Viktor Zashchyk (a code name “Shulha” (“Left-handed”) was born on August 2, 1967, in the village of Mezhyrich, Ostroh Raion, Rivne Oblast. He lived in the town of Netishyn, Khmelnytskyi Oblast.

Viktor was a soldier in the Ukrainian Volunteer Army. After joining the 5th Battalion of Pravyi Sektor (Right Sector) in December 2014, he went to war.

However, the military enlistment office rejected Viktor because of his age, but his patriotic heart made him join the army as a volunteer.

He was a driver, and he went through Donetsk Airport, Pisky, Shyrokyne, Avdiivka.

Viktor celebrated his 49th birthday together with his comrades on August 2nd, in the war zone; on the night of August 4th, he died from a stroke.

The deceased left a wife, who works as a teacher, and two sons: 20-year-old Oleksandr, fighting in the war with his father for two years, and 16-year-old Illia.


An interview with Kateryna Zashchyk about the serviceman, husband, and father

We will never forget those people who have given their lives for the sake of Ukraine. They are the heroes of the motherland. Victor Zashchyk (code name “Shulga”), a soldier of the Ukrainian Volunteer Army, was honored in many newspapers in many cities and is remembered in plenty of families. Today we are speaking with Victor’s significant other – his wife.

– Kateryna, tell me, please, how did your husband get into the army?

– Victor was a driver of a motor transport company. Then quit and worked for ten years in a professional academy as a carpenter, plumber, and electrician. When the events happened on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, he worked in Verkhovyna as a security guard in a country house. His chief was involved with the Right Sector. After that, he was informed that he would go to Rivne to the military base. And when he was already a long time Rivne, we talked with him on the phone, and Victor told me: “I’m already here (in ATO), I repair the technique. I joined the battalion. But I promise I will not go to the front line. Subsequently, from his comrades, I found out that he went there.

– Did he reassure you or explain his choice?

– My husband said: “I must be here because there are lots of old cars and we need to restore them. I’m here for all of you! I understand you want me to stay with you. But if I leave, and everyone leaves, then the enemies will come here tomorrow. “And when he came home for vacation, his eyes shined brightly because of being in ATO: “They are such experienced people! I overwhelmed myself. I had formed my patriotic beliefs!”

– Is your eldest son in ATO now? What is his motivation to be there?

– When my son called me and told me that my husband was already moving home, I told him to return immediately. He said to me: “No, I’m staying here under all circumstances. My father taught me a lot, and my fellows will teach me a little more.” And his greatest motivation is those people and their attitude, which helps him to overcome everything.

– How does the war affect you directly?

– There is peace. Everything is fine. I hear from some people that they are tired of war, tired of talking about the war, but nobody thought that this war could have been here. We are tired of it, but the end of this war is not even visible yet. God forbid full-scale military action to begin.

– The press reported that Viktor died because of a stroke. Did he have any heart problems?

– That diagnosis was written in the Netishyn newspaper. They gave me a medical certificate – an atherosclerotic illness of the heart that was the cause of death, but there was nothing about a stroke or a heart attack. The expertise was done by the Institute of I. Mechnikov in Dnipro. As far as I understand, people live with that illness without knowing that. It is necessary to undergo a special examination to detect this disease, which is not prescribed when the medical investigation is carried out. My husband never complained that he was worried about the heart. In fact, for a year and a half, I didn’t see him at all. There was immense pressure on him because he knew his life depended on his work and many others.

– Were the militants undergoing some additional examinations after this case?

– After this incident, their physician measured the pressure of all the boys and sent three militants with high pressure to the base. Of course, they did not complain about their well-being, but they realize that it is fatigue. Sometimes you need to know or feel any boundaries, relax and take care of yourself.

– What does the younger son think about his father and his elder brother went to the ATO?

–  He is already an eleventh-grade student, graduating from school. He communicates with my brother, a military officer, and was in the ATO zone near Mariupol. My brother is in Kotsyubynskyi, and he had the opportunity to chat with my guys. Sasha immediately determined that he would work with the technique. And if they asked him to come, he would be there. Illia is a smart and pleasant boy. He and my brother decided that he should enter Taras Shevchenko University in Kyiv on the faculty of Geographic Information Systems.

– What was Victor’s hobby?

– His father was an assertive builder and also taught Viktor that. He also loved fishing. It was an essential thing for him. I cannot kill fish or cook it, but he could catch, cook and welcome us with it. My mother said: “No one will cook fish as Victor does.” My sons also took this skill from him.

-Did he have a dream?

– During all his life, he was a builder, but there was no way to build something. Last year, my husband was so inspired by this idea. He said: “I am the builder. I’ll teach the guys by myself … All we had to do was done.” I did not believe it because there would be only walls, windows, and doors. But what about the rest? To embody this idea, it will take ten years to pay out money. He said: “Do not worry, that’s my problem, and I’ll teach our children.” It was the only thing he worried about because the children will soon need their own houses. But this dream did not come true. In general, he loved nature and dreamed that one day we would go to the forest for a barbecue. I somehow still do not believe that he is not here.

It seems that he is still in the army. Since we got used to the fact he is in the ATO zone for a year and a half, it seems he will come back soon. I can’t even believe he is gone.

-Please offer our condolences! Thanks for the sincere conversation!


Viktor Zashchyk (08.02.1967-08.04.2016)