Day of Heroes: Dmytro Kozatsky

May 23,2022 540
Day of Heroes: Dmytro Kozatsky

Today is the Day of Heroes, founded in 1941 by the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, dedicated to those patriots who sacrifice in the name of Ukrainian freedom.  Today we have a new generation of heroes defending Ukraine from the Russian aggressor – people like Dmytro Kozatsky, one of the immortal Defenders of Mariupol.  

The whole world watched the horrors of Mariupol unfold through the lens of 26-year-old Dmytro Kozatsky.  His nom de guerre is Orest and he’s also been named “Eyes of Azovstal”.  He is a hero.  

His photographic masterpieces swept the world, showing the painful truth about the Mariupol heroes and their hellish struggle. In these photos, specifically those of the wounded, he had expected to see pain and weakness, but saw courage and perseverance, the strength to smile and joke even about one’s injuries.

Dmytro was born in Zhytomyr Oblast and studied information technology in Poland.  His dream was to become a war correspondent and photographer.  In 2013, he dropped his studies and the Revolution of Dignity in Kyiv. He joined the Azov Regiment of the Ukrainian National Guard, becoming chief of its press service.  

In 2015, he was posted to Mariupol.  On March 1, 2022, he became a defender when the Russians attacked.  “My country is steel that my fellow citizens continuously harden, and even the strongest man cannot bend or break this steel rod because our strength is in our unity. I’m proud of you, Ukrainians,” Orest Tweeted. 

On May 20, he Tweeted that he had been taken prisoner.  His final tweet read, “Well, it’s over. Thank you for the shelter, AzovStal – the place of my death and my life.”

Russian propagandists are spreading lies about Ukrainian heroes to justify their unbridled brutality.  The Defenders of Mariupol are still in peril as Russian propagandists spread malicious lies to take away their heroism.   Please share the true stories of Dmytro and other Ukrainian heroes to fight against Kremlin lies. 

Read about Dmytro Kozatsky on UWC facebook page.