Wednesday, February 25, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Yurij Ljashenko

Yurij Ljashenko with volunteer and UCU Helps Ukraine partner Yurij Lipar
It is always sad to report that the Lviv Military Hospital must continue to expand its roster of patients - just last week, 36 new injured soldiers arrived from the ATO zone, several of them severly injured. Among them is Yurij Ljashenko, who spent 6 months defending his homeland until an attack by Russian tanks at Chernukhino on January 30th resulted in him losing his left leg in an RPG strike.

Like our great hero and poet Taras Shevchenko, Yura hails from Moryntsi, in the Cherkasska Oblast' of Ukraine. A great patriot, for him there was no question of whether he would go and defend his homeland, and he was deployed in the third major mobilization to the ATO zone in the fall of 2014.

A gunner for the 128th Mechanized Brigade of Ukraine's Armed Forces, he witnessed blatantly marked Russian tanks completely bomb the village of Chernukhino outside of Debaltseve, causing dozens of casualties (200s, as they are known in military slang) before he himself was attacked while escorting his fellow gunman to a new post.

What is perhaps the most chilling and tragic part of the story, is that even while being transported to the Debaltseve hospital in a medical vehicle, there were no guarantees of his safety. Yura spent his trip to Debaltseve protected for the last time by the bodies of his brothers.

From there, he was sent to Artemivsk and eventually on to Lviv where he is rehabilitating at our partnered hospital. Donations for Yura's therapy and prosthetics can be made in person at UCU branches or through the call centre at 1.800.461.0777.

As always, we thank you for your time and care and pass on messages of thanks and gratitude from Ruslan Filipsonov and Serhiy Tovstyk, recipients of your generosity and good hearts thus far.

Lots of photos of the injured soldiers we are helping can be found on our Facebook page in the album UCU Helps Ukraine.

Read the stories of some of our other heroes:

Questions and inquiries about this initative can be directed to the UCU Helps Ukraine committee, Kateryna Litvinjuk (, Michael Zienchuk (, and Roman Mlynko (

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