Yurii Hordiichuk

Yurii Hordiichuk

“Yurii is my rock. He is a kind, sensitive, and caring person. He will always come to the rescue and provide support. He is like a personal guardian angel for me. If he’s not there, it feels as if a part of me has been torn off. The hardest thing is when you dream that he’s come back home, only to awaken to his absence. We miss him terribly and desperately await his return,” says Yuliia Hordiichuk, the sister of Yurii Hordiichuk, a soldier of the 53rd Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, who has been held captive by the illegal “DPR” militant group since May 2019.

Before the war, Yurii Hordiichuk was a private entrepreneur, and his work was drilling wells. Relatives described him as a sensitive person who would come to the aid of others at any time. “He is a very good man, he has many friends. He has always been cheerful--the life of the party, as they say,” says Nataliia Hordiichuk, Yurii's mother.

On May 22, 2019, near the village of Novotroitske, a car with eight soldiers, including Yurii Hordiichuk, mistakenly drove into the temporarily occupied territory. There, at the enemy's checkpoint, the Ukrainian soldiers were taken prisoner by representatives of illegal armed groups.

On October 30, 2019, the so-called “trial” of prisoners took place. Representatives of illegal armed groups accused Yurii Hordiichuk of “terrorism and a call to depose the “DPR” government” and sentenced the Ukrainian soldier to 17 years in prison. Now Yurii is in Makiivka penitentiary #32. The Ukrainian side has included Yurii in the exchange lists, but the “DPR” has not yet confirmed it. 

“He doesn't complain about his health. He is a healthy man, only 38 years old. But he has suffered a nervous breakdown. A psychologist was sent to him,” says Nataliia Hordiichuk, the mother of the Ukrainian prisoner. “It is difficult for us without him. It is a pity that he is not with his family, not with his 11-year-old son, whom he had been raising as a single father.”