An official ceremony to honor Ukrainian soldiers who died in the Ilovaisk battle in August 2014 is taking place at Kyiv`s Soviyska Square on Sunday
Russian-Ukrainian war veterans and relatives of the dead soldiers have gathered at the square.
About 100 people have paid tribute to the victims with the singing of the Plyve Kacha po Tysyni Ukrainian Lemko sorrow song, which became a symbol of mourning for those who were killed on Kyiv`s Independence Square during the Revolution of Dignity and during the war in Donbas.
Relatives of fallen soldiers addressed the public from the stage. In particular, the mother of one of the victims said that she could not forgive the crimes committed by the ”brotherly” Russian nation.
”I ought not to sacrifice my son for war,” she said, adding that she was pronouncing a curse upon the war.
Former commander of the Donbas Battalion, incumbent MP Semen Semenchenko, also addressed those present.
Some of the participants were holding white balloons that had written upon them the word ”Remember” and the names of those fighters who were killed.
After fierce fighting late in August 2014, Ukrainian servicemen participating in the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) in eastern Ukraine were surrounded near the town of Ilovaisk in Donetsk region. The Russian military shot into the ”live corridor,” which, according to the agreement, was to be used by retreating Ukrainian soldiers. The Ukrainian army suffered heavy losses.
See also: Ilovaisk investigation
Only official figures state that 366 Ukrainian troops were killed and 249 were wounded. Additionally, 128 were captured, while 158 were designated as missing.
The Ukrainian parliament`s ad hoc commission that has been probing the Ilovaisk tragedy estimates total losses of 1,000 Ukrainian troops during that battle. According to the military prosecutor`s office, the number of separatist fighters with Russian regular troops during the fighting near Ilovaisk exceeded 16,000 men.
Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Viktor Muzhenko, on August 26, 2016, stated that the cause behind the Ilovaisk tragedy was the invasion of Russian troops, along with Ukrainian commanders` incompetence in the planning of the retreat.