A commemorative event in memory of Roman Sobkiv – Hero of Ukraine

Traditionally, the Museum honored the memory of one more fighter of our Heavenly Army – Major Roman Sobkiv, Hero of Ukraine, commander of the 3rd special forces combat group (diving) of the separate special forces unit "Omega" of the Northern Special Operations Command of the National Guard of Ukraine. The warrior’s materials became part of the Memorial’s collection. The event was attended by relatives, friends and comrades–in–arms of Roman from various units where he served.

Roman Sobkiv was born in the village of Mali Didushychi in Lviv Oblast. The eldest of four children in the family, he took care of his younger brother and sister. "He always worried about us, protected us. Roma was the strongest in the entire village, for that he even received a nickname – Hercules. But he always used this power correctly – he protected the weak," his brother Petro recalls.

After his military service, Roman continued his military studies and entered the Academy of Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (now the National Academy of the National Guard of Ukraine) majoring in "Automotive Transport". He also found time for sports – weight-lifting and sambo.

Since 2014, he served as part of the 4th "Rubizh" Rapid Reaction Brigade "Hero of Ukraine, Sergeant Serhii Mykhalchuk" of the NGU. There he met one of the guests of the commemorative event. Since 2015, their paths have constantly crossed. The military serviceman recalled that Roman Sobkiv was constantly working hard on himself, growing rapidly. Although they were sent to different units, they met more than once in the combat zone. That happened on the eve of the Hero’s death as well. "On March 11, 2022, I stood for a long time on the outskirts of Kyiv, waiting for Roman. Although our last meeting was short, it left a pleasant memory. I managed to give him a gift – a bottle of energy drink. He remained for me forever, as a part of my heart. Roman was a true officer –  brave, courageous and kind," said his combat comrade.

As part of the aforementioned brigade, Captain Roman Sobkiv performed combat missions in various areas of the ATO/OOS (Bakhmut area, coast of the Azov Sea, The Battle of Svitlodarsk). Since 2018 – a major, since 2019 – commander of the tank battalion of the same unit. Another comrade told about the service in this unit: "I look at these things, at this official photo of Roman – and I want to say that he was never so official, even in the position of a commander. He was human and simple. He is forever in my memory. How we will miss his gleeful laugh and the roar of dumbbells." The former commanders who "raised" the Hero also came to the Museum. And they emphasized that Roman was a true "soul", one of the best soldiers, and his death is a huge loss for Ukraine.

Roman’s humanity and sincerity were noted by his comrades from the separate special forces unit "Omega", where he was transferred in May 2021. It was in the position of group commander of this unit that he remained when the full–scale invasion started. "We barely knew each other. But this is the first person who spoke to me frankly and supported me since the beginning of the war. He was a sincere and bright person. We will avenge him. We’ll do everything to make that happen!" – says the special agent. "I also knew him very little. But I can confidently say that he was the most prepared person for war. He was ready to destroy the enemy. He was the bravest of our team," another brother, who was with Roman in the last battle, shares his memories with the guests of the event.

On March 12, 2022, Roman Sobkiv’s unit was ambushed. Under heavy fire from the enemy, the major ordered his subordinates to leave, and he himself remained in position, covering the personnel. In that fierce battle, he died from numerous shrapnel wounds. By the decree of the President of April 17, 2022, Roman Sobkiv was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of Ukraine.

Quite different memories were spoken out at the event, but they all have in common the pain of losing not just a comrade in arms, but a friend. His wife Tetyana said that Roman always spent more time at work than at home. In a personal notebook handed over to the Museum, we read his credo regarding subordinates: "Don’t pity, but protect." And for this, he constantly studied military affairs: in 2022 he was supposed to receive the Master’s degree in Tank Forces.

At the same time, Roman Sobkiv was a wonderful, caring man. Photos from the family archive, broadcasted during the event testify to the strong feelings between the spouses, and short videos of family leisure show Roman as the best father to his daughter Anastasia. For her, he is now a personal guardian angel "with the biggest wings" who protects everyone as part of the Heavenly Army of Ukraine. Roman will live on in the hearts of the members of his family and siblings, in the eyes of his daughter, who is very much like her father.

Eternal glory to the Heroes of Ukraine!