Belarusian volunteer and former Tornado battalion member, Danylo ‘Modzhakhed’ Liashuk, killed on frontline

1 April, 06:10 PM
Danylo Lyashuk, nicknamed ‘Modzhakhed’, was 27 years old (Photo:Іслам в Україні / Facebook)

Danylo Lyashuk, nicknamed ‘Modzhakhed’, was 27 years old (Photo:Іслам в Україні / Facebook)

Danylo Liashuk, also known by the call sign “Modzhakhed”, a Belarusian volunteer and former member of the controversial and now disbanded Tornado Battalion, has been killed while defending Ukraine on the front line, the fighter’s Telegram channel conformed on April 1.

The 27-year-old was killed near Bakhmut, said military chaplain Hadji Murad Putilin.

“Modzhakhed’s” brothers-in-arms have called on the authorities to posthumously grant him Ukrainian citizenship and the title of Hero of Ukraine.

Who was “Modzhakhed”?

Liashuk was born in the Belarusian city of Brest. He moved to Crimea at 14 and studied to be a sailor in Sevastopol.

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After the start of Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, he volunteered to fight for Ukraine and served in a battalion in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) zone.

He was seriously injured in a battle near Stanytsia Luhanska on Jan. 19, 2015.

In June of 2015, Liashuk was detained in a criminal-political case against the Tornado battalion. He was accused of committing a series of serious crimes in the combat zone in Donbas, which he denied.

According to the investigation, Tornado commander, Ruslan Onyshchenko, formed a criminal organization with his subordinates, which held locals in a basement used for torture. Liashuk said in an interview that he was unaware of Onyshchenko’s criminal motives, as well as his earnings from smuggling.

In 2017, the Obolon District Court in Kyiv sentenced 12 former members of Tornado battalion for serious crimes. In particular, Liashuk received a sentence of 10 years. Later, the case was transferred to the Supreme Court.

In June 2021, Danylo Liashuk was released by a court decision. He cited this as proof of his innocence.

After the start of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine on February 24, 2022, “Modzhakhed” went back to the front as a volunteer. He fought in Kyiv Oblast and took part in battles for Kharkiv in the spring of 2022.

In July 2022, Liashuk officially joined the ranks of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and was sent to defend Mykolaiv Oblast. He carried out sabotage operations in the Russian-occupied part of Kherson Oblast.

In August, while carrying out a combat mission, he suffered a serious injury for a second time. He was hit by shrapnel in the abdomen, lungs, and liver. However, the soldier returned to the front line after rehabilitation.

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