Dmytro Kotsiubailo, commander of the First Mechanized Battalion "Da Vinci Wolves" and Hero of Ukraine, was killed in action near Bakhmut, President Volodymyr Zelensky reported on March 7.
"He has been defending our independence and the dignity of our people since 2014. One of the youngest heroes of Ukraine. One of those whose personal history, character, and courage forever became the history, character, and courage of Ukraine," Zelensky said in a video address.
Kotsiubailo (call sign Da Vinci) became one of the youngest Ukrainian servicemen to receive the Hero of Ukraine national title in 2021. He was killed at the age of 27.
Kotsiubailo, whose battalion is part of the 67th Mechanized Brigade, took part in the EuroMaidan in 2014, soon after joining the Right Sector Ukrainian Volunteer Corps and fighting off Russia in Ukraine's Donbas region.
In November 2022, the Right Sector Ukrainian Volunteer Corps was reformatted into the 67th Separate Mechanized Brigade, with Kotsiubailo as head of one of the brigade's battalions. The Right Sector is a Ukrainian nationalist movement.
"For more than nine years, Ukrainian heroes have been fighting for the future of Ukraine. Peace and relative safety in the rear towns is their feat. Our confidence in the victory of Ukraine is their stability and strength," added Zelensky.
"Ukraine will always remember its heroes. Our memory of them will not die. This enemy who came to Ukraine will perish."