Photo report: NV’s 10th anniversary charity event honors people of the decade, supports Ukrainian Armed Forces

Azovstal defenders who bravely held Ukraine's last stronghold in besieged Mariupol for 86 days
Azovstal defenders who bravely held Ukraine's last stronghold in besieged Mariupol for 86 days

NV’s 10th anniversary charity event honored the People of the Decade (2014-2024), auctioned items to support the Ukrainian Armed Forces, and featured an expert discussion.

A list of 100 key individuals in Ukraine over the past 10 years was compiled by NV's editorial board. The defenders of Mariupol’s Azovstal were the most frequently mentioned and recognized as the real heroes of the decade for holding off the enemy invasion for 86 days, with 82 of those days under complete siege.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Among the heroes of Mariupol was Mikhail Vernyhora, a National Guard soldier who lost his arm during the defense, was taken prisoner, but returned to Ukraine and continued his service.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Rostyslav Prystupa, a marine, was only 19 when he entered military service and was severely injured in his spinal cord by shrapnel. He spent a month and a half in captivity.

Wilhelm Vityuk, an army soldier, was wounded while rescuing civilians in Mariupol. He survived mistreatment and torture in captivity. The enemy was particularly cruel because he had a tattoo of the Ukrainian coat of arms.

Volodymyr Tatarenko, a volunteer and member of the Tyra Angels medical team, spent five months in captivity with other Azovstal defenders.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Oleh Davydenko, Director of Corporate Communications for Metinvest Group, and Ksenia Sukhova, Director of the NGO Heart of Azovstal, presented the heroic defenders with a special award.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

“In three months, you have made Mariupol and Azovstal synonymous with the word 'courage,' becoming an example and role model for Ukrainians and all those who support Ukraine in its struggle,” Davydenko said.

“This is one of the greatest feats that will go down in the modern history of Ukraine,” Sukhova said, adding that everyone should remember that more than 1,000 of our defenders are still in Russian captivity and everything possible must be done to free them.

Ihor Hordyichuk, a Major General of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Hero of Ukraine, and commander of the 2014 capture of Savur-Mohyla, who was seriously wounded near Ilovaisk, received the Man of the Decade award. He later became the head of the Ivan Bohun Military Lyceum in Kyiv.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

In the Society category, Metropolitan Epifaniy (Dumenko) was named Person of the Decade for his role as the first head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, his efforts to separate from the Russian Orthodox Church, and his conversion to the New Julian Ecclesiastical Calendar.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

He delivered a powerful speech at the event. “Evil, no matter in what clothes it hides itself, even in religious ones, as the ideology of the Russian world is doing now, is actually opposed to God Himself. And God always wins in this battle,” he said.

Investigative journalists Yuriy Nikolov, Natalia Sedletska, and Mykhailo Tkach were honored with awards.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

In the Statesmen category, Mykhailo Fedorov, Digital Transformation Minister, was awarded. He is the creator of the “state in a smartphone” and co-author of the Army of Drones program.

“We have been supporting the Armed Forces for a long time, buying both drones and electronic warfare equipment since the first days of the full-scale invasion. Therefore, we know how much our military technology has advanced in a few years compared to where we started. In particular, the Minister of Digital Information Mykhailo Fedorov has made a huge contribution to this,” said Kateryna Spivakova, Kernel's Director of Communications and GR, at the ceremony.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Andriy Pyshnyi, Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, who, with the help of Western partners, ensured the stability of the hryvnia in the face of a major war and a sharp economic decline, was honored in the Public Figures category.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Viktor Ivanchyk, co-founder of the agribusiness company Astarta, received a special award from the event's general partner, ADER HABER, one of the top 5 law firms in Ukraine. Yuriy Petrenko, Managing Partner of the firm, Honored Lawyer of Ukraine, noted that ADER HABER has been helping businesses in Ukraine to operate successfully for 20 years: “Recently, the role and influence of our state has been growing. And you have to be able to work with the state. We will help the state to hear you, and if necessary, we will protect you.”

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

The winner in the Businessmen category, co-owner of the Dobrobut medical chain, Oleh Kalashnikov, addressed the audience with a special message: “I am incredibly pleased that I and Dobrobut have been included in such a powerful list as NV's 100 People of the Decade. Unfortunately, the past decade has been one of the most difficult in our history. In my opinion, the most important thing that unites Dobrobut and NV is that both projects are based on values and principles. We built Dobrobut on the values of care, professionalism, cooperation and the value of human life, and we put our hearts into it. The NV team has done the same – over these 10 years they have maintained their values, independence, and impartiality. The editors asked me to name the Person of the Decade, and at first, I thought it would be a difficult task. But in fact, it is not. These 10 years are Ukraine's struggle for independence. Therefore, the people of the decade are all those who stood up to defend the state. Among them, there are 120 employees of 'Dobrobut.'”

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Andrii Kashperuk, Deputy Chairman of the Board for Retail Banking at UKRSIBBANK BNP Paribas Group, presented a special award to tennis player Elina Svitolina for her contribution to Ukraine's history and active citizenship in bringing the dream of all Ukrainians – our victory – closer.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

“Thank you for the recognition and appreciation of my efforts. In fact, it is incredibly important for me, because it means that I was able to be useful to my country through my work and initiatives,” the athlete said during the NV event.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

The charity auction, which featured items from Ukrainian military, sports, and art stars, raised UAH 13 million (almost $321,000), which will be used for the needs of the Armed Forces.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

For example, the “Flag of Freedom” signed by the commanders of the Third Assault Brigade was purchased for UAH 2,000,000 ($50,000) from a starting price of UAH 10,000 ($250).

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

The right to play a friendly football match with the team of the President of the Ukrainian Football Federation Andriy Shevchenko and his star partners was purchased for $130,000.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

A bottle of Italian wine that “survived” a direct Russian missile strike on a warehouse in the Kyiv region in March 2022 went for $3,000, three times the starting price.

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

The painting Natural History (2018) by artist Roman Minin, who was born in the Donetsk region and now lives and works in Kharkiv, was bought for $55,000 (starting price: $10,000).

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

“We have created a Ukrainian nation. Before 2014, there was no nation, there were only shoots. There were some people who believed that Ukraine would be reborn, that there would be Ukrainians in Ukraine,” said sociologist Ella Libanova. “We started to grow, little by little, but we started. And I really hope that in the next 10 years we will become a mature nation with our own understanding of our position and our role in this world.”

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

Journalist and political commentator Vitaliy Portnikov said: “If we can achieve anything in the future, it will be to overcome the Ukrainian inferiority complex, which has been imposed by an empire, and not just one, for centuries. I think the whole point of the future Ukraine is that it should be Ukrainian. A country in which people themselves would understand the importance of historical, cultural, and linguistic heritage.”

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV

“Today entrepreneurs are allowed to work. Because 30 years ago we were not allowed, we were forbidden. Today there is a certain economic freedom,” said Mr. Popereshniuk. He added: “If it were not for the war, Ukraine would be one of the best countries in the world. We need to wait another 10-20 years, not to interfere with the efforts of entrepreneurs to improve our country, and everything will be fine.”

<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV</span>
Serhiy Kantsyrenko / NV
<span class="copyright">NV</span>
NV

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine