Piece of takeoff strip - in memory of "cyborgs"
On the 16x January 2018, at Battle for Kyiv 1943 National Museum-Preserve (Novi Petrivtsi Village, Kyiv Region) took place the event "Cyborgs. Heroes don't die", dedicated to the third anniversary of defense of Donetsk airport by the Ukrainian servicemen which lasted for 242 days (May 2014 - January 2015).
To honor the memory of fallen soldiers in one of the halls of the museum there gathered more than 50 people – representatives of local and regional authorities, ATO participants, the military, relatives and colleagues of the victims, pupils of the local schools, museum staff, volunteers, among whom one could also see participants of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission headed by Yaroslav Zhylkin.
The event was started under the Anthem of Ukraine performed by the defenders of Donetsk Airport caught on video during those events.
Museum Director - Ivan Petrovich Vikhovan – briefly familiarized with the history of defense of Donetsk Airport, and then gave the floor to the witness and the participant of those events – the Commander of the 90th battalion of the 81st separate airmobile brigade named after Hero Of Ukraine Ivan Zubkov, - Baranov Vitaliy Anatolyevich.
Vitaliy Baranov recalled about his fellow soldier, asked pardon of the relatives for not being able to save all his subordinates, protect and return home alive...
The floor was given to the representatives of local authorities. They thanked "cyborgs" for their exploit and awarded them with Commemorative Badges For Defense of Donetsk Airport. Those present ATO soldiers were awarded with state awards, namely, Order For Courage and President Badge For Participation in the Antiterrorist operation".
Posthumously they awarded one of the deceased "cyborgs" Konstantin Nepop, having handed his mother Vera Grigorievna –with the Commemorative Badge For Defense of Donetsk Airport.
Yaroslav Aleksandrovich Zhylkin, Head of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission shared his memories about voluntary work in the territory of Donetsk Airport,
"...We were let in into the airport only once and we conducted search works there. Unfortunately, not many people were managed to find... I know that there are still deceased guys there, and we'll try to do our best to find them..."
Head of the voluntary mission also handed out the museum a fragment of takeoff strip's pavement from Donetsk Airport. A piece of concrete was taken during search works in October 2015. Museum Director Ivan Petrovich Vikhovan – thanked Yaroslav Zhylkin for the "gift" and promised that the exhibit would take a worthy place at the exhibition dedicated to the ATO.
Participants were also shown a documentary film about the defense of Donetsk Mission. Many of them could not hold back the tears...
The event ended with laying the flowers in the hall of ATO Remembrance and to the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.