Mourners on Maidan bid farewell to “Uncle Kolya” and “Raven”

Mourners on Maidan bid farewell to "Uncle Kolya" and "Raven"

Mourners on Maidan bid farewell to "Uncle Kolya" and "Raven" 

Stories from the Front, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

Several hundred people fell on their knees before the coffins of two Aidar fighters during the memorial service held at Ploshcha Nezlezhnosti (Independence Square)in Kyiv.


Mykola Kuliba from Rivne was known as “Uncle Kolya”. He went to war two years ago with a group of men that he formed during the Revolution of Dignity. He was commander of a military division. His friends and brothers remember him fondly:

“Uncle Kolya was his call sign. He used to be a captain in the police force. He was a good man. He never called his boys by their name, but referred to them fondly as “my sons”. He took care of everyone, found volunteers, dug up clothes for his men, protected them, and was always first in line.”

Serhiy Baula, a volunteer fighter from Kyiv, was known as “Raven”. He spent almost a year and a half at the front. His friends remember him warmly:

“Serhiy was always laughing. We asked him why he laughed so much… “I never go into combat without a smile!”- he would say jokingly.”

Both men were on a combat mission near Mariyinka when their vehicle hit an anti-tank mine and exploded. Kyiv citizens and demobilized soldiers came to pay their respects to the two heroes.

According to official statistics, May 24 was the deadliest day in 2016: seven Ukrainian soldiers were killed and nine wounded.



Translated by: Christine Chraibi

Since you’re here – we have a favor to ask. Russia’s hybrid war against Ukraine is ongoing, but major news agencies have gone away. But we’re here to stay, and will keep on providing quality, independent, open-access information on Ukrainian reforms, Russia’s hybrid war, human rights violations, political prisoners, Ukrainian history, and more. We are a non-profit, don’t have any political sponsors, and never will. If you like what you see, please help keep us online with a donation!

Tags: , ,

  • Randolph Carter

    Dig my grave and raise my barrow
    By the Dnieper-side
    In Ukraina, my own land,
    A fair land and wide.
    I will lie and watch the cornfields,
    Listen through the years
    To the river voices roaring,
    Roaring in my ears.

    When I hear the call
    Of the racing flood,
    Loud with hated blood,
    I will leave them all,
    Fields and hills; and force my way
    Right up to the Throne
    Where God sits alone;
    Clasp His feet and pray…
    But till that day
    What is God to me?

    Bury me, be done with me,
    Rise and break your chain,
    Water your new liberty
    With blood for rain.
    Then, in the mighty family
    Of all men that are free,
    May be sometimes, very softly
    You will speak of me?

    Taras Shevchenko – “The Testament”
    Translated by John Weir, Toronto, 1961

  • Evelyn Myketa Livingston

    Vichnaya pamyat !!