They stood up to defend Ukraine

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On the 14th of October, Ukrainians celebrate the National Day of Defenders, the Day of the Cossacks and the Christian holiday of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God, the patroness of the armed forces. This day is special for all Ukrainian people as it reminds us that a free democratic country is the highest value of society. More than one generation of Ukrainians fought for their will and right to statehood, and they will continue their fight as long as it takes. During the full-scale invasion, Ukrainian defense forces increased manifold. To resist the onslaught of the enemy, people of peaceful professions joined them.

Today we are talking about only some of the people who decided to join the defense forces. Ukraїner previously published stories of these heroes – scientists, entrepreneurs or cultural figures who make Ukraine. Now they defend it with weapons in their hands.

Pavlo Nechytailo

The leader of the Propala Gramota music band, and a member of the Zapaska duet, candidate of historical sciences, archaeologist, poet, researcher of antiquities of Podillia.
Since the end of February 2022, he has been serving in the Forces of the Territorial Defence.

Ukraїner will soon release a piece about archaeological research in Kamianets-Podilskyi, which will cover Pavlo’s work, too.

For children’s tears, for burnt houses, for all this abundant darkness
Turn me, Lord, into a cruise missile
And I will fly to Moscow.

Bohdan Chaban

An entrepreneur, a military man, used to be an owner of a pub in the center of Donetsk, and later in Mariupol, took an active part in the development of the well-known Veterano Pizza project, and later founded a vegetable business.
He has been fighting against Russia since 2014 and is still defending Ukraine from the invaders.

Ukraїner released a story about Mariupol’s opportunities as well as one of the Ambassadors series about Kyiv featuring Bohdan.

We are at war with absolute non-humans. The only chance for a free and happy life for our children is to win this right for them. Apart from us, no one will do this. We will definitely win, because we are the forces of good!

Oleksandr Moiseienko

A master of techno art and a volunteer, who was born and raised in Severodonetsk, made metal sculptures for the city and, on a volunteer basis, from the very beginning of hostilities in the east, helped the Ukrainian military repair military equipment
Now he also helps with repairs, but already in the Armed Forces.

He’s been a hero of Ukraїner story about life in Severodonetsk.

I can’t give up. I can’t, because every day, day and night, they can call: “Sasha, you have to!” And we do. We do it because, as they say, everything will be Ukraine.

Roman Akbash

A tour guide from Zaporizhzhia, former creative director of the city Museum of the History of Weapons.
After the 24th of February 2022, he volunteered in the territorial community of Zaporizhzhia “Azov”.

He’s been featured in the Ukrainer series – Ambassadors – about Zaporizhzhia, as well as stories about the cultural resistance of this city.

Zaporizhzhia is my very, very great love… This is my life, in Zaporizhzhia, I will be more effective as a soldier, because I know it very well and many people here know me.

Roman Vintoniv

Ukrainian journalist, screenwriter, actor and musician, known to Ukrainians as Michael Shchur, host of satirical news programs, including the weekly digest Toronto TV.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, Roman has been in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

He’s been also featured in the Ambassadors series about the Dolyna and Vyhoda, as well as the podcast episode “Stiletto or Stylos”.

Thoughts come to my head that maybe I will be more useful on the information front. You have to think about it, but there is no such thing as being bored and rushing there. I’m more comfortable now with a gun in my hand.

Akhtem Seitablaev

Theater and film director and actor, ethnic Crimean Tatar, director of the Crimean House.
From the first days of the large-scale war, Akhtem was in the ranks of the Territorial Defense.

He was featured in the Ukraїner series “We Are Crimea”.

Why am I here? For the sake of the children, for the sake of myself. I am here today so that there will be no shame tomorrow. No one called me to take up arms, but you try to do the best you can. We need to pass this test to realize simple but fundamental things: who are you, what do you want, what can you die for, and most importantly, what do you want to live for?

The material is prepared by

Founder of Ukraїner:

Bogdan Logvynenko


Natalia Ponedilok


Anna Yabluchna

Photo editor:

Yurii Stefanyak

Content manager:

Kateryna Yuzefyk


Hanna Uraieva

Translation editor:

Yuliia Tymoshenko

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