Life Story of Ukrainian Hero, Pilot Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko

Message of Peace to the World from the Wife of Ukrainian Hero Pilot Captain!

Life Story of Ukrainian Hero, Pilot Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko

By Yusuf Inan - Interview

Life Story of Ukrainian Hero, Pilot Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko


On February 24, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, humanity witnessed a profound tragedy. On one side, we have Russia, one of the two superpowers, and on the other, Ukraine. Russia attacks Ukraine with its full technological arsenal, bombing civilian and military targets alike.

Elderly, women, and children are being killed; civilians are suffering. The destruction of water infrastructure leaves people without water, and missile strikes on electrical and gas systems leave people hungry and thirsty. The world watches this atrocity unfold on television screens, numb to the pain and suffering of hundreds and thousands of Ukrainians who perish.

Interview with Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko, Wife of the Fallen Hero Pilot Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko

Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko was the commander of a Mi-8 helicopter squadron. He died on March 6, 2022, defending Ukraine against the invaders, along with five of his comrades. Their bodies were recovered on March 14, 2022, and they were laid to rest on March 17, 2022.

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko has appealed to the President of Ukraine to posthumously award her husband and his comrades the title of Hero of Ukraine. She has also filed a petition for this cause.

Captain Chuyko was 28 years old when he died. Olena was also 28. Their daughters, Anna and Diana, were 2 and 4 years old, respectively. It has been ten months and eleven days since March 6, 2022.

Olena does not believe in her husband's death. She dreams of him coming home, happy and playing with their children. The resilience of the Ukrainian people and their soldiers is admirable despite the hardships they face.

Ukraine is demonstrating a heroism reminiscent of Turkey's War of Independence. We hope for an end to this senseless war and for Russia to cease its occupation and declare peace. "Peace is always a victory!" War is always a loss. Russia has been losing since the day it invaded Ukraine, erasing its traces in Ukraine with every missile and bomb.

Russia has made a colossal strategic error, pulling the entire Western world and NATO into its geography, creating a legitimate space for NATO in former Soviet countries. The Russian crystal has cracked. The only less harmful solution to this process is to end the occupation and sign a peace agreement.

Yusuf Inan: Why is the title "Hero of Ukraine" important to you? He is already a hero in the eyes of the Ukrainian people.

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: I want people to remember him and his comrades as Heroes, to know who defends the Ukrainian people. They sacrificed their lives for the people of Ukraine and for peace. They died protecting the future of our nation. It is important for me that people remember who protects them. That's why I ask for my husband and his comrades to be posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.

We lived in Poltava, but he died in the Mykolaiv region, and people don't know who to thank. On March 6, 2022, two helicopters were shot down with six Heroes on board. No one knows them. People don’t know who defended them.

It's crucial to preserve the memory of all the Heroes for many years so that our children know who won them a free future at the cost of their lives. I request the posthumous title of Hero of Ukraine so that everyone knows who gave their lives for a Free Ukrainian State, for the future of the entire Ukrainian people.

Yusuf Inan: How did your husband, Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko, react to the Russian invasion?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: My husband was a patriot and a military pilot, the commander of a Mi-8 helicopter squadron. He knew there would be a war and that he might not return home. He was prepared and knew what he was doing. He prepared me for these days six months before the war began.

He said that many people would die and that he might not come back home. I didn’t want to listen and pretended not to hear him, but he insisted that I must be strong for the children and know what to do if he didn’t return.

Yusuf Inan: You said you saw him in dreams after he became a martyr. Can you tell me about some of those dreams?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: After his death, he appeared in my dreams many times. His helicopter was shot down on enemy territory on March 6, 2022, and their bodies were not immediately recovered. However, we were able to hold the funeral on March 18.

In my dreams, he was exhausted and said everything was taken from him. He looked worn out and unhappy. After their bodies were buried, I saw him smiling and happy in my dreams. He came home, played with the children, and then left. I can’t say whether it was a dream or reality.

Yusuf Inan: How did you find out that Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko had died?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: His comrades called to inform me. The world stopped when I heard the news. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening. I didn't want to and couldn't believe it. Even now, I wait for him to come home when the war ends, despite knowing it’s impossible.

Yusuf Inan: What did you feel?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: The pain was unbearable. I cried constantly. We were devastated and saddened by the delay in retrieving the bodies, but we had no other choice. There’s a war in the country. It took time to reach them. My heart is broken. His death is a constant pain in my heart. We were deeply in love. He was passionate about his profession and Ukraine. Our children were born out of love, and we were happy.

With his death, a part of me died with him. Our memories are always with me. I still love him deeply and miss him - my angel.

Yusuf Inan: How did the children cope with their father’s death?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: Our children were very young when he died. Anna was 2, and Diana was 4. They didn’t understand what death meant. Anna still can’t grasp that her father will never come home. Diana, now 5, struggles a lot. She misses and waits for him.

We spent a long time figuring out how to break the terrible news. We talk about death and life after death. For her age, she understands a lot and finds it very hard. She constantly misses him and cries, sleeping with his photo. She knows he will never come home. The children talk about him all the time.

Yusuf Inan: How are you holding up?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: It's been nearly a year. I still cry and feel the same pain as the day I learned of his death. I can't get used to his absence. We had to live in another country. I still feel the pain and it doesn’t get better. The flame in my heart is constantly burning, like a living hell. I still love him so much and wait for him, though I know it’s impossible.

Yusuf Inan: Do the children search for their father?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: They do. My husband loved the children and me deeply. We were a very happy family. Russia destroyed our homes, families, and buildings in our country.

Yusuf Inan: What did you go through after Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko’s death?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: I’m in a state of shock. I still can’t accept it. At home, when I cook, it feels like he’s there with me. My husband had a last wish: for me to save our children. We had to leave our home and country until the war ends.

Yusuf Inan: How are your family and your husband’s family coping?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: Our entire family is broken with grief. We still wait for him. He was a good person, loved by everyone. Our families are going through very tough times. We are grateful to him. He fought for Ukraine’s freedom and died for us as a Hero and Saint. Our family lives in the Kyiv region.

Yusuf Inan: Did you expect Russia to invade Ukraine?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: I knew there would be a war. My husband prepared me six months before it started, saying many people would die and he might not come back. I said it was impossible and didn’t want to listen, but he spoke anyway, wanting me to be strong and know what to do if he died. His main task for me was to save the children, as they are Ukraine’s future. We will leave Ukraine to our children.

Yusuf Inan: Where do you live now?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: Initially, I didn’t understand anything. Now I remember every word he said. We moved to Poland for the children's safety. We will return to Ukraine after the war. I believe our children will live in a free Ukraine. I never wanted to leave Ukraine.

Yusuf Inan: What do you expect from Russia and the world?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: Russia should withdraw from Ukraine and stop bombing our country. I want Russia to stop this senseless war and leave us in peace. Peace is always a victory! We want to return to a peaceful life.

Yusuf Inan: Do you have a message for the world?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: I want the world to know about the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russia in Ukraine. I want the world to know about the Heroes who died protecting Ukraine. My husband, Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko, is one of them. We fight for our freedom, and we will win. Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!

Yusuf Inan: How did you explain the situation to your children?

Olena Oleksiyivna Chuyko: It was challenging. We used age-appropriate explanations about death and life after death. Diana understands a lot and finds it very hard. She misses her father and cries, sleeping with his photo. Anna still can’t grasp that her father will never come home. We talk about him often, and they know he is a Hero who died for Ukraine’s freedom.


Captain Oleksandr Oleksandrovych Chuyko's story is a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of Ukrainian soldiers defending their homeland. His legacy lives on through his family, and the Ukrainian people continue to honor his memory and the memory of all Heroes who fight for a free Ukraine.

"A soldier does not die when he is shot, but when he is forgotten."