Yevhen Korostelev, Another Ukrainian Hero, Dies in War
Yevhen Korostelev, who died in the evening on Nov. 19, was laid to rest in Sumy. In September he was appointed commander of the 128th mountain assault brigade. During an inspection of forward positions on Oct. 10 he was severely wounded. Doctors fought for his life for a week, but were not able to save him
“He was a commander that was respected by soldiers, that performed his work with dignity. His distinctive trait was this Slobozhanshchyna cossack character. He defended his country. I saw a great commander in him as a son of a lineage of cossacks from Slobozhanshchyna,” Chaplain Andriy Brynchak said.
Korostelev, a career officer, was thought of as a legend. His service started at the Sumy Cadet School. He graduated as a lieutenant. He was returned home after his death, a colonel.
“Twenty years ago on these parade grounds, Yevhen received his lieutenant epaulets. People saw a great future for him. He did not serve in ordinary regiments, but in the best airborne units, that were always on the first line of Ukrainian defense. Everyone is mourning today. Our country, our friends. On behalf of the National Security and Defense Council I express condolences to his wife, comrades and all of those who loved and will love our brother,” First Deputy Staff of the Ukrainian National Council on Security and Defense Mykhailo Koval said.
He started his service 20 years ago in the 25th separate airborne brigade. Recently he was deputy commander and was in charge of artillery. After that, he was promoted to commander. His subordinates remember him as an example of a real officer, and a soldier that valued human life the most.
“He knew everything about everyone. He knew what was happening in soldiers’ families, and how their parents are doing. He would listen to everyone’s problems and help people. He was just. He was tough but just,” Deputy Commander 25th Airborne Brigade Rear Housing Division Serhiy Pokushchenko said.
Korostelev was one of the first people to go to war. His comrades could not believe the news that he died.
“Having in mind his ingenuity and unorthodox decisions he made in various combat situations, we can, without a doubt, say that he was a legendary commander. Who among the artillerymen doesn’t know Colonel Korostylev? He is well known not only in our brigade – he is well known all around Ukraine and in the armed forces,” Acting Commander of the 25th Airborne Brigade Roman Zabrodskiy said.
Around a month ago Korostylev was appointed head of the 128th mountain assault brigade.
“The first words he said in the brigade is that we are now a big family,” Deputy Commander of the 128th Mountain-Storm Assembly Brigade Evheniy Bondar said.
“He demonstrated that he was an inspiring commander. He was courageous, animated. He never demanded the impossible, everything was straight to the point. I believe he was a great commander of our brigade,” Press Officer of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade Bohdan Petryk said.
The 128th brigade became the last place where he served. On Nov. 12 during an inspection of forward positions, he tripped a mine. He lost his leg and was delivered in grave condition to a hospital in Kharkiv.
“The investigation has several versions of what happened. It could have been an explosion of an IED or a shell fired from the side of the opponent. Because one of the soldiers heard an explosion sound coming from the side of enemy trenches. Yet the injuries paint a different picture. When the shrapnel is inspected we could give more details,” Bondar said.
Doctors fought for his life for a week, but on Nov. 19 his heart stopped. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky posthumously awarded Colonel Korostelev, the Bohdan Khmelnytsky Award of Second Degree. He had a wife and a daughter. In October, Korostelev had turned 38.