“Blue as the sky, eyes and exceptional charisma – it was love at first sight”
– Exactly six months since they got married, how happy I am – and here is the news: “Your husband died as a Hero, accept my sincere condolences” … And then everything was in a fog. Is this life now? – with tears in her eyes told military wife Veronika Kushnir. – Roman so wanted to live, work, how many plans he had, he wanted children so much. Why? does not leave me. Why is my Romchik not there? Why did my cat die? It’s an endless “why” that no one can answer…
Roman comes from the village of Tyvrov, Vinnitsa region. He studied at a local school, then for 4 years at the Tivrovsky boarding school for advanced training in science, where he graduated from the sports department. I tried myself in different directions: I worked at a water utility, construction, traveled abroad to work. In 2019, he was called up for military service in the Ukrainian Air Force. The military oath and the course of a young soldier were held in the city of Vasilkov, Kyiv region, military service was held in Odessa. Roman proved to be responsible and serious. During his military service, he received the military rank of “senior soldier”, held the position of senior planner of the plantainer platoon of the control company, and received a letter from the command of the unit.
Roman always came to the rescue, those who needed it, always worried and cared for others. Once, during military service, Roman witnessed a dangerous situation. There were dogs in his military unit. Once, during a training session, one of these dogs, which was called Gypsy for its pitch-black wool, was hooked and torn to pieces by aggressive stray dogs that accidentally ran into the territory. Roman could not leave a wounded animal without help, especially since this particular dog was his true friend. He immediately intervened in the conflict, risking his life. In a moment, he separated the rogue attackers from Gypsy. And then he used his skills and knowledge about the behavior of dogs to calm them down.
Roman did his best to help the injured dog. He warmed him, stopped the bleeding and provided first aid. He got the whole garrison on their feet to contact the veterinary services and ensure the transportation of the dog to the veterinary clinic. They also needed money to treat the wounded Gypsy. Roman helped here too, he went around the entire personnel of the military unit, told what had happened, and began to collect funds.
In April 2021, Roman was discharged from service. Returning home, he worked conscientiously and dreamed of a happy future. He was a bright and good person, the soul of the company, had many friends, responsible and positive at the same time. Dreaming of a big family…
How did you meet your husband and how did he win your heart?
– This happened two weeks before he was called up for military service. We met at mutual friends in Tivrov, began to communicate. But Roman then did not want a serious relationship, because he was leaving for the army. He said that I would soon get tired of it, and I would forget about him. However, my heart told me that this was the man.
Blue as the sky, eyes and exceptional charisma – it was love at first sight. And for the whole year and a half of the Romanov service, I was waiting for him, dedicating poems, sending romantic messages. I came here more than once, twice a month. Sometimes I traveled several hundred kilometers just to see him at least a little.
I remember how it took four hours to get to him by train to Vasilkov, to stay at the checkpoint for two hours, and go home the same day. And over time, Roman realized that this was serious. We were the couple who, while in Odessa, never saw the sea, but we were overwhelmed with an ocean of emotions and love.
After demobilization, Roman moved to me in Gnivan, Vinnytsia region. He often went on a business trip, and I missed him endlessly, counting the days until the meeting. The beloved had golden hands, he loved hunting, fishing, relaxing with friends. We planned to move, wanted to buy our own housing, change my car.
We got engaged in October 2021. I remember how long I waited for Roman to go home, and he was always late. Already friends agreed, the table was laid. I was washing potatoes to fry at the stake, when the man arrived. I heard behind my back: “Veronica”. I return with wet hands, and my beloved is on his knee with roses and a ring. I cried with happiness.
“Can you imagine, they will still pay me for the fact that I went to defend my homeland, my people?” Roman wondered.
– The man did not want a high-profile wedding, only to invite the closest ones, – Veronica continues. – But I really wanted a white dress, and I was able to persuade him. In October 2022, we planned to have a wedding, but the plans were destroyed by the war. February 25, 2022 Roman voluntarily and consciously went to defend his homeland from the invaders. After standing for a day in line at the military registration and enlistment office, he was persistent and unshakable in his decision: “I’m going there for you, so that everything is fine with you.”
– Is this decision expected for you?
– Indeed, Roman showed amazing patriotism and self-sacrifice when he decided to go to war. His motivation was the desire to protect his native land, and not material gain or glory. He did not think about the reward, he felt the obligation to protect what was of extreme value to him. The fact, when he was told that they would be paid for their service, surprised Roman. He said: “Can you imagine, they will still pay me for the fact that I went to defend my Motherland, my people?”
This is only one indicator of the greatness and selflessness of Roman. He became an example of true heroism and patriotism, giving everything he had in the name of the highest goal – the defense of Ukraine.
Where did Roman serve?
– From the beginning of the full-scale invasion, he served in military unit 3008, later he was transferred to military unit 3028. He held the military rank of “senior soldier” and served as a shooter-orderly of the 2nd division of the 3rd operational platoon of the operational purpose company of the special forces. He repeatedly substantiated his high combat skills and ability to operate in difficult combat conditions. With his courage and devotion to the Ukrainian state, he was an example for his fellow soldiers.
On June 17, 2022, we got married, he was released for only 3 days to register the marriage. I put on a beautiful Ukrainian dress, Roman was in military uniform. We arranged a photo session, modestly celebrated painting in a cafe without music, and the man returned back to his brothers. She was waiting for him with victory, but she was not destined to live a long and happy life …
What is known about the circumstances of his death?
– We communicated via video link, and I heard what was happening at the front. Beloved all the time reassured, said that he had everything and everything would be fine. He always smiled, although I saw anxiety and fatigue in his eyes. When I found out that our volunteers would leave in the direction of Bakhmut, I decided to pass on the goodies. I fried cutlets, cooked his favorite bagels with minced meat and Napoleon, bought a few things. Everything was given to him. Shortly before the death of a man, there were losses in his battalion, he was very worried.
When he had to go on a combat mission to “zero” once again, my heart seemed to jump out of my chest. On December 16, I found out that there was a loss again, but the man did not get in touch. She began to panic because Roman always called when he returned from a mission. The next day I went to the passport office to change my last name in the passport – then a call and the news that my beloved was gone. He died as a result of tank shelling on December 15 in the village of Spornoye, Donetsk region.
We buried him with military honors in his native Tivrov. Since then, life has become an existence, only work heals. Every weekend I go to my Romchik with flowers to keep quiet, cry and tell how I miss his tenderness and kisses … I published a petition on the website of electronic petitions of the President of Ukraine with a request to confer the title of Hero of Ukraine (posthumously) on senior soldier Roman Kushnir and I ask all those who are not indifferent to support it. It’s the least we can do to thank him for his protection, his sacrifice…
Veronica dedicated this poem to her husband
I love you to distraction!
My heart has opened up to you.
I only dream of you at night.
And spend these days in sorrow.
I miss you very much.
You are far away, you are not here.
I’ve been waiting for you for three months already.
Third month without you.
I want it so much, I want it so badly
Drown in your arms.
And always be with you.
And forget about everything and everyone.
You are my angel, love and desire
My happiness is high hopes!
I have known love with you
You are my world of enchanted dreams!
Earlier, FACTS told a poignant story about a Ukrainian defender who died in the summer of 2022 and was buried as an unknown soldier. And only on May 18, 2023, Roman Semenchuk returned to his home forever – Strizhavka, Vinnytsia region.
I am Joseph Zeman, a journalist who mostly covers world news for the Daily News Hack. I pride myself on being able to find and report stories that others might miss. I have a knack for being able to see both sides of every issue and this allows me to provide readers with well-rounded stories. In addition to my work as a journalist, I am also an author and have written several books on current affairs.