Volunteers of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission helped a mother find her deceased son

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The other day, in Sloviansk town of Donetsk Region there took place the exhumation of the remains of S. Garbuzenko, the resident of Donetsk, who deceased in the ATO zone. The body of the conflict's participant was handed over to his mother.

Olga Garbuzenko addressed the volunteers of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission with a request to find her missing son Sergey as far back as in 2016.

Then the volunteers started the searches. During this time there was processed a huge array of information, done DNA sampling, made dozens of reconnaissance trips, conducted several exhumations. For example, in the Northern cemetery of Sloviansk town they even found a grave with the inscription "Garbuzenko Sergey Sergeyevich" on the plate. But, neither DNA of the remains in that grave, nor DNA of the other unknown did not match the mother's DNA. 

Only a year later they managed to find the burial site of S. Garbuzenko who was buried as "unknown" at one of the cemeteries of Sloviansk. Together with the volunteers of "Black Tulip" the mother of the deceased one arrived at the burial site of his son.

According to Olga, just after the beginning of the armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine, the son said that he was going to Moscow to work. And then no news – only the notification of death. She learned that her son was no longer alive just when in Sloviansk town there was heavy fighting. For about three years mother could not find where her son was buried...

During the exhumation of the remains there was also discovered the amulet, which, according to Olga, her son wore. This was one more proof that the unknown was the one whom they had been searching for so long.

With tears on her eyes, Olga thanked the volunteers of "Black Tulip" for help.

Now her son Sergey, on whose grave for more than two years has been a cross with the plate "Unknown" will finally return home and mother will be able to bid farewell to him properly.   

Unfortunately, the "officials" of self-declared "DLPR" also demonstrated indifference to establishing the fate of the person who most likely fought for them. And despite numerous appeals, not so much did they contribute to the search.   

"Since September of last year "Black Tulip" has ceased to be an official structure. Before we have worked with Civil-Military Cooperation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but in September, 2016 they refused our services. But, in the result, as far as I know, today, search work at the uncontrolled territory is not carried out, mainly there are carried out held evacuation works. At the Ukrainian territory the body which will purposefully take it up is not determined either. Staying true to our duty, we continue the search of missing people and will do our best to help all who will turn to our free hotline - 0800210135. Also, we are waiting for the access to the territory because there are locations that need to be worked out on the subject of unknown burial sites", said Yaroslav Zhylkin, Head of "Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission who took part in the exhumation and handing over of remains of the deceased.


"Black Tulip" Humanitarian Mission on search and taking out of bodies in the ATO zone has been working without break since September 2nd, 2014. During this time there have been examined more than105 settlements and locations, found and taken out the bodies of 809 deceased soldiers.

The Mission is implemented with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine and the International Committee of the Red Cross.