Espreso. Global

Ukrainian Hero Da Vinci dies. He could have created art with brush in his hands, but instead he targeted Russian invaders with weapons

7 March, 2023 Tuesday
22:49

Dmytro Kotsiubaylo, alias Da Vinci, was a soldier of the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade. On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, it was reported that he was killed in the battle for Bakhmut

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the death of Dmytro Kotsiubaylo.

"Today, Da Vinci, Hero of Ukraine, volunteer, symbolic man, man of courage, Dmytro Kotsiubaylo was killed in a battle. A fighter of the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade, a commander. He died in the battle near Bakhmut, in the battle for Ukraine. He has been defending our independence and the dignity of our people since 2014. One of the youngest heroes of Ukraine. One of those whose personal history, character, and courage have forever become the history, character, and courage of Ukraine," he wrote.

Da Vinci was referred to as a living legend in the war in Donbas. And so he was. Dmytro Kotsiubaylo (call sign Da Vinci) from Prykarpattia went to the front as a volunteer, barely reaching the age of 18, immediately after the Revolution of Dignity.

He went through the hottest spots of the war with Russian forces as a member of the Right Sector Ukrainian Volunteer Corps. He led the Da Vinci Wolves assault unit, which grew from a company to a battalion. Kotsiubaylo was the first volunteer to be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Golden Star Order in 2021. He was 26 years old at the time. 

As journalist and military officer Olena Bilozerska wrote at the time, it is hard to think of another person who would be more deserving of this title.

"I know him personally as a first-class warrior who has been on the frontline for years. I have a rough idea of the insane amount of enemy manpower he and his comrades from the 1st Air Force Brigade neutralized. It's hard for me to even remember another person who deserves this title more than Da Vinci," Bilozerska wrote.

He received the People's Hero award in 2017.

Dmytro Kotsiubaylo was born on November 1, 1995, in the village of Zadnistrianske in Prykarpattia. He received his secondary education at Bovshiv school. He continued his studies at an art lyceum in Ivano-Frankivsk. 

During the Revolution of Dignity, he was an active participant in the bloody events of that time. As soon as the Russian occupation began, he went to military training in the Chernihiv region. He was one of the first soldiers at the front. He defended the Donetsk airport, survived the battles at Savur-Mohyla, Pisky, and Krasnohorivka.

In Pisky, he was seriously wounded, and after recovering, he returned to combat. 

According to him, although he resisted, the Armed Forces attracted him.

"The entire Da Vinci Wolves unit decided to move with the Armed Forces under the command of Valeriy Fedorovych. One of the key reasons why we 'legalized' is that we all believe Zaluzhnyi," Da Vinci said.

The legendary Hero of Ukraine, Sergeant Dmytro Kotsiubaylo, was awarded the primary military rank of junior lieutenant on the eve of Independence Day last year by Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov and presented with a shoulder strap.

In 2022, he was included in Forbes' 30 Under 30: Faces of the Future rating.

Dmytro Kotsiubaylo also met his love in the war. A volunteer from the Hospitallers NGO, Alina Mikhailova, offered to help his company with medicines. Since then, they have been together.  

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