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on Sep 20, 2023

Continued to fight against the occupiers until he lost consciousness as a result of his injuries

Captain Roman Herasymenko (on the right) continued to fight against the occupiers until he lost consciousness as a result of his injuries.

Captain Roman Herasymenko, from the first days of Russia’s full scale invasion, took a stand in defense of his native Chernihiv, later wreaking havoc upon the enemy on one of the hottest fronts — near Soledar.

Prior to February 24, 2022, Roman who was born and raised in Chernihiv, worked as a lawyer in Kyiv. When this latest phase of the invasion began, he went without hesitation to defend his home and his country from the enemy by joining the ranks of the 119th Separate Brigade of the СиСили територіальної оборони ЗСУin Chernihiv Oblast.

Roman recounts that before the New Year holidays the enemy intensified their offensive actions and his unit was sent to the Soledar direction.

"The positions there were very challenging. We defended using forest cover while constantly under constant enemy shelling. In such cases it's crucial to organize coordination between infantry, artillery, and mortar teams. We maintained constant communication with our medical service for evacuating the wounded. Our medics deserve credit; they skillfully evacuated a large number of wounded daily, including from other units."

The enemy's attempts to breach the defense of the Ukrainian forces significantly escalated on the morning of December 31. This day became decisive in Roman's life. He and his comrades were in one of the hottest positions, where they had to repel attacks from superior enemy forces every minute.

"My task was to mobilize our fighters' actions. Also, if necessary, I had to take command of the unit. As we expected, the enemy made active attempts to advance on this day. Intense firefights ensued. Enemy mortars constantly targeted our positions. One of the shells exploded very close to me. I sustained injuries to my head and leg."

Despite the severe injuries, Roman did not leave his position until the end, continuing to coordinate his comrades' actions.

According to the officer, in that moment, he didn't yet realize how severely wounded he was. The sounds of explosions, shouts, and gunfire continued to keep him on edge. He remained on the battlefield to assess the situation while maintaining constant communication via radio. Blood flowed from his leg, and he felt intense pain. His muscles were torn to the bone. Even after applying a tourniquet, he didn't leave his comrades, as the battle was ongoing.

He was eventually evacuated to a stabilization point and then to a military hospital. However, he had no memory of these events as the head injury turned out to be extremely serious. The officer lost consciousness and regained it almost a day later, lying in a hospital bed in the intensive care unit.

At that time, Roman didn't know that the severe head injury would become a true ordeal in his life. He underwent extensive treatment and spent a lot of time in rehabilitation.

The most important thing for the officer was to continue his service. He did return to his unit, but as subsequent examinations revealed the medical limitations and health risks were incompatible with military service. Roman was declared unfit for military duty. Currently, he is recovering and plans to continue his professional path as a lawyer.

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