Widow of Ukrainian defender killed near Izyum shares his story

21 September, 01:43 PM
Serhiy Sova has been defending Ukraine since 2014 (Photo:fakty.ua)

Serhiy Sova has been defending Ukraine since 2014 (Photo:fakty.ua)

The wife of Serhiy Sova, a deceased soldier of the Kholodnyi Yar 93rd Mechanized Brigade, has told public broadcaster UA:PBC that he had been missing for five months, since April 19.

The body of Oksana Sova’s husband, was found with a blue and yellow band on its wrist during the exhumation in a mass grave in Izyum, Kharkiv Oblast.

His wife recognized his body from a photo that was circulating on social media.

Sova had been fighting in the Anti-Terrorist Operation and Joint Forces Operation since 2014. He then signed a contract with the 93rd Mechanized Brigade, and at the time of the full-scale Russian invasion he was already serving under contract.

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He had wanted to get a medical qualification and in February was at the Desna training center. From Feb. 24 he was assigned to another unit and performed combat missions in Chernihiv Oblast. Later, the soldier went to the Kharkiv axis with his unit and continued to fight near Izyum.

Oksana Sova said that she had talked to her husband every day whenever there was a connection, or texted him if there was none. The last time they talked was on April 19.

"At that time there were heavy battles for several days in a row, they were blasted by bombers, artillery, and tanks; the forces were, unfortunately, unequal, (and) ours lacked support,” she recalled.

“Serhiy said he did not know how it would pan out, but the guys would not give up a single meter of our land, would not retreat. And that’s what happened. And then the connection with him was cut off. Then the brigade informed me that at 10.00 a.m. there was a heavy battle in the Izyum sector and after the battle he was no longer at the position.”

After Izyum's liberation, the soldier's wife followed the updates daily and on Friday, after the exhumation, she recognized him from the photo. She added that her 14-year-old son Marat, seeing that she was distraught, wrote a letter to the president of Ukraine asking him to facilitate the speedy return of his father's body home.

"I hope the president will receive it and see how proud Marat is of his father, how he wants everyone to be proud of him,” Oksana Sova added.

“Yes, Marat is a teenager, but he was brought up by his father and he is already like a real man.”

Now the official identification is to take place, after which the body of Serhiy Sova will be given to the family in his hometown Nikopol for a dignified funeral.

"His death is my pain for life, but I am a soldier's wife,” the widow said.

“Since 2014, he has taught me to take the blows of fate steadily, taught me to be strong. I knew that I could always call him in any difficulties, even if he was a hundred kilometers away. He was always number one for me and my children. Now I want to call him so much, but, unfortunately, I have nowhere to call.”

Mass graves were discovered in a forest belt on the territory of Izyum on Sept. 15. The head of the Kharkiv regional police investigation department, Serhiy Bolvinov, said that about 440 graves were found near the city.

The head of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration Oleg Synegubov said that the mass graves contain bodies of civilians with traces of violent death and torture. According to him, among the exhumed bodies, 99% have signs of violent death.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the Russian troops had repeated the same crimes in Izyum as they had committed in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast.

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