Andrii Melnyk was born on December 3, 1979, in the village of Oleksandriia in a family of workers. He had an older brother and a sister. Andrii was growing up as a sociable and non-confrontational boy. From 1986 to 1997, he was studying in Oleksandriia Comprehensive School. Before joining the army, he worked as a tractor driver at a local collective farm. After serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Andrii worked in different spheres of production. He got married and had a daughter. On September 28, 2014, Andrii was mobilized into the Armed Forces.
In the Zone of the Anti-Terrorist Operation Andrii held the rank of a senior sergeant. Moreover, he was a driver mechanic of the 13th Mechanized Infantry Battalion in the 1st Tank Brigade (previously the 13th Battalion of Territory Protection (BTP) Chernihiv – 1). His old tank, which had no interior communication, Andrii named “Maliusinkyi” (“Tiny”). The comrades called Andrii “The American” because of his military uniform from the USA. The relatives lost connection with him at the end of January 2015.
On January 29, 2015, Andrii, covering his comrades who were surrendering to previous positions near Vuhlehirsk, entered an unequal battle against a hostile colon of separatists and was killed.
The soldier was buried in an unmarked grave in the city of Dnipropetrovsk. Due to the DNA-test, his body was identified and reburied on June 25, 2015, in the native village of Oleksandriia.
According to the Presidential Executive Order #37/2016 on February 4, 2016, Andrii was posthumously decorated with the Third Class Order For Bravery “for personal bravery and high professionalism, demonstrated in the protection of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and loyalty to the military oath”.
He was also posthumously awarded the Church Medal For Self-sacrifice and Love for Ukraine.
In honor of the hero, a street was named after him in the village of Oleksandriia.
Andrii Ivanovych Melnyk was awarded with a church medal “For sacrifice and love of Ukraine”. The street in the village of Oleksandria was named after him.
Rivne met the dead hero of the antiterrorist operation on the knees in tears with words “The heroes don’t die”
Recently the village of Oleksandria in the Rivne region saw off the local citizen, warrior of ATO, mechanic-driver of the 13-separate motorized infantry battalion of the first tank crew Andrii Melnyk who died 29 of January in the battle near Vuhlehirsk in Donbas. Only recently the body of the dead hero, who was called an “American”, was identified with the help of the DNA test and transferred from Dnipropetrovsk to his native village. As his friends said Andrii in the single at that time old tank that had neither inner connection with the crew nor outer connection with the command, started unequal battle with a column of separatists when covering his congeners. He was as “in the palm” for the enemies, they shot in the survey window in tank driver.
In the burying ceremony of the hero which took place in the church in the village of Oleksandria priests from other neighborhood: Vasyl Kovtash (Mukolaiv parish in village of Kustun), Oleg Kosionov (parish in the village of Hodosy), Oleg Kidun (parish of the village of Voloshku) took part.
Andriy Melnuk was 35 years old. He had a daughter, parents and a sister. Now the citizens of the village want to name the street after him. There is already Melnyk street in the Oleksandria named after Andrii’s godfather.
Memories about Melnyk A.I.
35 years old Andrii from the village of Oleksandria was a mechanic–driver of the 13- infantry battalion from Chernihiv. The connection with him was lost on 29th January 2015. At that time he took part in the battles in Vuhlegirsk, Donezk region. He was looked for among wounded and captured for a long time. Two boys from the crew were lucky enough to survive: one of then got to the hospital with wounds and another was captured .There wasn’t said anything about Andrii…
Press-Officer of the Ministry of defence Oleksandr Hain informed: Vuhlehirsk was a strategic point.This settlement is on the road that leads from Artemivsk to Debalzeve. In fact the attack of Russian troops started from Vuhlehirsk. Andrii was a tank driver who struggled to the last minute keeping the troops from entering the city of Vuhlehirsk. He gave us the most precious thing he had – his life. He was buried as one of the unknown warrior in the cemetery in Dnepropetrovsk. Only now he was recognized and identified. The process of exhumation and transportation of our warrior should take place. I hope that Rivne region will honor him in the proper way.
The friend of the warrior Oleksandr said that Andrii was an incredibly kind person and loved his daughter very much. He always worried about his parents and his brother. He was always ready to help.
-We often called each other and talked – recalls Oleksandr. I presented him Bible and know that he took it with him. He was ready to do everything for his daughter.
The memorial board of honor was opened to Andrii Melnyk in Oleksandria. For the ceremony of opening the village residents, pupils, teachers and patrons from Rivne gathered in the school yard. Everybody in the village knows about heroism of Andrii. His name was carved in the board of honor in the center of the village and the museum was opened in the local boarding school where the paintings, verses and decorative products by Andrii can be seen by everybody. Now another board of honor was opened near the entrance of his school. Moreover the basketball tournament was started up in the school because it was Andrii’s favorite kind of sport. The idea to start the tournament in the school of Oleksandria was offered by the deputy of the village council Serhiy Sinkov. So the deputes from the party UKROP in Rivne helped to buy the sports equipment and medals for the rewarding .
A tank driver Andrii Melnyk served in the 13th separate motorized infantry battalion. He died on 29th January 2015 in the battle near Vuhlehirsk. Rivne didn’t know about the death of the hero at first. It wasn’t easy to find any information about him. But after 5 month according to the DNA test it was found that he was buried in the cemetery in Dnipropetrovsk. Last summer he was reburied in Oleksandria. He was 35 years old. He had parents, a brother, a sister and a little daughter.