The terrible news of the death in Donetsk region of soldiers from military unit A-233, which uses Volodymyr-Volynsky as its permanent base, spread fast throughout Volyn early in the morning on May 22. Mayor of Volodymyr-Volynsky Petro Sahaniuk learned about the disaster as early as 7 a.m. and says he still just cannot believe it. The whole city, in fact, the entire region is shocked, because residents of several districts and cities of the region departed for eastern Ukraine with that brigade. Terrorists treacherously opened mass small arms, grenade and anti-tank mortar fire from an ambush at a checkpoint where the Volyn soldiers served. A shell hit a fighting vehicle that was on the checkpoint, which resulted in an explosion of ammunition, the press service of the Defense Ministry reported.
Not all names of the soldiers who sacrificed their young lives for the territorial integrity of Ukraine have been released yet, and the number of victims is, unfortunately, growing. Nine killed were reported in the morning, but four more people were added to this sad list after half a day... They were both career soldiers and mobilized reservists from Novovolynsk, Volodymyr-Volynsky, Ivanychi, and Manevychi raion. The casualty data were still being clarified when this article was going to the presses.
Sahaniuk has announced three-day mourning in Volodymyr-Volynsky, and several mass entertainment events have been cancelled in Lutsk. The whole community is experiencing pain from this avoidable tragedy. Statement of compassion published on the official website of the Volyn Oblast Council says that we will remember that these young people sacrificed their lives for peace in our country, and they will be revered as heroes.
The pain of loss is even stronger because almost the entire Volyn joined the community effort to prepare the mechanized brigade stationed in Volodymyr-Volynsky to carry out combat missions. After all, previous governments were busy destroying the Ukrainian army’s capabilities, and our brigade was no exception. However, Volynians were particularly enthusiastically donating money and helping to repair military equipment. The Volodymyr-Volynsky City Council’s website was publishing a daily list of donors to the army, and it shows how massive and sincere this effort was. Several volunteers who are helping to bring material supplies to Volyn soldiers on their own posted similar reports on social networks, too.
Volyn is mourning. It is mourning even more because the shooting was a cynical and cruel act, because, after all, people are outraged with the fact that the public carries most of the burden of maintaining the military’s capability... Even before, families of soldiers, knowing the conditions in which their husbands, sons and fathers had to serve and preserve the territorial integrity of Ukraine, picketed and blocked military recruitment offices, which undeservedly took the brunt of their anger... Sahaniuk said there were rumors spreading already that families of the Volynians now deployed in eastern Ukraine were going to block an international highway to draw attention to the problems of the army and the need for a fair investigation of all circumstances of the tragedy at Volnovakha...