended Ukraine in 2014, when he was 18 years old. That same year he was wounded in Pisky, about 90 kilometers south of Bakhmut. In 2015, he became a company commander. He was nicknamed “Da Vinci” because of his dream to become an artist.
The hero of Ukraine Dmytro Kotsyubaylo "Da Vinci" is bid farewell in Kyiv.— Iuliia Mendel (@IuliiaMendel) March 10, 2023
President @ZelenskyyUa and Prime Minister of Finland @MarinSanna SannaMarin are present at the ceremony.#GloryToTheHeroes #SlavaUkraini pic.twitter.com/K8hOgjMUsy
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.
Zelensky called "Da Vinci" one of those "whose personal history, character, and courage have forever become the history, character, and courage of Ukraine."
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