One of the Heavenly Hundred killed at the Maidan 18/20 February, 2014

16 Feb


     This week, February 18-20, one year has passed since brutal shootings at Independence Square (shortly Maidan) took place in Kyiv. Most of the unarmed protestors were ruthlessly targeted by snipers’ bullets allegedly from the Ukraina hotel at Instytutska st. just a few hundreds meters away from the Maidan. Aligned with a unity principle of Maidan the killed activists were representing various regions of the vast country, including Kyiv metropolitan area. 

     Volodymyr Chaplynskyi, 44, was one of them residing with his wife and two children in the nearby city Obukhiv. Raised in a family of a Ukrainian serviceman, Volodymyr had strong patriotic feelings and could not let withhold himself from supporting civil protests, erupted in Kyiv late November 2013. According to the man’s widow Svitlana, the last words of her husband pronounced by phone on February 20th were “There are too little people here in Kyiv. If I leave who will stay then?”. 


     Yesterday, on a bright Sunday morning, up to one hundred people gathered at a banquet hall of Cardboard and Paper Mill in Obukhiv in order to honour their perished compatriot. “It is a pain that doesn’t subside and I will have to learn to live with it” Svitlana Chaplynska uttered. “We have to remember to value the lives of the people we love while we have them.” Their daughter’s teacher spoke movingly about how gentle a child she is, reflecting her father’s nature. “I have heard her say to other children, ‘I wish your father never goes to the war. I wish your parents will always be at home.’ And she’s only six years old”.

     Volodymyr’s father, a retired army officer, was grateful to his son’s employer, Cardboard and Paper Mill, for the assistance provided to Chaplynskyi’s family during the past year including this honourable feast. He emphasized that regardless the awful loss of his son the death toll of Euromaidan killings did not fade in vain. “I want to thank you all, who were familiar with my son, for remembering him as a caring father, reliable colleague, but first of all, as a brave man. Common grief over the death of such heroes like Vova has unified us as a nation once again”, he said. 


     The respect over the murdered at the Maidan demonstrated by these people is an example of nation’s spiritual uplift currently taking place in Ukraine. Small communities all over the country had created a unique broad volunteer movement in order to restore army’s poor state left by previous incompetent authorities. Despite numerous cases of government corruption and sometimes even national treason, the people of Ukraine stood up against the unprecedented Russian aggression for their right to live in a free and prosperous country. The peace agreement recently signed by all sides of the war conflict in Minsk had been a desired goal for a long time of millions of people in Ukraine.

     “My son will always stay alive in our memories showing us an example of human sacrifice for common good”, Volodymyr’s father summarized.


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