LVIV, Ukraine — Artemiy Dymyd’s closest mates unwrapped his parachute and unfold it gently over his grave. The purple, silky materials swaddled his coffin because it was lowered down.
The males, many troopers themselves, lined the freshly dug gap with filth. The first shovelfuls landed with a thud.
The funeral for Mr. Dymyd, a marine killed in motion, was the primary funeral of the day in Lviv, a western metropolis in Ukraine the place residents have seen a relentless stream of their sons killed within the warfare with Russia. By Tuesday’s finish, three different freshly dug graves close to Mr. Dymyd’s would even be stuffed with younger troopers who had died in battle for the nation’s east, a whole lot of miles away.
The funeral had begun in a Greek Catholic church, an eastern branch of Catholicism that’s widespread in Lviv. Mr. Dymyd’s father, a priest, delivered his eulogy. And then his mom, her voice thick with emotion, sang a ultimate lullaby for her son.
The procession then made an all-too-familiar journey from the church to the town’s primary market sq., the place dozens of younger folks in scouting uniforms fashioned a honor guard. Mr. Dymyd, 27, had been part of Ukraine’s scout group for the reason that age of seven. Young youngsters, youngsters and adults from the group had been there to say a ultimate goodbye.
At the underside of the sq., 4 white placards introduced the main points of the navy funerals to be held within the metropolis on Tuesday, all for males killed within the battle for the nation’s east in current weeks. Three of them by no means reached their thirtieth birthday.
One younger girl, sporting the distinctive inexperienced scarf of the scouts, closed her eyes, drew sharp breaths and clenched her fists to maintain her tears at bay as she joined the sluggish procession for Mr. Dymyd.
Scouting was only one a part of his life. Mr. Dymyd additionally beloved touring and journey, and excessive sports activities like parachuting. His nickname was Kurka, which implies hen. Friends mentioned that Metallica music would have been extra becoming for his funeral than the navy dirges that now play in Lviv’s Lychakiv cemetery day by day.
“He is one of the most decent men I’ve ever met,” mentioned Dmytro Paschuk, 26. “He lived many lives in his 27 years. People write books about characters like him, and maybe there will be books soon.”
Mr. Paschuk, who ran a wine bar earlier than the warfare, served alongside Mr. Dymyd in a particular operation unit of the Ukrainian marines. They had grow to be like brothers in the previous couple of months, he mentioned.
On the evening of the assault that ended his pal’s life, Mr. Paschuk mentioned he woke to the sound of an explosion and shortly knew one thing was unsuitable. He instantly regarded for Mr. Dymyd and noticed one other pal was giving him first help. When he noticed Mr. Dymyd’s eyes, he knew it was unhealthy.
“I was scared to be beside him,” he mentioned slowly. “Because when I saw him I felt that he wouldn’t make it.”
Mr. Dymyd died a short while later.
Mr. Paschuk mentioned he has blended emotions about returning to the entrance strains in a couple of days. He described waves of feelings, however he mentioned he was not indignant or vengeful.
“I don’t have the feeling I want to kill everyone because this happened,” Mr. Paschuk mentioned. “Thanks to Kurka. He taught me to remain calm.”
Roman Lozynskyi, a fellow marine, had been a pal of Mr. Dymyd for twenty years, having met him after they had been younger scouts. Mr. Lozynskyi, who’s a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, volunteered for the navy three months in the past and served in the identical unit as Mr. Dymyd and Mr. Paschuk.
He described his lifelong pal as a “crazy man” with a lust for all times who had raced again to Ukraine from a parachuting journey in Brazil to enlist when the warfare started. Mr. Dymyd wished to proceed parachuting through the warfare and eventually had an opportunity final month as a part of a mission, his mates mentioned.
It was Mr. Dymyd’s brother who considered inserting the parachute in his grave, Mr. Lozynskyi mentioned, in a nod to Mr. Dymyd’s ardour for the game of parachuting. The brother, who can also be a soldier, was given permission to attend the funeral however would return to the Donetsk area in a couple of days.
As the mourners slowly made their means from the cemetery, the grave diggers tamped down the earth on Mr. Dymyd’s grave to a sturdy mound.
There had been nonetheless three extra to go.