Original text by Sergei Loiko
Translation by Iryna Ozymok
Edited by Isis
A strong man in his 50s with a pale, wax-like face that reddened, eyes fixed on one point, was sitting on his knees next to the body covered by a bloody sheet… He didn’t have any strength in him to even to half-open it.
He was wearing a winter military dark blue jacket, with no shoulder straps, with a fur collar. His short hair was barely touched by a bit of grey …
At last, he opened the bloodied sheet by its corner, recognized his son, and covered his face immediately. He turned his head aside to where eleven bodies lay, also covered by white sheets with traces of blood. Small pieces of paper with something written in red felt-tip pen were attached to those sheets at the level of their faces.
A big blue spot was seen among all this red against a white background… This was a military helmet in the blue color of the UN. Covered by blood, it had a bullet hole on the left side at the level of the temple.
Ustyn Holodnyuk, a 19 y.o., student from Zbarazh, a small town in the Ternopil region of Western Ukraine, was supposed to meet his father at 11 a.m. at October St. That’s what they had agreed upon at 9am that morning.
Ustyn was a Maidan defender since November. They agreed that his father would bring him home, he needed some rest. But Ustyn didn’t survived those two hours before meeting his father.
“I told him: “Take care there, don’t expose yourself, the road is ahead,” said Holodnyuk. “He smiled saying: “Dad, don’t worry! I have a magic UN helmet and nothing will happen to me.” Those were his last words I heard from him.”
Volodymyr, Ustyn’s father, takes the helmet from the floor and is looking at his son’s fresh blood on the inside and outside of the helmet. He brings it closer to his face as if he wants to feel the smell and the warmth of his son, trying to say something, but his attempts are cut short with the words “blue helmet”… He’s falling on the chair, lowering his head, shaking his solid shoulders.
A former policeman who served his whole life for his country, he’s trying to muffle this unknown before attack… But he can’t…
Ustyn did not have any chance to survive, as well as the eleven others lying next to him on the floor of the Hotel Ukraine, equipped as a temporary morgue, according to Olha Bohomolets, doctor in chief of the mobile hospital of Maidan Self-Defence.
“The sniper or snipers were professionals, she says. All their victims were shot in the heart or head. All are killed with 7.62 mm bullets [Dragunov sniper rifle]. They were shot to kill.”
As a citizen, Ustyn’s father was supportive of his son’s striving to be on Maidan, says Volodymyr. As his father, he was against it.
“I don’t know whether Yanukovych should stay on his knees before me, but what I know for sure is that he should be sitting before an international court for what he did to my country and my son,” says the father.