May 29, Ukrainians remember Major General Serhiy Kulchytsky, the top-rank military officer and the participant in Donbas conflict. It is the fifth anniversary of his death in the skies over Donbas in May 2014.
Kulchytsky had a military upbringing. His father served with Soviet forces stationed in East Germany. Kulchytsky graduated from the Ussuriysk military college in the Soviet Far East in 1981. He went on to train at the Far Eastern Higher Military Command School in the city of Blagoveshchensk, attaining a distinction in 1985. His military career began with the role of marine platoon commander at the Soviet Northern Fleet, based in Murmansk. Kulchytsky served in the Soviet Northern Fleet until the dissolution of the Union. Once Ukraine became an independent state, Kulchytsky moved to western Ukraine and became deputy commander of a National Guard battalion in Ternopil in 1992. Moving up the ranks, he became the battalion's commander in 1994. In 2010 he was appointed deputy commander of the Western Command of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry's troops by President Viktor Yanukovych.
On May 29, 2014, Kulchytsky and another 14 soldiers were on board of Mi-8 transport helicopter, which carried them to Karachun mountain in Donetsk region. They were supposed to be deployed for a military operation there. On its way to the designated location, the helicopter was downed by an anti-aircraft missile. It was fired by Russian militants who controlled the adjacent area. Kulchytsky and his companions deceased.
The Ukrainian Parliament paid tribute to the Major General with the moment of silence. On the morning session on May 29, Parliamentary Speaker Andriy Parubiy said the following: 'It's the fifth anniversary of the death of the hero of Ukraine, General Serhiy Kulchytsky. I'm honored to have known him in person. Together with him, in spring 2014, we created the first volunteer battalion from the Self-Defense of Maidan. He was a true father to our boys. The General knew what responsibility means; he personally reported for his fighters and the state. A great Ukrainian and a great warrior. Eternal memory and glory to the loyal son of the Ukrainian people, General Kulchytsky', Parubiy said.