A photo of a warrior and UCU graduate reading Timothy Snyder in a trench has gone viral
This is reported by the website of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
As it turned out later, the photo shows a military man ― a graduate of UCU Oleksandr Shyrshyn.
Oleksandr Shyrshyn is a graduate of the master's program in the management of non-profit organizations at the UCU Institute of leadership and management. In autumn, he was awarded the order "for courage" of the III degree: for personal courage and selfless actions shown in defending Ukraine's state sovereignty and territorial integrity, for loyalty to the military oath.
The photo was taken in the area of Kreminna-Svatovo.
A few days before February 24, 2022, the student signed a contract to join the reserve of the 80th Separate Air Assault Brigade. He felt that there would be a war and could not afford to stand aside. On the eve of a full-scale invasion, he received a call and was called to the unit. On February 24, Oleksandr went to the front line, where he defends Ukraine today.
In July, the soldier was wounded and miraculously survived. For military valor, Oleksandr received the order "for courage" of the third degree. After treatment, he returned to the front again. Now he takes part in the counteroffensive operation of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Oleksandr was born in June 1994 in Mykolaiv. One of his grandparents was Georgian, and his grandmother was Bulgarian. The second grandfather is Kazakh, and the grandmother is Ukrainian.
When Oleksandr was five years old, the family returned to his father's homeland in the village of Chornomorske in Crimea. It was thanks to his grandmother, who also worked as a teacher, that Oleksandr could read at four and knew a lot of poems by heart. Both of his grandfathers were long-distance captains, very disciplined and hardworking people. These traits were passed on to the grandson.
He went to school at six and graduated in 10 years instead of 11. Subsequently, he went to study at the Sevastopol National University of nuclear energy and industry in 2010. There he also studied at the military department and was preparing to get a candidate for the master of sports in boxing. Oleksandr dreamed of learning and returning to his hometown.
But 2014 changed my life dramatically. To avoid taking the oath of allegiance to Russia, he transferred and graduated from the military department in Odesa. He continued his studies in Kharkiv but won a grant and transferred to the Bialystok University of Technology in Poland. In 2016, he defended his master's degree in Polish.
While living in Poland, Oleksandr helped many civilian and military Ukrainians. This was not enough for him, and he decided to go as a volunteer to the frontline city of Svitlodarsk. There, Oleksandr gathered local youth around him. Together with other volunteers and public organizations, we renovated the old sports hall in Novoluhansk and founded a boxing section. His guys trained and went to competitions. In addition to sports, he organized trips for teenagers outside the city, region and region. He also organized literary circles, training sessions, workshops and leisure activities for them.
From 2017 to 2019, Oleksandr also studied at the Ukrainian Catholic University and received a master's degree in the non-profit organization management program. Even then, Oleksandr and his volunteers founded a youth center. His graduation project helped improve and fill the center, which worked before the occupation in 2022.
Also, from 2018 to 2019, Oleksandr worked as a coordinator of the movement "Strong Communities" in Svitlodarsk.
In 2019, after the birth of his second child, Oleksandr and his family moved from the East. From 2019 to 2020, he worked as the head of the Social Development Program at the Chernivtsi Ukrainian Leadership Academy. From the end of 2020 until the full-scale invasion, he worked for the enterprise "Module ITP".