You’re a warrior when you fight – in memoriam Artem Dymyd

June 19,2022 450
You’re a warrior when you fight – in memoriam Artem Dymyd

On Feb. 24, when Russia hit with all its might, Artem was in the United States but returned to Ukraine as soon as he learned about the invasion. Before the departure, he had bought a bulletproof vest and a tactical helmet. To save on baggage fees, he put the gear on, saying the shocked stewardess that he was from Ukraine and it made him feel safer. At home, he collected the rest of the equipment brought from the ATO, took an oath, and set off for the front lines.

On June 18, his mother posted on Facebook that in the morning he was “covered with mortar fire near Donetsk. Please do not call.” “Artem’s fearlessness during his life has been marked by eternity,” echoed Rev. Borys Gudziak, Archbishop-metropolitan of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

Artem Dymyd, 27, was a Plast member (from the age of seven), Anti-Terrorist Operation veteran (from 2014), a traveler (visited over 50 countries), and historian (graduated from Ukrainian Catholic University) – to name just a few – an unordinary successor to his unordinary ancestors. A great-grandson of Ivan Krypiakevych, famous Ukrainian historian, and priest Artemiy Tsehelsky, who refused to switch over to the Moscow Orthodox Church and was exiled to Siberia. And a son of Fr. Mykhaylo Dymyd, the first rector of the restored Lviv Theological Academy (now UCU), and Ivanka Dymyd-Krypiakevych, a well-known icon-painter.

He fought on Maidan and witnessed the bloodshed of Feb. 20, 2014. And in the spring, when the Crimea occupation was crawling in, he went to the peninsula to support pro-Ukrainian forces under the cover of motorcycle purchase. When the Russian aggression spread onto eastern Ukraine, he joined the Azov Battalion and participated in the battle for Shyrokyne. Later he moved to the Harpoon Battalion.

“You’re a warrior when you fight,” Artem said in 2014 in an interview, explaining why he went there. “The one who is thrown to the ground but rises again to go on, fight to the end, even if to no avail.”

He could have led a comfortable life in Europe, being an ordinary EU citizen, e.g., in Belgium, where his father was born. But he was a Ukrainian patriot.

His friends say that he lacked a fear gene and savored adrenaline. He tried a lot of sports, including extreme ones, like parachute jumping. And the story about his travel to Iraq on a bike has become a legend. He tried to be everywhere and with everyone. Despite his seeming punkism and hooliganism, he was always with a book and sometimes with a saxophone. And he lived a full life – both working and having fun.

UWC condoles with the family and friends of Artem.

Heroes Never Die!

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