Violetta Kirtoka published a report from the event in her blog on Censor.NET.
The candidates nominated are considered by the Order Council, which includes volunteer from Kyiv Ivan Zviahin, broadcaster and poet Dmytro Lazutkin, who regularly conducts the ceremonies, volunteer from Mariupol Lilia Bolbat, the legendary tanker Yevhen Mezhevikin (call-sign "Adam"), and one of the best photographers in Ukraine who makes series of portraits of Ukrainian soldiers Roman Nikolaiev.
For the first time, the ceremony was opened by two priests. Military chaplain Vitalii Papushoi together with a priest of a city church blessed the event.
Four of 16 orders were awarded to soldiers of the 79th Brigade, which is based in Mykolaiv. The Order Council has repeatedly awarded paratroopers of the brigade, who have found themselves in the hottest spots of the country since the first days of the war.
This time, legendary Artur Kashapov (call-sign "Kila") was awarded posthumously. The award was handed over to his mother by Yevhen Zhukov and battalion commander Maksym Myrhorodskyi.
Officers of the 79th Brigade division commander Oleksii Miniailov, first deputy commander of the 1st Battalion Ivan Bazarenko and deputy commander of the 79th Brigade Valerii Kurach became people's heroes.
Read more: 22 People's Hero of Ukraine Orders to be awarded today in National World War II Museum
"We are not fighting for the government, but for our children, wives, parents, for our people," Maksym Myrhorodskyi said having received the Order, which he immediately handed to his little daughter. "You do not have to be a soldier, you can simply be a driver or a teacher. Everyone has his or her own front of work. And if everyone do their job, then peace will come in our country," he added.
Hero of Ukraine Yevhen Mezhevikin handed the award to tanker of the 17th Separate Tank Brigade Ihor Akulinin.
Pastor Oleksandr Khomchenko prayed for Ukraine in Donetsk's downtown throughout the summer 2014. As a result, he was arrested, severely beaten, and nearly shot. "I was asking God: "Why?" He replied: "What for."
"Today, I was given the honorary title of the "National Hero of Ukraine" and awarded an Order. This is not my award and title; they belong to all who stood shoulder to shoulder on the prayer Maidan in Donetsk," Oleksandr commented on his Internet page.
The pastor from Donetsk was represented by Iryna Dovhan, resident of Yasynuvata town, who was tied to a pole in Donetsk and humiliated for several hours. Miraculously, she was able to escape. And now, along with Oleksandr, she testifies in the European Court of Human Rights, arguing that people in Ukraine suffer from Russians aggressors.
Marine Ihor Popadiuk (call-sign "Mongol") took his entire family to Mykolaiv for the award ceremony.
The full video version of the award can be found on the page of the "People's Hero of Ukraine" on Facebook. A voting form to recommend people for the award can be found there.
The next awarding ceremony will be held July 24 in the city of Khmelnytskyi.
For a detailed report and more photos see Violetta Kirtoka's blog (in Russian).
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