AN Aldi worker who was killed in “heavy shooting” in Ukraine has been laid to rest in the ‘Alley of Heroes’.
Oleksandr Zavhorodniy, known as Alex, travelled from Ireland to Ukraine to defend his country from Vladimir Putin’s Russian troops.
The 45-year-old headed to Warsaw before joining the military unit and heading into battle.
The Ohtyrka native died on March 30 when the Donbas region came under fire.
His pal Alex Cucuet, who is a Dublin Bus driver, said Oleksandr was buried yesterday.
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland, he said: “Yesterday was his burial actually and we managed to sort out and make it happen somehow.
“Even though the place is not liveable, the place doesn’t look nice at all, we still managed to bury him in a place called the Alley of Heroes.”
He added: “He was a super energetic, funny person.
“Always the first one to be in front of everything that needs to be organised.”
Alex said he had been in touch with him in Ukraine until March 22 but he suddenly went silent online.
He continued: “I was keeping in touch with him on WhatsApp.
“He was sending me funny pictures trying to keep everybody laughing even though we were worrying, he was sending us pictures with and weapons and the food he was eating and the place he was and stuff like that.”
Oleksandr, who was a deputy manager at Aldi in Sandyford, leaves behind two children and heartbroken friends.
Anna Neilande paid tribute to the “kind” and “funny” soldier as she set up a GoFundMe to raise money for Mr Zavhorodniy’s family, who have fled Ukraine and are now displaced and “unable to say their last goodbyes”.
Ms Neilande said: “Our dear friend Alex passed away on March 30. As you know, he spent over 20 years in Ireland, where he found his second home.
“His heart, however, remained in Ukraine, and that’s why he chose to go back… to protect his country and its people.
“When Alex arrived in Warsaw, he gave everything he had at the time to those in need (women and children). When he arrived at the military unit, he kept positive and did his best to calm his worrying family and friends by joking and sending funny pictures.
“We all will miss his kindness and cracking sense of humour, even in the most challenging situations.
“This fundraiser aims to try and help his family, who are now away from home, mostly displaced, and devastated. They will not be able to attend his funerals in his hometown Ohtyrka.
“Still, we want to ensure his family can give Alex the memorial he deserves to honour his memory and say their last goodbyes. Any donation no matter how small will be greatly appreciated.”
Ms Neilande said the money will be sent to Mr Zavhorodniy’s daughter Anastasia to help cover funeral and memorial costs.
The money will also go towards financially supporting the family following the death of Mr Zavhorodniy.
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Source: The Sun