Valentyn Kovalsky: a story of life, war and death

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2017/05/09 - 13:43 • Stories from the Front, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

25-year-old Valentyn Kovalsky was laid to rest in Zhytomyr on May 7, 2017. He was gravely wounded during a combat mission in July 2014. For the next three years (33 months), he continued to fight for his life with incredible bravery and determination.

His friend Valeriy Lohinov, call sign “Askold”, remembers him fondly:

“Valentyn enlisted in the Armed Forces of Ukraine and served in the Sniper Corps of the 95th Mobile Division. He was young, healthy and happy… a very cheerful guy. Before the war, he fulfilled his military service in Donetsk. Then, he enrolled at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Zhytomyr.”

Valentyn was stationed at the front lines from the very first days of the war. Early in the spring of 2014, he fought at the Arabat Arrow near Henichesk, Kherson Oblast, where the situation was very tense after the Russian occupation of Crimea. He was then transferred to Sloviansk in Eastern Ukraine.

On July 27, 2014, his group of paratroopers fell into an ambush near Torez, Donetsk Oblast. Valentyn recounted the events of that tragic day:

“Our units were advancing towards Savur-Mohyla, but our vehicle broke down and we were separated from the main column. They made it to safety, but we were ambushed.”

A fight ensued… Valentyn was seriously wounded in the stomach. A 7.62 mm cartridge (Dragunov sniper rifle) tore through his hip and shattered his pelvis. The bullet then ricocheted off the metal plate of Valentyn’s bulletproof vest and penetrated the abdominal cavity, severely damaging the intestines.

Suffering from acute peritonitis, Valentyn was delivered to Kharkiv Hospital nine hours after the attack and was immediately taken into surgery. However, doctors announced that further medical treatment was needed, but such complex surgery was not available in Ukraine.

Volunteer organizations began collecting funds for treatment abroad. Thanks to donations from hundreds of people and the Kuzminskykh Brothers Fund, Kovalsky was transported to Israel in 2015, where he underwent three more operations. Rehabilitation treatment started, but Valentyn’s greatest wish was to return to the front lines.

His weakened body, struggling to survive for nearly three years, was exhausted and finally surrendered. Valentyn died in Zhytomyr Hospital on May 5, 2017 where he had been hospitalized for internal complications. He would have turned 26 in four days….

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Вічна Пам’ять!  Eternal Memory!

Герої не вмирають!  Heroes Never Die!

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  • Randolph Carter

    “A brave man dies but once; a coward dies a thousand deaths” Valentyn, I mourn with you, your family and your country. You were a true Ukrainian – brave, cheerful, selfless and above all, a man of courage and honor.

    The spineless cowards in Moscow will die a thousand deaths, the last of which is hopefully real and full of pain and despair. A brave young man, one of over 10,000, stood tall and didn’t flinch when asked to put his life on the line for his people and his country. He gave up that life for a twisted megalomaniac who views people as disposable and thinks only of himself.

    When Valentyn died, there was mourning. When Putin dies, thousands will cheer and celebrate. This is a measure of the worth of the two men; one man is a hero and another is a spineless coward, and I look forward to the day that Putin shuffles off his mortal coil and peace returns to Ukraine as it should. On that day I will rejoice, for a demented man of pure evil will have been taken from this world, and it will be made a better place from his passing.

    • RedSquareMaidan

      Thank you Carter.
      Heroiyam Slava!

    • Rafael Hernandez

      And all of this could have been avoided hadn’t Turchynov been so reckless. There is your massmurderer.

    • Scradje

      Outstanding comment.

      • Randolph Carter

        Thank you – an outstanding young man, along with his brave comrades. Knowing Ukrainians, his family will be well cared for and he will never be forgotten along with the other 10,000 Ukrainian men and women who struggle and sacrifice to be free from tyranny. Слава Героям України!

        • Scradje

          The gloating little troll who runs the world’s first troll state must be made to pay for all the death and misery inflicted by savages operating under his malevolent direction.

  • Murf

    Home is the sailor, home from the sea. Home is the hunter, home from the hill.
    Clear skies young man.