Rest in peace, hero “Elvis”

July 10,2022 914
Rest in peace, hero “Elvis”

He leaped over the fire all his life and the flame of this war has taken him to itself in the midst of its hell. On July 7, near Bakhmut, platoon commander Yevhen “Elvis” Olefirenko, 33, fell in a battle as a hero. “He died defending myself, my family, my friends, and my country,” his sister, journalist Bohdana Shevchenko, posted on Facebook.

His brother, Ukraine’s former ambassador to Canada Andriy Shevchenko, posted: “We’ve just brought him to Kyiv – sunny, fearless, and forever smiling.”

Yevhen Olefirenko was born on Sept. 27, 1988, in Kyiv. He studied history at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy and the Uppsala University in Sweden. In 2014, after russia unleashed a war on Ukraine, he went to learn military skills at the National Defense University of Ukraine. On Feb. 24, 2022, the very first day of russia’s full-scale invasion, Yevhen came to a military recruitment office with a backpack, ready to go. He was mobilized to the Kyiv Territorial Defense and then transferred to a special purpose brigade within the National Guard of Ukraine. He was a grenade launcher operator and a mortar gunner, trained foreign volunteer defenders of Ukraine, and commanded a platoon. In the last weeks, his platoon defended Lysychansk as long as it was possible, and then Yevhen managed to take it out from the half-surrounded city without loss.

Yevhen was prepared to fight, and his family to live and check whether he is online. But they were not ready that someday his presence online would remain “last seen yesterday at 18:14” forever.

Maria Pavlovska, his love and his wife, says they lived one for the other for 15 years and she is “awfully grateful” for every day of these years. “We went across half of the world together, dived down to sea turtles, and climbed high mountains. On July 7, 2022, half of me died, but I am happy that a part of you lives in our daughter.”

UWC expresses its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Yevhen Olefirenko. He will always be remembered as a true Ukrainian patriot and a fearless fighter for freedom and democracy. Heroes never die!


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