Fallen Defenders of January 2022

This is a summary of the original article by Novynarnia.

January 2022 was one of the “quietest” months since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has been going on for almost eight years. Winter, new ceasefire agreements in the Joint Forces Operation zone, deterrence amid reports of the horde near the border…

The enemy fired 65 shooting attacks in January. Nine Ukrainian soldiers were wounded.

Four people died as a result of hostilities.

Ihor Tychyna, Ilia Suprun, Vitalii Petrenko, Viktor Kucherenko.

The youngest defender was 20 years old, the oldest one — 51.

Senior lieutenant and three soldiers.

The lives of two of them were cut short by enemy snipers, and two were blown up by land mines.

Rest in peace, guys. Ukraine will not forget you.

Ihor Tychyna

Soldier Ihor Tychyna

Ihor died 20 days shy of his 21st birthday. While most Ukrainians celebrated New Year’s Eve, the young man fought for his life in the intensive care unit of Kharkiv Hospital, where he was wounded after a serious injury on December 27, 2021…

Ihor Tychyna was born on January 21, 2001, in the town of Korosten in the Zhytomyr Region. He graduated from school №10, where his grandfather worked as a drawing teacher before retiring. After school, he joined Korosten City College.

“Ihor studied very well. After graduation, he tried to enter the university but failed — so he went to a technical school. Volleyball was his hobby. He played for the Zhytomyr region’s national team, went to training and took on competitions. He was a candidate for the youth volleyball team of Ukraine,” says school principal Leonid Demchuk.

After the tragic death of his father, Ihor became a real support for his mother and sisters.

After graduating from college, the young man was drafted into the army. There he decided to sign a contract with the Armed Forces.

Sniper of the 2nd air assault division at the 2nd air assault platoon, 1st air assault company, 13th separate air assault battalion, 95th separate air assault brigade.

On December 27, Ihor was seriously wounded while on combat duty in the JFO area near New York in the Donetsk region. An enemy sniper hit him.

The soldier was evacuated and taken to the Military-Medical Clinical Center of the Northern Region in Kharkiv in critical condition. For several days, medics tried to snatch him from the clutches of death, but it turned out to be stronger. And without coming out of a coma, the 20-year-old soldier died on January 1, the first day of the year.

The first battle loss in 2022, he was buried in his native Korosten.

His mother and sisters remained behind.

Ilia Suprun

Senior lieutenant Ilia Suprun

Ilia was born on September 29, 1998, in Dnipro.

The boy grew up extremely capable and talented — his family could not have been happier.

He graduated from the Lyceum of Information Technology, where his mother works as a teacher. Her only son, Ilia was fond of programming.

“At school, he played sports. We also called him a “gutta-percha boy” because of his flexibility. He did gymnastics and athletics. He was very enduring and physically fit. This helped him a lot during his service in Donbas. Yet, as he himself admitted, the service was not easy,” the soldier’s godmother Hanna Kyrychenko told Obozrevatel.

While still studying at the lyceum, Ilia made special shelves for the school aerospace museum, which houses exhibits dedicated to the heroes. Now Ilia’s portrait will stand on one of the shelves.

“He had very high potential. Graduates of this lyceum work in international IT companies, in the economic sphere, are engaged in politics. Ilia had a great future ahead. But he was also a patriot of Ukraine. His graduation from the lyceum coincided with the beginning of the war in the east, and he decided to defend the Motherland,” said the godmother.

After graduating from high school Suprun entered the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy in Lviv.

From 2020, he was a senior lieutenant, commander of the sapper subunit of the 25th Separate Sicheslavska Airborne Brigade.

He first served in the Hvardiiske, and then in the east, in particular in the Avdiivka area near Donetsk.

On January 10, Ilia, together with his brother, senior soldier Vitalii Petrenko, was restoring minefields near the village of Kruta Balka in the Yasynuvata district.

During these works, the soldiers exploded on “their own” anti-tank mine of ™ type. Both died on the spot.

Law enforcement officers started criminal proceedings due to the negligent attitude to the military service.

A 23-year-old officer was buried in Dnipro.

He is survived by his mother.

Vitalii Petrenko

Senior soldier Vitalii Petrenko

Vitalii, 51, died along with Ilia Suprun. Both lives ended with the same explosion.

Quiet, calm, kind, romantic — this is how comrades-in-arms remember the man.

Vitalii Petrenko was born on March 22, 1970, in the village of Tsevelychi, Volodymyr-Volynskyi district, Volyn region. He lived in Dnipro and worked at a design company as an engineer.

In 2015, he was called to the Armed Forces as part of mobilization.

Then Vitalii got into the 25th brigade — and so he stayed in it, now under contract.

Senior soldier, sapper of the sapper subunit.

He spent more than one rotation on the front line, tried to spend all his vacations and leaves with his two children.

“Calm, balanced, he never discussed orders, but simply carried them out. Such people are said to be holding the routine of war together. Because war is not just about military action. Unfortunately, the war is taking away the best,” said his former unit commander.

Relatives of the deceased remember that Vitalii never had conflicts with anyone, and if necessary, helped without any requests. He took care of young servicemen and told them how to behave in one situation or another.

Vitalii Petrenko was buried at the Krasnopil Cemetery in Dnipro.

He is survived by a brother and two children.

Viktor Kucherenko

Senior soldier Viktor Kucherenko

“I trained Vitek (as he was called in the village), I worked as an accountant in the village council then. Very smart and talented guy. We were in the middle of a busy season: the end of the year, the audit. He did everything I asked him to do at once. He was quick to understand me, I didn’t need to explain or remind him yet again,” says Raisa Sapozhnikova, the current head of the Novolazarivka village in the Mykolaiv region.

Viktor Kucherenko was born on August 28, 1993 in Antonivka, Nova Odesa district, and lived in Novolazarivka (Kazanka district).

In 2009 he graduated from Kazan Vocational School with a degree in accounting, and in three years — Kryvyi Rih Vocational and Technological Lyceum. After that, he worked at the mine and in the mine construction department.

Fellow villagers from Novolazarivka talk about Viktor as a very kind and extremely cheerful man. He always smiled, joked, never had conflicts with anyone.

Viktor’s mother used to head the village council of Novolazarivka.

In November 2015, Victor was drafted into the army. Shortly before his demobilization, he signed a contract and served in the National Guard for another three years. He also performed tasks in the anti-terrorist operation zone.

“His mother has a son from her first marriage. And so he and his brother went to the front because they wanted to defend Ukraine,” said village head Raisa Sapozhnikova.

After completing his contract, Kucherenko returned to work in Kryvyi Rih but did not last long in the rear — in April 2021 he returned to the army, signing a new contract with the Armed Forces.

He served as a firing pointer of the machine gun squad at the machine gun platoon, the mechanized battalion of the 17th Separate Kryvyi Rih Tank Brigade named after Konstantin Pestushko.

On January 11, at about 8 pm, the Russian occupation forces began firing on the positions of the Armed Forces near the village of Novotoshkivske (Popasna district, Luhansk region), where Viktor was on duty at the observation post.

Senior soldier Kucherenko received a fatal wound from an enemy sniper’s shot.

The soldier was buried in his native Novolazarivka.

He is survived by his parents and brother.

Eternal memory to the fallen heroes.