Video by Oleh Bohachuk for Censor.NET
On Feb. 12, 2015, a joint unit of Ukrainian forces attempted to liberate strategically important village of Lohvynove from Russian terrorist troops. The joint unit consisted of army fighters and Donbas Battalion servicemen. Supported by tanks, they successfully entered the village. However, as they advanced, the group fell into an ambush and engaged in a fight.
The National Guard fighters spread into two groups as they were trying to leave the ambush. One of the groups left with prisoners, the second covered it. The second group was eliminated: five National Guard fighters were killed, and some of the bodies could not be evacuated.
On Feb. 21 Russian militants found burned bodies of three Donbas fighters and transferred them to the Ukrainian side. The death of the 46-year-old grenade launcher operator Volodymyr Samoilenko, call sign 'Vovan,' was not confirmed, although there were witnesses to his death.
All three bodies were buried in Dnipropetrovsk (now Dnipro) as "temporarily unidentified defenders of Ukraine." Since then, the relatives have been passing DNA tests, but two analyses were negative. Only a third attempt in late June 2017 gave positive result: one of the deceased has been confirmed as Volodymyr Samoilenko.
On July 6, Samoilenko was buried in Kyiv. Farewell ceremony took place at Maidan Nezalezhnosti, where people knelt to say goodbye to the hero.
Photos by Oleh Bohachuk for Censor.NET