On May 2, Vitaliy Hrytsenko, a 32-year-old Ukrainian soldier and paramedic from the southern city of Mykolaiv, made the ultimate sacrifice by giving his life for the sake of others.

Vitaliy was killed during the evacuation of injured troops from the combat zone near the village of Lyman, Kharkiv Region. He died from injuries he sustained after Russian troops fired on his medical vehicle.

Vitaliy Hrytsenko, serving in the 36th Separate Marines Brigade in Mariupol, Donetsk Region, 2015. (Photo Credit: Serhiy Hrytsenko)

In the first days of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, he went to a military enlistment office. However, he was turned away because the military base was full. So, he was sent to serve in the 79th Separate Assault Brigade.

This was not the first time he’d seen war as a serviceman. He first served in the Separate Marines Brigade in Mariupol, Donetsk Region, back in 2015 for the intelligence service. He was mobilized from the plant where he had worked earlier. But for the second time, fate dealt a cruel hand.


“He was a great cossack and an honest person with a deep feeling of justice. He completely realized the risks of taking part in military actions, but he loved Ukraine and was fighting for it till the end,” his brother, policeman Serhiy Hrytsenko, who was also a participant of the ATO in 2014, told the Kyiv Post.

Vitaliy Hrytsenko (L) with friends at the Ukraine-France football match in Kyiv, January 2013. (Photo Credit: Serhiy Hrytsenko)

Vitaliy’s death at the hands of Russian occupiers means that his 14-year-old son from his first marriage will have to live without his father. Vitaliy’s son is autistic and requires a special approach and education.

“In our family, all the children and grandchildren are regarded as our own. We care for them all together. He and his ex-wife were connected by friendship and mutual support after their divorce. She misses him as one of the family members. However, she is a military woman, and her tears are turning into rage and hate for enemies,” Serhiy Hrytsenko underlined.

Vitaliy never found his true love, as he dedicated all his life and time to his job, serving his country and caring for his son with special needs.

Vitaliy Hrytsenko with his guitar. (Photo Credit: Serhiy Hrytsenko)
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