Live Updates: Ukraine’s Strikes in Black Sea Point to New Firepower

Live Updates: Ukraine’s Strikes in Black Sea Point to New Firepower

Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times
Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times
Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times

LVIV, Ukraine — Artemiy Dymyd’s closest friends unwrapped his parachute and gently spread it over his grave. The silky red material wrapped around his coffin as he was lowered.

The men, many soldiers themselves, covered the newly dug hole with earth. The first shovelfuls fell with a thud.

The funeral for Dymyd, a Marine who was killed in action, was the first of the day in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine where residents have seen an unrelenting stream of their children killed in the war with Russia. By the end of Tuesday, three other freshly dug graves near Dymyd’s would also be filled with young soldiers who had died in battle for the east of the country, hundreds of miles away.

The funeral had begun in a Greek Catholic church, an Eastern branch of Catholicism that is widespread in Lviv. Mr. Dymyd’s father, a priest, delivered the eulogy for him. And then her mother, her voice heavy with emotion, sang a final lullaby for her child.

The procession then made an all-too-familiar journey from the church to the city’s main market square, where dozens of young men in scout uniforms formed an honor guard. Mr. Dymyd, 27, had been part of the Ukrainian scout organization since he was 7 years old. Small children, teenagers and adults from the group were there to say goodbye.

At the foot of the square, four white banners announced the details of military funerals to be held in the city on Tuesday, all for men killed in the battle for the east of the country in recent weeks. Three of them never reached their 30th birthday.

Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times

A young woman, wearing the distinctive green scout scarf, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and clenched her fists to hold back tears as she joined Mr. Dymyd’s slow procession.

Scouting was only a part of his life. Mr. Dymyd also loved travel and adventure, and extreme sports like skydiving. His nickname was Kurka, which means chicken. Friends said that Metallica’s music would have been more suitable for his funeral than the military dirges now played daily at Lviv’s Lychakiv cemetery.

“He is one of the most decent men I have ever met,” said 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.”

Paschuk, who ran a wine bar before the war, served alongside Dymyd in a special operations unit of the Ukrainian marines. They had become like brothers in the last few months, he said.

The night of the attack that killed his friend, Paschuk said, he woke up to the sound of an explosion and soon knew something was wrong. He immediately looked for Mr. Dymyd and saw that another friend was giving him first aid. When he saw Mr. Dymyd’s eyes, he knew he was wrong.

“I was afraid to be by his side,” he said slowly. “Because when I saw it I felt like I wasn’t going to make it.”

Mr. Dymyd died a short time later.

Paschuk said he had mixed feelings about returning to the front lines in a few days. He described waves of emotion, but said he was neither angry nor vindictive.

“I don’t have the feeling that I want to kill everyone because this happened,” Paschuk said. “Thanks Kurka. He taught me to stay calm.”

Roman Lozynskyi, a fellow Marine, had been a friend of Mr Dymyd for two decades and met him when they were young explorers. Mr. Lozynskyi, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, volunteered for the army three months ago and served in the same unit as Mr. Dymyd and Mr. Paschuk.

He described his longtime friend as a “madman” with a will to live who had returned to Ukraine from a parachute trip to Brazil to enlist when the war began. Dymyd wanted to keep parachuting during the war and finally got the chance last month as part of a mission, his friends said.

It was Dymyd’s brother, Dmytro Dymyd, who thought of placing the parachute on his grave, Lozynskyi said, in a nod to Dymyd’s passion for the sport of skydiving. His brother, who is also a soldier, was given permission to attend the funeral, but he would return to the Donetsk region in a few days.

As mourners slowly made their way from the cemetery, gravediggers packed the earth over Mr. Dymyd’s grave into a sturdy mound.

There were still three more to go.

Credit…Emile Ducke for The New York Times

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