On that day, a Spetznaz group of the 73rd naval special warfare center was conducting a task of patrolling the defense line of the Ukrainian army.
It is one of the best groups of the 73rd center. It's commanded by call sign Trasser, former high school principal, a great mentor who approved himself as a vigorous commander while drawing his soldiers our of Ilovaisk [in August 2014 - ed.].
They were conducting surveillance and took to the given height, from which Russian militants could organize an assault against our positions.
They decided to check everything. They could have avoided the risk. Just watch for a while and leave. But if they hadn't taken that height, the death would have come from it for other Ukrainian soldiers the next day.
The advanced point was proceeding ahead - this is provided by the order of the battle; there is always someone advancing ahead in order to reveal the enemy, signal of danger, or join the battle. An advanced point always comprises the best - those who are willing to take the deadly risk.
On March 4, the advanced point of the group included Yurii Horaiskyi and Oleksandr Khmeliarov.
Horaiskyi was a volunteer, former head of the Zbarazh regional state administration of the Ternopil region, who joined the army a year ago. When Yurii was fired from his position, he did not cling to the civil service, but left for the front.
Khmeliarov was a professional soldier, career Spetznaz member. He was from the Odesa region and resided in Odesa.
It went as it always goes at a war. The height was approached by an enemy recon group - up to 20 people.
They noticed each other unexpectedly - at a distance of 20 meters.
Yurii Horaiskyi and Oleksandr Khmeliarov joined the battle. The advanced point has done its job - the enemy was not able to hit the entire group.
Our soldiers turned around and together with a support group opened fire against the enemy. In short-distance battles only those willing to risk everything can survive. 20 meters, only 20 meters…
Yurii and Oleksandr were killed on spot.
The group was ordered to immediately retreat. But comrades did not abandon their killed soldiers. Trasser decided he had not heard the retreat command - they covered the enemy with fire and advanced. The advanced point took the major fire upon themselves, but thanks to this self-sacrifice, their comrades were now playing a winning game. The risk was huge, but there also was a professional estimate.
And they did it. The enemy's recon group had been destroyed. That's when the Spetznaz fighters were able to pick up the bodies of their comrades. Trasser had not left anyone behind, everyone returned…
An IFV of the 72nd brigade arrived soon and picked up those killed and wounded.
The task had been completed.
Yurii Horaiskyi from Zbarazh, fighter of the 73rd naval special warfare center, died like hero on March 4. 2016.
Horaiskyi was a well-known politician in Zbarazh, and when he left for the front, many were commenting on local media that Yurii was promoting himself and that no one knew where he fought and whether he fought at all. This is his last interview:
"Responsibility made me leave for the war. I could not stay away while young men at the front line were securing peace for us, for me and my family. Lord and parents gave me health, so I decided that I could defend my homeland from these bastards on my own."
Yurii Horaiskyi and Oleksandr Khmeliarov are now remembered by us and their families forever in an advanced point.
Oleksandr Khmeliarov, from the Odesa region, fighter of the 73rd naval special warfare center, died like hero on March 4. 2016.
Yurii Butusov, Censor.NET
Related materials: Episodes of the Russian-Ukrainian war