9 Anniversary of the first fallen Ukrainian soldier in Russia – Ukraine war

9 Anniversary of the first fallen Ukrainian soldier in Russia - Ukraine war

9 years ago, on March 18, 2014, a Russian special forces unit under the command of FSB Colonel Igor Girkin seized the 13th Photogrammetric Center of the Ukrainian Navy in Simferopol. The center was guarded by two servicemen - Warrant Officer Serhiy Kokurin and Captain Valentyn Fedun. One of them was killed. It was the first fallen Ukrainian soldier in Russia - Ukraine war.

Yuriy Butusov, editor-in-chief in censor.net remembers, that in order to avoid incidents with the Russians, the command of the unit, as well as other Ukrainian forces in Crimea, did not issue weapons and ammunition to the guards in violation of the requirements of the guard service.

The FSB militants decided to storm the unit and opened fire. Valentyn Fedun was seriously wounded and was transported to Ukraine. 

Serhiy Kokurin died on the spot. He became the first Ukrainian soldier to be killed by Russians. Until that moment, Russians had only killed Ukrainian citizens who openly expressed pro-Ukrainian views and participated in public actions. During the seizure of Crimea, Russians killed at least 9 Ukrainian citizens whose names have been documented.

Interestingly, the first person to be shot dead by the Russians during the storming of the 13th photographic center was their own militant. Girkin's unit was created from random people for a specific task, and due to poor organization and management, Girkin's men opened fire on their own, killing Russian Ruslan Kazakov, who had been recruited by the FSB. At the time, the Russian media widely spread the version that the fire was opened by a Right Sector sniper, but in 9 years, no evidence of this false version, which was repeated by the Russian media, has been presented, not even Girkin himself, who spoke in detail about how he was used by the FSB leadership to start the war. Girkin admits that Kazakov's murder was his own.

Less than a month after these bloody events, on April 12, 2014, an FSB special unit under Girkin's command was sent across the Rostov region of the Russian Federation to Ukraine with weapons to capture the city of Sloviansk. The Kremlin knew that Colonel Girkin would continue to kill, and they needed a war provocateur who would pull the trigger. This is how Russia shifted the war from Crimea to Donbas.

Ukraine Front Lines

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