LVIV, Ukraine — Artemiy Dymyd’s closest pals unwrapped his parachute and unfold it gently over his grave. The purple, silky materials swaddled his coffin as it was lowered down.
The males, many troopers themselves, lined the freshly dug gap with dust. 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 battle with Russia. By Tuesday’s finish, three different freshly dug graves close to Mr. Dymyd’s would even be full of younger troopers who had died in battle for the nation’s east, tons of 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 closing lullaby for her son.
The procession then made an all-too-familiar journey from the church to town’s foremost market sq., the place dozens of younger folks in scouting uniforms shaped a honor guard. Mr. Dymyd, 27, had been an element of Ukraine’s scout group for the reason that age of 7. Young youngsters, youngsters and adults from the group had been there to say a closing goodbye.
At the underside of the sq., 4 white placards introduced the small print of the army 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 30th birthday.
One younger girl, carrying 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 half of his life. Mr. Dymyd additionally cherished touring and journey, and excessive sports activities like parachuting. His nickname was Kurka, which implies rooster. Friends mentioned that Metallica music would have been extra becoming for his funeral than the army dirges that now play in Lviv’s Lychakiv cemetery every 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 battle, served alongside Mr. Dymyd in a particular operation unit of the Ukrainian marines. They had develop into like brothers in the previous couple of months, he mentioned.
On the evening of the assault that ended his buddy’s life, Mr. Paschuk mentioned, he woke to the sound of an explosion and shortly knew that one thing was unsuitable. He instantly seemed for Mr. Dymyd and noticed that one other buddy was giving him first support. 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 had combined emotions about returning to the entrance strains in a number 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 buddy of Mr. Dymyd for 20 years, having met him once they had been younger scouts. Mr. Lozynskyi, who’s a member of Ukraine’s Parliament, volunteered for the army three months in the past and served in the identical unit as Mr. Dymyd and Mr. Paschuk.
He described his lifelong buddy 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 battle started. Mr. Dymyd wished to proceed parachuting in the course of the battle and eventually had an opportunity final month as half of a mission, his pals mentioned.
It was Mr. Dymyd’s brother, Dmytro Dymyd, who thought of putting 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 number of days.
As the mourners slowly made their manner 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.