In Memory Of You

As a part of the psychological support to wives whose husbands were killed in the Russian-Ukrainian war, volunteers project called «Beloved, I Live!» was created in the frontline city Zaporizhzhia in 2022. The project lasts for 2 months and includes 8 meetings, which are divided into two parts: the first is a closed psychological session where wives work through the psychological aspects of their loss, and the second is various types of art therapy and physical activities to strengthen emotional recovery. An obligatory part of the project is the psychological processing of loss through photography with the things left behind by the husband called «In Memory Of You». Each wife chooses the items to be photographed, and some of them have no choice because after the death of their spouse, they only have a military badge, awards, or a child. Later, the support group meets once a month to continue group therapy on the path to psychological recovery. (Started in Zaporizhzhia/Ukraine during May, 2022)

IRYNA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Iryna, the wife of Vitaliy Chuyko, a defender in Donetsk region. «The only significant thing I have left from my husband is his dog tag. It is very valuable and dear to me because it reminds me, our daughter, our family, relatives and friends of the battlefield journey of our Hero, who never doubted for a minute that he had to defend his native land, to protect us with my daughter. Many thanks to you, my beloved!» Vitaliy Chuyko, a fighter of the 111th Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces, died on October 26, 2022 near the village of Yampolivka, Donetsk region.

TETIANA

«Memory of You» is the story of Tetiana, the wife of Donetsk region defender Serhiy Stepaniuk. «I chose my husband’s jacket and award because the award — the Honorary Badge of the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine «Steel Cross» — is a thank to my husband. For his courage, bravery and honor. For me, the jacket is a memory, a symbol of the military victory of my beloved, who died in battle defending the Ukrainian land and its future…» Serhiy Stepaniuk, a fighter of the 55th Brigade, died on December 23, 2022 in the village of Bohoyavlivka, Donetsk region.

MARIA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Maria, the wife of Mariupol defender Artem Verbovskyi. «The life of my beloved Artem was completely connected with the military, he really lived his work. He received an award every year, so in a way they are a reflection of his life, events and experiences he had. Artem was shy and never advertised his awards, but he valued them and cherished them. That’s why I chose them for the photo shoot as «things of my deceased lover». These things are very valuable to me and, just like for Artem, they are of great importance: they tell in a certain way about his combat path, his life, they are part of the history he wrote for a free Ukraine. It’s been a year since Artem died, my love for him still lives in my heart, and in these awards I see a piece of his soul, he lives on in the history of the events for which he was awarded.» Artem Verbovskyi, an Azov soldier, died on April 15, 2022 defending Mariupol.

KATERYNA

«Memory of You» is the story of Kateryna, the wife of Mariupol defender Arthur Sachenko. «Our first gifts to each other were an Owl and a Keychain. The Owl statuette is his favorite bird, the smartest bird in the world, and it was my gift. And his was a keychain that he made for me with his own hands. These symbols of our love are always with me, just like the fishing rod and fisherman’s clothes: my beloved kindled in my heart a fierce love for fishing on the Dnipro River. We did everything together, side by side. The thought that there were no obstacles for him inspires me to live on… to believe that I can handle everything. Thank you, my beloved, for believing in me!» Arthur Sachenko, a fighter of the 55th Brigade, passed away defending Mariupol.

TETYANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Tetyana, the wife of Roman Sakhno, a defender of Mariupol. «The most precious thing that remains of our love with Roman is our daughter. In her, I constantly see the same kind, sincere person he was. Roman really wanted us to be proud of him, so I remember his joy when he learned that he had been awarded the Order of Courage, ll degree, which, unfortunately, he did not have time to wear. We are proud of you, my dear: me, your daughter and son!» Roman Sakhno, an Azov soldier, died on May 8, 2022 defending Mariupol.

ALYONA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Alyona, the wife of Zaporizhzhia defender Ilya Voloshyn. «I chose these things for a reason. Military uniforms are the clothes that Ilya spent a significant part of his adult life in: he defended our freedom in them, although he did not like to wear them, he had to as a conscious patriot of his country. These clothes keep his memory alive, preserve his smell. The guitar was his favorite instrument, and whenever he could, Ilya played it and wrote music. It always accompanied him. At home, we constantly organized concerts where he played and I sang. And these little rehearsals were very important and sincere. These things are a valuable treasure of our love and life together…» Ilya Voloshyn, a fighter of the 110th separate brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces, wounded in the village of Uspenivka, Zaporizhzhia region, died on October 30, 2022 in a hospital in Zaporizhzhia.

HANNA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Hanna, the wife of Pavlo Osadchyi, a defender of Kharkiv region. «For the photo project, I chose an order, a badge and a uniform. That uniform still retains his familiar smell, even though a lot of time has passed. The badge is the thing that was constantly with him during the last year of his service, so it means a lot to me. The Order «For Courage» of the III degree (posthumously) is a decoration that reminds our sons that their father is a real hero, that they have someone to be proud of, someone to look up to. «Pavlo Osadchyi, a sniper of the 4th Border Guard Detachment of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, died on February 9, 2023, defending the village of Udy, Bohodukhiv district, Kharkiv region.

SVITLANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Svitlana, the wife of Donetsk region defender Mykhailo Odariuk. «Why did I choose these things? Because any of his things are personal to me, and it doesn’t matter what they are. The main thing is that all these things are connected to him. My love for life». Odariuk Mykhailo, a lieutenant of the 54th Brigade, died on August 21, 2022 in the village of Spirne, Donetsk region.

OKSANA

“In Memory of You” is the story of Oksana, the wife of Dmytro Tymchuk, a defender of Donetsk region. «I chose his cap, uniform and medals for the shooting ‘In Memory of You’. The most precious I have left from him are my children. My son is growing up to be a copy of his father, and my daughter has the same eye color, beautiful and determined look as her father, even though she is still very young. After his death, I only have his military uniform and a tunic, which still smells like him. His awards are very valuable and precious to us: «To the Defender of the Fatherland» and «For Courage of the Third Degree,» unfortunately, he did not see any of his awards — we received them after his death. As a true man and patriot of his homeland, he stood up to defend his home and family as soon as the war started. We will never forget you, you are forever in our hearts!» Dmytro Tymchuk, a fighter of the 93rd Brigade «Kholodnyi Yar», died on January 22, 2023, defending the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region.

IRYNA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Iryna, the wife of Luhansk region defender Maksym Zhuribida. «I chose my husband’s warm jacket for the shooting because he was wearing it when I hugged and kissed him for the last time. And also, the Order of Courage award, which he could not receive himself and we were presented with it after his death. He is my love and hope for life. And our children are a part of our love with him. He was my light.» Maksym Zhuribida, a soldier of the 81st Airborne Brigade, died on January 24, 2023, defending the village of Bilohorivka in the Luhansk region.

KATERYNA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Kateryna, the wife of Vitaliy Plaksin, a defender of Donetsk region. «I chose our home for the shooting and his photos are the things that symbolize my husband. Home because the best events of our lives took place here and our common soul is here. He is here, he is near, he is at home… Everything he dreamed of, lived for, and gave him strength is here. I chose this photo because he is still with us and in us. He is our family, and family is always together. Now we continue to travel together, but the difference is that he sees it from the photo. The watch is almost the only thing that was returned from his belongings after his death. It was on his hand, and now it is on mine, instead of his hand in mine.» Vitaliy Plaksin, a fighter with the 503rd Marine Brigade, died on August 20, 2022, defending the village of Pisky, Donetsk region.

YULIA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Yulia, the wife of Donetsk region defender Oleksandr Khokhlov. «For the photo shoot, I chose my husband’s uniform and watch. These are the things he was very proud of. We have a joint wedding portrait in which my husband is wearing this watch. And I chose the suit because we are proud that he became a defender, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.» Oleksandr Khokhlov, a soldier of the 53rd separate mechanized brigade, died on June 24, 2022, defending the village of Volodymyrivka, Donetsk region.

OKSANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Oksana, the wife of Donetsk region defender Roman Medvid. I chose uniform, a bullet, a coin, and gloves for the shoot. It may seem like a trifle, but for me these are the most precious things left of him.» «His uniform is the only thing from military clothes he was given, we had to buy everything else ourselves because of his physique. The bullet from his assault rifle with the inscription «Shark» on the belt is from the previous owner. As for the bullet, when my husband was returning from training, he had the opportunity to come home to Zaporizhzhia for half a day and he really wanted to leave something for me and the children to remember, but there was nothing, so he took out bullets and gave it to each of the children, he wanted to give it to me, but I started to refuse, I didn’t want to. And the coin, one of the first issued in honor of the territorial defense, was under the wrapper of his military ID card, apparently he managed to exchange it somewhere and he kept it, wanted to show it to us. » Roman Medvid, a senior sergeant with the 128th separate brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces, died on January 8, 2023, near the village of Novosilka, Volnovakha district, Donetsk region.

VICTORIA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Victoria, the wife of Oleksandr Pimenov, a defender of the Kherson region. I chose the uniform because it reminds me of my fearless lover, my Hero. And our son is the result of our great love, he is a desired child, we wanted him very much, it is an honor for me to raise my son of the hero-father». Pimenov Oleksandr, a fighter of the 197th Battalion, 124th Brigade of the Territorial Defense Forces, died on March 7, 2023 in Kherson region.

OLHA

“In Memory of You” is the story of Olha, the wife of Zaporizhzhia defender Andrii Chertov. «Andriy is my life, my whole world, my only and eternal love. We met while serving in the 47th Brigade, both of us volunteered to defend our Ukraine in 2022 because we considered it our duty. I chose a uniform for the shoot because Andrii loved to wear it. All of my beloved’s things mean a lot to me, but the most important thing that my beloved left me is our future daughter, whom he did not have time to know about because he died, but whom he wanted very much and would have loved just as much. It is no exaggeration to say that she has become my salvation here. I am already waiting for her, because I am sure she will be a small copy of my beloved”. Andrii Chertov, a fighter of the 47th Separate Mechanised Brigade «Magura», died on 30 July 2023 in Orikhiv, Zaporizhzhia region.

GANNA

“In Memory of You” is the story of Ganna, the wife of Andriy Bolshakov, a defender of Donetsk region. “My husband has always dreamed of being a soldier, and when he stood up to defend his homeland, his dream came true. That’s why I chose a uniform, a cap and a military ID. I found the bullet after his death near the washing machine. The T-shirt was in a bag with his belongings that were returned to me after his death. I did not wash it, I still cherish that smell, his smell. When he came home, he always smelled like that. I also chose a perfume, and it’s on my nightstand. This is the scent that was on our first date…” Bolshakov Andrii, a fighter of the 110th separate territorial defense brigade, died on December 5, 2022, on the outskirts of Zelene Pole, Donetsk region.

SVITLANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Svitlana, the wife of Luhansk defender Vadym Kabanets. «My beloved husband has been defending us since March 2022. The jacket that remains is the one he wore on his last vacation, a few days before he died. The flag of his battalion is the 6th Rifle Battalion, he brought it earlier, «We do not yield to anyone» is their slogan. Vadym never took off the watch I chose for the shoot, it was always on his wrist. His brother-in-law brought me this watch later, after he was buried, and I think Vadym’s scent is still on it. The badge of honor is the only insignia I have. Vadym was defending Avdiivka in November 2022 and brought him home from the hospital where he was wounded, and he didn’t tell me anything about his injury, he was so protective of me…» Vadym Kabanets, a fighter of the 6th Separate Rifle Battalion of the TRo, died on May 19, 2023 near the village of Makiivka, Luhansk region.

TAISIYA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Taisiya, the wife of Donetsk defender Yevhen Udod. «Our daughter kept his uniform and all his things are now with her: she wears them all. I start to cry when I see it… The knife was my gift to him. It was with him all the time, even during the explosion and his death. It was burned all over, and we got it back, but no one would restore it. Then my husband’s friend took it on himself… cleaned the blade, replaced the handle completely and returned it to me. As for the bullet, once, while on the front line, he laid out the bullets for me: «I love you» and his heart, and sent me a photo, and when he came on vacation, he brought me one of these bullets he used to write it with as a gift… Udod Yevhen, a fighter of the 54th separate mechanized brigade named after Hetman Ivan Mazepa, died on June 30, 2023 in the village of Rozdolivka, Bakhmut district, Donetsk region.

TETYANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Tetyana, the wife of Donetsk defender Andriy Havrylchenko. «I chose passport and telephone for the photoshoot because they are the only personal belongings of my husband that were returned by his military unit after hes death. They are dear to me because they were always with him, even in that terrible moment for him and me. He is my hero.» Andrii Havrylchenko, a fighter of the 93rd separate mechanized brigade «Kholodnyi Yar», died on April 26, 2023 in the city of Bakhmut, Donetsk region.

SVITLANA

«In Memory of You» is the story of Svitlana, the wife of Donetsk defender Kostiantyn Shykalov. «I chose his uniform, his photo and his awards for the photo project. He wore the uniform from the beginning of his service, in 2014. After my husband’s death, we made a shelf at home with one of his hobbies: tin soldiers and his awards from 2014. Now it is all very precious to our son Artem. I also chose one of his photos because it makes me and our children glad to see him, he is always with us, so we are all together!» Shykalov Kostiantyn, a junior sergeant of the 110th separate territorial defense brigade, died on December 5, 2022, on the outskirts of Zelene Pole, Donetsk region.

Yulia

«Memory of You is the story of Yulia, the wife of Artem Kolchak, a Zaporizhzhia defender. «I chose his uniform, medals, and photo album for the shoot. Why these things? The uniform because he used to come home in it. The medals… because they were very valuable to his beloved. «Golden Cross» for successful planning and implementation of a mission in the village of Novodarivka, in January 2023. The «ATO Participant» badge… participation since 2015. And a photo album with our happy past. His oath, army friends. Where we are 18 years old, with dreams, plans for the future, and our love. He went to war in 2015, he could not stand aside, he did not wait for a call, just like in a full-scale invasion… from the first day he stood up to defend his family. He was a real man and a patriot of his homeland.»
Kolchak Artem, senior sergeant of the 110th separate territorial defense brigade, died on July 18, 2023 in the village of Pryiutne, Pologiv district, Zaporizhzhia region.