‘Why have you joined the army? You are not a professional military man’ is what Anton was told after he volunteered to join the fight.

Anton explained he wanted to help. The least he could do, he said, would be ‘helping a sniper to wipe off his sweat’.

‘If I am able save at least one person, I just can’t stay at home. I am needed there.’

He understood that every person has to deal with their own personal ‘hell’, and his principle was – don’t make things worse, but step in to help. Back in school, they called him mother Theresa.

photo by Oleksandra Arnautova

Anton was doing well as a software developer, and was getting a buzz from management of big-scale events.

His team and the events [he organized] ran smoothly as he knew the event management processes inside out and could fix the ‘holes’ that could happen. And later he would revel in having all the people [involved] being happy about what he was doing.

He volunteered to join the war – at first he signed up with the territorial defense forces, and later went to east of the country with 111th Luhansk Brigade.

When two their troops went missing  after one fight, their commander thought it a wise thing  not to stage a search as because of ceaseless shelling, but Anton, feeling bad about it, decided to find out if they could be still alive.

He decided to have a reconnaissance raid on his own to find the missing guys. He managed to sneak in the rear end of Russian troops – he crawled 400 meters to check on the scene and got back all safe.

His commander later had words with him about it arguing the risk wasn’t worth it. But it was so like Anton.

Anton evacuated and saved  30 people by leading them out to safety  amid shelling.

On May 24, when he was leading people from some location a mortar shell exploded under his feet.

He left his military company  with warm memories and he saved lives. Few day before his last combat assignment, his unit got the vehicles that were bought on the money raised by his girlfriend while a thermal imager meant for Anton arrived only yesterday. Let this thing now help him brothers-in-arms to survive and make Ukraine’s victory happen faster.

photo by Oleksandra Arnautova

Anton was posthumously awarded a medal for evacuation of his battalion.  My husband’s brothed died near Lusychansk on May 24, he was 30.