Ukraine’s Defense Ministry is to introduce a new medal for soldiers wounded in battle — a decoration comparable to the famous Purple Heart medal awarded by the United States military since 1932 those killed or wounded in action.

The new medal, officially titled “For the sacrifice of blood while fighting for freedom of Ukraine,” is the first of a reformed system of military decorations developed in spite a number of bureaucratic hurdles, the Main Directorate for Development and Logistic Support Supervision for the Armed Forces reported on April 12 on its Facebook page.

Judging from the draft images of the medal published by the military, the decoration’s design in some ways resembles the U.S. military’s Purple Heart, particularly in the use of purple and black colors.


The new Ukrainian medal will also feature a set of leaf branches fastened to the ribbon, indicating the number and severity of combat injuries sustained by the decorated serviceperson.

Minor wounds will be labeled with white or silver branch, the explanation reads, while golden or yellow colors will mark serious wounds. Award bars for everyday service uniforms will featuring only one branch, indicating only the most serious wound sustained by the serviceperson wearing the decoration.

Each of the medals will be carry a unique serial number to prevent forgery and illegal use.

“(The medal) is awarded by the Minister of Defense or an official empowered by the minister,” the military said. “In case of an on-site decoration, it can be also awarded by the chief officer of a military recruitment office.”

The department has not yet revealed any further information regarding the criteria for awarding the decoration, particularly in terms of whether those wounded in action while fighting at Russia’s war in Donbas prior to the introduction of the medal, or whether  injured warfighters of unofficial volunteer battalions or Ukrainian participants of the United Nations-led peacekeeping missions around the world will be eligible for the decoration.


The report also did not explain whether warfighters in numerous other conflicts starting from World War II — over one million of them are still living in Ukraine — will qualify to be awarded with the medal too.

According to an official estimate revealed by the United Nations in late January, Ukraine has lost nearly 4,000 fighters since the outbreak of Russia’s war in Donbas in April 2014, and, according to Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, more 10,000 soldiers and officers have been injured.

In general, as many as 363,253 persons had acquired a veteran status as of April 1 for their participation in hostilities in the Donbas, according to Ukraine’s State Service of Veteran Affairs.

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