Russia Killed Them: Power engineers who died due to attacks on energy facilities

Agency of media ABO
Russia Killed Them: Power engineers who died due to attacks on energy facilities

With the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the ABO Media Development Agency created the project "Memorial: Killed by Russia." The Memorial preserves the names and faces of civilians and military personnel who died as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Svidomi, in collaboration with Memorial: Killed by Russia, tells about the power engineers who died due to attacks on energy facilities.

Mykola Sakhno, 64, died on October 18, 2022, from an attack by Russian troops on a power supply facility in Kyiv.

The deceased's colleagues said he was a sixth-class electrician repairing relay protection and automation equipment. He gave 35 years of his life to the energy sector.

In his youth, Mykola was a social person, but after he married, he devoted all his time to his home, wife, and son Roman. "Mykola and I were married for 38 years and have known each other since childhood. He was my neighbour, classmate and friend. We even have the same last name, as is common in villages," Nadiia Sakhno says.

Mykola had been friends with Borys Bohdanov for 27 years. "He was my first mentor. He was a true professional. He always did his job efficiently and responsibly. No one is like him anymore because Mykola knew how to do everything with his hands," Borys says.

Oleksii Chernykov, 52, died on October 18, 2022, from a missile attack by the Russian military on a power supply facility in Kyiv.

Oleksii was an employee of the Kyivteploenergo municipal enterprise. He worked in the energy industry for about four years and was an electronics engineer of the first category.

"He broke all the patterns. I always thought boys who study well could not do anything with their hands. But he could put up wallpaper, repair a bedside table, and create something," his wife Uliana Chernykova says. Oleksii could also sew and knit.

In 2000, Oleksii moved to Kyiv with his family. A friend suggested that he apply for a job at Kyivteploenergo. At first, Oleksii was reluctant, thinking he couldn't handle it. But he rapidly mastered the new skill.

"He was an intellectual, and he understood schemes. He would find the answer the next day if he didn't know something. He did not shirk his work. People had high hopes for him. He was not a careerist and did not aspire to leadership positions. He helped everyone who asked," recalls friend and colleague Volodymyr Buhera.

Yaroslav Odnorob, 34, died on March 3 in Okhtyrka in the Sumy region. He was an Okhtyrka Combined Heat and Power Plant employee, on which the Russian military dropped a vacuum bomb.

"The bomb fell on the boiler and turbine workshop. Five employees of the plant were there with my husband. They found not a body but the remains of it," Nataliia, the deceased's wife, says.

Yaroslav Odnorob had a degree in economics but found himself in the energy sector. He worked for nine years at Okhtyrka CHPP as a mechanic first and a third-group boiler operator later.

He was passionate about table tennis. His enterprise held table tennis competitions. Yaroslav repeatedly participated and won.

"I believe my husband is also a hero that people should know about. He did not hold a weapon, but he was not afraid, did not hide, and did not refuse to perform his duties. He decided to go to work so the city could have light and heat. And for this, he gave his life," the deceased's wife says.

Roman Lavrynenko, 56, died due to an air strike by the Russian army on the Okhtyrka CHPP on March 3, 2022.

As many workers left the city after the large-scale war broke out, they had to work around the clock. His wife recalls trying to persuade her husband not to go to work, but he was stubborn.

"On the morning of March 3, I saw him off to work. At 11:00 a.m., we were talking on the phone. He told me that they had found four marks on the roof. After that, we didn't talk anymore," Roman's wife, Valentyna, says.

At around 16:00, an explosion occurred at the Okhtyrka CHPP because the Russian army dropped a vacuum bomb. Very little survived at the plant. Roman was in the explosion's epicentre.

Roman Lavrynenko worked as a senior turbine workshop operator at the Okhtyrka CHPP. He loved reading and was interested in art and music in his spare time.

"Roman was my soul mate. It was like tearing a piece of me out. He was exceptional. He dreamed of living to 94. He was always positive. Without him, I lost interest in everything. I miss him very much," Valentyna says.

On March 3, a Russian aircraft dropped a vacuum bomb on the Okhtyrka CHPP. Serhii Yelistratov, a 58-year-old senior shift supervisor, was in the centre of the explosion. "There is nothing left of him," Liudmyla, the deceased's daughter, says.

"Everyone knew him as a kind person who would always help. He was very humane and had a big heart. He always found the right word to heal the soul. He loved spending time outdoors with his family, going for car rides. I was very close with my father, and we had a special bond," the deceased's daughter says.

Liudmyla says her dad is a real hero because he did his job in a high-risk environment.

"I asked my father if it was possible not to go to work in such a tough time. He replied: "Who will work if people are without heat or electricity?". And he went to do his duty," says Liudmyla.