Ukraine’s Border Guard Service awards a retiree for downing a Russian fighter jet

September 2,2022 1509
Ukraine’s Border Guard Service awards a retiree for downing a Russian fighter jet

Valeriy Fedorovych, a 72-year-old retiree from Chernihiv, is rather terse when he describes the downing of a Russian fighter: “The scumbag hookh and fell.” For this “hookh” he has been recently decorated with a medal “For Assistance in Guarding the State Border.”

In March, when the Russian invaders were incessantly bombing Chernihiv, Fedorovych saw the enemy Su-34 in the sky. He grabbed his carbine and started shooting while running and encouraging Ukrainian soldiers to do the same: “Guys, we need to bring it down!”

“We banged at the aircraft when it was doing a go-around,” Valeriy Fedorovych recalls. “The border guards, the guys from the Territorial Defense, and I, we all were shooting. How many times did I shoot? How can I remember? We banged once, then again, then we saw smoke coming out of it. But I will never tell you that it was just me who downed it.”

The fighter’s cockpit door fell near Fedorovych’s house and is now in his garage. “I don’t need this door,” says he. “Probably, this Russian junk should be given over to a museum. The guys said that they would possibly put it up to an auction and send the money to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.”

It’s hard to say how much could the door fetch at an auction but the fact is that the $50 million fighter was downed at the cost of a few dozen cartridges. And we will never know how many lives of their fellow citizens the “fighter hunters” have saved by downing that Russian “scumbag.”

Shooting at the enemy aircraft was not Fedorovych’s only business during that first month of the full-scale war. He brought firewood to defenders of Ukraine, lent them a hand in making trench shelters and cooking, and sheltered people in his cellar against bombing. And he says he would join the army right now if not for his age.

Today is the 191st day of the war that the Kremlin thought would last for not longer than a week. They just left out Valeriy Fedorovych in their strategic calculations.

Sources used:; State Border Guard Service of Ukraine;; VSN;