Mykhailo Liashyk was born in Dubno. He lived on 68 A, Hrushevskoho Street, app. 34. Mykhailo studied at School No. 6 and later became a student of Dubno Professional Lyceum. In 2011, he joined the army. At the beginning of service, he had a special training in “communication organization” in Poltava. In six months, Mykhailo was transferred into the 24th Mechanized Brigade in Yavoriv, where he served for half a year. Mykhailo was demobilized in 2012. He was actively engaged in sports, particularly boxing and pankration.
In April 2014, Mykhailo was mobilized again. He served as a soldier of the Anti-Terrorist Operation in the famous 51st Mechanized Brigade and fought near Ilovaisk and many other hot spots in the East. Mykhailo returned home alive and unbroken. However, in February 2015, he got into a car accident, because of which he died on March 30, 2015.
Publications about Mykhailo Liashyk
He survived under enemy’s bullets but died on the peaceful side.
Mykhailo Liashyk was the first participant of antiterrorist operation who came home for vocation and told the readers of the Skrynia newspaper about the war in the East of Ukraine. The boy lived through difficulties and grief. During the war, he escaped from the hands of death, which hunted each Ukrainian soldier in the East. But it took Mykhailo in the native land where he had an accident and died in February.
Meeting in editorial office.
The light tired eyes and a sincere smile were the first what I noticed when I saw him. To the editorial office, he came in civilian clothes. Nothing could show that this very young man had been in the ATO zone. We got acquainted. Mykhailo was twenty years old at that time. He told me that he was born and lives in Dubno. He studied in the school # 6, later became a student of Dubno professional lyceum. In 2011, he did not invent any reprimands for himself and military committee and joined the army. Initially he had special training in Poltava specializing in communication. Six months later he was transferred to Yavoriv to the 24th separate mechanized brigade, where he served for another six months. In 2012 he was demobilized and came back home. He lived a normal life. However, at the end of 2014 he was mobilized again.
Mykhailo told us, “Now, I am in famous 51st mechanized brigade; it’s the one that was fusilladed near Volnovakha. I live in the trenches, though there we have a tent. You know, if you want to save your life, you will not live in the tent. Everyone digs a dugout for himself, the deeper the better, because we want to live; so guys are ready to burrow deeply into their native land. We dig the pit, make staircase, cover everything with logs, branches, and leaves, and later put soil over all of that. Almost every night we are fusilladed. In the afternoon, you can hear shoots also. But when the sun goes down we know that danger is too close ….
That day we knew about real events in the East from Mykhailo’s stories. We did not see that on TV it and, perhaps, all that were hidden. We were surprised with all the facts but the boy inspired us to hope for a better future for Ukraine. He told how they were ruthlessly shot from hailstones. When he saw tears in my eyes, he calmed me down and showed photos and videos that proved how our boys duly repelled Russian terrorists. To my question, if he wants to go back to war, Mykhailo replied, “I want to come back because there are my brothers! And we have a common goal – we must protect our native Ukraine from the invaders. Everything can happen there, it’s hard to even imagine. But I have to be there. Today (2 August 2014 – Author’s note), I called the guys. They said they were under shooting at the moment. Later, after a bombardment, I got a call from my brothers who told me that everybody, thanks God, remained alive. But on the border the is some kind of fuss. The enemy is bringing the weapons … When we talked about their everyday life and nutrition Mykhailo timidly told that there were days when there was nothing to eat. Luckily that volunteers from Volyn brought some parcels for their guys and they shared them with their brothers. Mykhailo was too modest and did not dare to come to the volunteers and ask for something for himself …
Ten-day vacation has passed. Mykhailo Lyashyk went back to the ATO zone again but his words stayed with me. We know what our soldiers have to experience there. Moreover, they are still had to be hungry and partially forgotten. Some time passed and coordination centers began to appear in our city. Therefore, my goal was to encourage Dubno military volunteers also help our soldiers. In a conversation, Mykhailo said that people from Dubno had never come to them in the heart of ATO. Understanding the danger and the fact that nobody from our neighborhood would go to the East, I got the number of volunteers from Volyn who agreed to take parcels from Dubno.
Mykhailo Lyashyk and Samir Bagirov at that time were together and in our telephone conversations I found out what exactly our defenders needed. First of all, they asked for food, water, balaclavs, cigarettes, and even a pan. The city and district coordination centers collected everything for ATO soldiers.
In addition to products, water, and our local potatoes, which Mykhailo loved so much, we send army boots for Mykhailo’s friend Oleksandr.
Life in the war
Before the Independence Day of Ukraine Russian humanitarian help came to Donbass; and a funny life began … Ruthless haters of Ukraine killed our military with the military equipment brought from Russia. Many guys were captured. On August 24 several, dozen of fighters from the 51st brigade were walking down the central streets of Donetsk in the so-called ‘captives’ parade’. Incidentally, among them was a fighter from Dubno region.
One day Mykhailo told me, “I was lucky! There was such a danger around me but I survived. We were shot and there were splinter everywhere but I was wearing headphones and listening to music … The guys were amazed. Now, there are ruins in the East of Ukraine; and I do not want to see that all in my native city. Therefore, we do not have to be afraid; we have to join and drive out those haters away from our state. I love Ukraine – and that’s why I’m there!
Also, from his words, I got to know that the command often betrayed the soldiers. It hurt all the men there. Once one of the citizens of the village, where the location of the Ukrainian military was situated, said that they had been betrayed and there is an attack coming. The guys gathered weapons, equipment, and some things and almost spontaneously left that place. Indeed, after a while there was nothing left in that place where they were. In those days, Mykhailo managed to save his friend Oleksandr’s – those who got the boots from Dubno – life. Several hospitals tried to save his life, and when he was treated in one of Lviv hospitals Mykhailo came to visit him. Sasha thanked him for his life that Mykhailo saved. If he hadn’t done this, Oleksandr would have never seen his child.
Since that time there many different events had happened. Perhaps ironically, but Mykhailo visited Russia. He wrote me a message: “Here I do not say to anyone that I am a ATO fighter” … In early February, in Volyn region, Mykhailo got into an accident. For a long time he was unconscious. Later on he came to life and began to recover. Mykhailo was transported to the Dubno central hospital.
His congener Samir Bagirov says, “Once I came to visit my congener at the hospital. He was very thin and exhausted. He lied unmoving. He watched at me with only one eye. I greeted him. He barely replied. I was told that Mykhailo has just started talking. I wished him a quick recovery and said that we all loved him, and asked him to be strong. It is hard to reconcile with the sad news. I remember he was always joyful and positive. Although we studied together in the same lyceum, we have never talked to each other. The war made us closer. On March 30 I wanted to visit Mykhailo. On my way to the hospital, his mother called me and said that Mykhailo was no longer alive …”
On March 31, Mykhailo’s relatives, friends, other residents of Dubno, and military and government officials forgiven with young Mykhailo Lashyk. The memory of him and his heroism will live forever.
Halytska K. (2015). Vyzhyvshy pid vorozhymy kuliamy, zahynuv u myrnii storoni [dubenchanyn Mykhailo Liashyk] // Skrynia: oblasnyi tyzhnevyk [The Box: Regional Weekly Newspapaper], # 14 [April 2].
Pomer 21-richnyi boiets, dubenchanyn Mykhailo Liashyk (2015) // Dzerkalo plius: simeinyi tyzhnevyk [Mirror Plus: Family Weekly Newspaper], # 14 [April 2].