Our legendary knights, who are known in Ukraine and the world, are the "Ghost of Kyiv", "Night Ghosts" and others. But while the first one is a collective image, a superhero legend, the others are very specific warriors, whom we learn about from scanty news reports, often when they are no longer among us.

Last year, on the eve of Catholic Christmas, the world was saddened by the news of the death of the incredible four "night ghosts" whose exploits we admired and could hardly believe in-they were brave and desperate and acted in enemy territory. Ghosts for russian cities. Elusive vigilantes who struck fear into enemy streets at night, and during the day could ask some Kursk uncle for a cigarette, flirt with a Belgorod girl, or speak in a delicious Bryansk accent, asking for directions to a particular object. Military warehouses, air bases, and airfields appeared and disappeared just as invisibly, and then fell and exploded. The FSB had been hunting them for a long time.

They performed the most difficult tasks in the war-sabotage and subversion in the enemy's lair: Maksym Mykhailov "Nepyypyvo", 32 years old, an unsurpassed master of disguise and shock; Yuriy Horovets "Svyatosha", 34 years old, worked in the department for combating drug trafficking, was incorruptible, but could play a naive and holy ignoramus to gain the trust of drug dealers; Bohdan Lyagov, "Apollo," 19, the youngest, was protected, and he went where he could die at any moment; Taras Karpiuk, "Tarasiy," 38, the oldest and most experienced, left no traces in combat, in photos, or on social media.

But traces were found. In the archives of the Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. "To be kept permanently" is the inscription on the personal file of Taras Karpiuk, a student who entered the Faculty of Sociology in 2001. The socially active young man was always in the thick of things, dreaming of working professionally with people, so he studied administrative management in the field of Sociology. He gained professional knowledge of sociology, philosophy, and psychology while studying at the university, and became a model of dignity, honor, courage, and determination on the Maidan among his comrades. He was one of the first to fight with a golden eagle and was injured. Again, he was one of the first to go to war in 2014. Near Ilovaisk, he was wounded in close contact with the enemy. The enemy was shooting from some 15 meters away. But he missed, hitting a magazine with tracer ammunition that caught fire. Taras was treated for a long time afterward. But after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, he went back to the front.

He wanted to take the war directly to enemy territory because he believed that Putin would not stop in Donbas. Among other things, he distinguished himself in the Zaporizhzhia direction in operations in which others refused to participate. In particular, with his friends from the sabotage and reconnaissance group of the Brotherhood volunteer battalion, he carried out night raids on the Dnipro River by boat and participated in dozens of extremely dangerous combat missions. Of course, a sabotage group is always a risk. And every operation is a game with death for the sake of life. "None of them is Rambo, but each of them is a hero. None of them had children, and this is a great tragedy, because such people have to continue their lineage. Many incredible people of great nobility died in this war, but the death of these particular partisans was perceived by the nation with special pain and with special sensitivity. Because they were special. They were the best as saboteurs and scouts," their comrades-in-arms speak of them with longing and sorrow.

Books and movies will be written about their exploits and heroism. And we will remember them and cherish the memory of the unbreakable, courageous brave men who gave their lives for Ukraine's independence. But it would be better if they just lived, had children and made movies and wrote books themselves…

On March 7, thousands of people came to the capital to pay their last respects to the heroes. They were buried in St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedral. Christ, to the right of the entrance, looked directly into the eyes, not looking away. The smoke from the incense rose high up to the very vault, and it seemed that someone was stretching either their arms or their wings in this smoke. It is said that those who die on Christmas or Easter are taken by God to heaven immediately. And now they have the same call sign for all of them - Heavenly Angel.

At the same time, a petition with more than 25 thousand signatures was sent to the President of Ukraine to award four fighters of the sabotage and reconnaissance group the title of "Hero of Ukraine" posthumously. The Head of State instructed Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal to comprehensively study this issue.

Taras Karpiuk was laid to rest on the Alley of Honorary Burials on the territory of the State Historical and Memorial Lukianivka Reserve, sector B. He will forever be thirty-eight. Eternal honor to the Angel of the Night - the Angel of Heaven for his feat and sacrifice for Ukraine.

"Я захищав свою країну,
А ви живіть тут, як колись.
Я вас прошу: мені пробачте,
Інакше просто не зумів.
Болить, я знаю, та не плачте" –
І в небо янголом злетів.
Голосить матінка за сином,
І батько наче скам'янів.
Вдивляється у небо синє.
Кого з-за хмар чекає він?
А ключ у небі журавлиний
Махає їм з небес крильми.
То не сім'я літа пташина,
То наші янголи-сини.

Nadiia Libert

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