KYIV: Hundreds of Ukrainians gathered at a central Kyiv monastery on Saturday for the funeral of a 24-year-old activist killed during fighting with Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
Roman Ratushny, a well known figure of Ukraine’s 2014 pro-EU revolution, was killed on June 9 near Izyum in the eastern Kharkiv region.
Mourners attended his funeral at the golden-domed Saint Michael’s monastery.
Four soldiers carried Ratushny’s coffin as it was greeted by the crowd, which included many military men.
It was placed at the entrance of the monastery.
Hundreds attended the solemn ceremony, some holding flowers and others with Ukrainian flags on their backs.
A gathering is also scheduled on the city’s main Maidan square, the centre of the 2014 pro-EU revolution that overthrew a pro-Moscow government.
Ratushny was one of the first students to protest at the Maidan in the winter of 2013-2014.
He then became a well known anti-corruption activist.
Ratushny joined the Ukrainian army, like many other civilians, at the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.
The announcement of his death this week sparked many comments on social media in and outside Ukraine.
“I did not know him personally but I felt (his death) as a loss,” said student Alina Horhol who attended the ceremony.
“He became a person who influenced my world view and who I am today.”
“He was the kind of person who would have changed things in our society,” she added.
Ratushny will be buried in Kyiv’s Baikove cemetery, where many famous Ukrainians are laid to rest.