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“The more Russians we kill now, the fewer Russians our children will have to kill.” Two years without Roman Ratushnyi

June 9 marks the second anniversary of the death of activist and soldier Roman Ratushnyi. He is remembered as a defender of Protasov Yar, who fought against illegal construction. He was an active participant in the Revolution of Dignity and the protests on Bankova Street. With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Roman Ratushnyi became a volunteer in the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He was a scout of the 93rd Mechanized Brigade “Kholodnyi Yar”. On June 9, 2022, he died near Izyum in the Kharkiv region, where he and his comrade-in-arms fell into an enemy ambush.

Screenshot from Roman Ratushny's Twitter account

"When Roma did not return from the battlefield, I did not believe he was dead. The report on the circumstances was contradictory, the pin on the map was in the enemy's rear, and there was an ambush at the battlefield. We couldn't get to him, while my son's documents were posted in enemy publics,” Taras Ratushny wrote on Facebook at the time.

Photo by Roman Pylypiy

At the time of his death, Roman was 24 years old. At the funeral in the center of the capital, hundreds of people bowed their heads in front of the soldier. His family, activist friends, comrades-in-arms and concerned Ukrainians accompanied him on his last journey.

Photo by Roman Pylypiy

Farewell to Roman Ratushny. Photo by Roman Pylypiy

On the second anniversary of his death, his father, Taras Ratushnyi, posted a photo of his son at the protest with the words: “Never be afraid of anything.”

On the eve of the anniversary, Roman's mother, poet Svitlana Povaliaieva, painfully recalls the moment of identification of the body: “I recognized the mole on his cheekbone and his musical fingers.”

Roman's phrase has left its mark on history: “The more Russians we kill now, the less our children will have to kill.” Graffiti with this quote was painted in Protasov Yar. Also on September 8, 2022, a street named after Roman Ratushnyi appeared in Kyiv.

The death of the Kyiv activist and volunteer was reported by influential world media: The Economist, Financial Times, The Guardian, Bild, and The Times of India. Roman was buried at the Baikove Cemetery in Kyiv. Before the burial, the flag of Ukraine was unfurled over the coffin with his body and flares were lit.


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