To Defenders of Freedom

27-year-old Yaroslav Matviiv, code name Tiger, died in a confrontation with a Russian hit squad

Matviiv was an officer of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, alumnus of Spadshchyna Organisation of Ukrainian Youth. He served in the 49th Independent Rifle Battalion “Karpatska Sich” and the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade “Kholodnyi Yar”. An active participant of the Revolution of Dignity, he went to the Russia-Ukraine war for the first time when he was 19.

Later, he became a peacekeeper in Congo and an officer. He was one of the best graduates of the Hetman Petro Sahaidachnyi National Ground Forces Academy. At the age of 27, he already got promoted to assistant to the chief of intelligence of the regiment.


On February 24, 2022, Tiger was near Kyiv. And in March, he became a part of the 5th Separate Assault Regiment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

“We have been together since 2006. And all these years, you have been learning yourself and teaching our youth. You brought up the Spadshchyna young members, invested all your skills and knowledge, that made you outstanding, in them. And you were rather harsh to those children but they still loved you so much (honestly, we are still wondering how you did that). You always knew how to be different. And we mean it,” the organization wrote.

Friends and acquaintances of Tiger say that he was an authority figure, fierce to destroy enemies, a warrior since his young years. For everyone who knew him, the world has turned upside down.


“A world without Tiger. They must be sitting somewhere on the other side, in a Cherry Valley, with Mysla and the rest of our heroes killed by the Russians, a kind of the Lion Heart brothers, in the full vigor of youth and of strength. I have no words to describe my sadness and anger. You were an example of a Ukrainian soldier for me. And a friend first of all,” recalls his friend Yulian Honchar.

Yaroslav was killed on July 26, 2022. He left behind his wife.

The story was prepared by the Memorial. The platform collects stories of servicemen and civilians killed by Russia.

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