The Life Story of Ukrainian Hero Pilot Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba

Immortal souls of heavenly heroes protect Ukraine 

The Life Story of Ukrainian Hero Pilot Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba



The life story of Ukrainian Hero Pilot Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba!

Ukraine is paying the price for the Budapest Memorandum signed in 1994. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has affected not just one country. It has impacted the entire world and all people. The war has destroyed families, taken children from fathers, and left women without husbands.

Russian aggression has plunged the entire world into chaos, bringing pain, destruction, economic instability, and the threat of a global nuclear catastrophe.

The words of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder of the Turkish Republic, “Peace at home, peace in the world,” are a message to all humanity.

Ukraine and Russia have similar yet different cultures and close familial ties. Ukraine’s population is more monolithic, while Russia’s is fragmented, characteristic of countries that are essentially empires.

Russia is waging a war aimed at annihilating Ukraine's population; new territories are not what the aggressor needs.

Russia has made a grave mistake for which it will pay for centuries.

Ukraine trusted Russia. After the collapse of the USSR, Ukraine possessed the third-largest nuclear arsenal in the world, after the USA and Russia.

Ukraine handed over its nuclear weapons to Russia with a single signature. Since that day, Ukraine has been paying for its shortsighted and trusting policy.

A Euro News story from November 30, 2018, discusses how the infrastructure for Russia’s invasion was prepared.

Russian-Ukrainian tension in maritime areas has brought the 1994 Budapest Memorandum back into focus.

PHOTO: Ukraine retained nuclear weapons

25 years ago, Ukraine was the third most powerful nuclear state in the world. Thanks to the Soviet legacy, it housed 170 intercontinental ballistic missiles and dozens of bombers, as well as more nuclear weapons than Britain, France, and China combined. Under an agreement with the USA, Ukraine received compensation of $500 million, and 5,000 nuclear weapons were transferred to Russia, dismantled, and neutralized there.

In 1994, Kyiv relinquished this terrible arsenal in exchange for US money and a promise from Russia to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and existing borders, refrain from threats or the use of force, and assure that no Russian weapons would ever be used against Ukraine. Similar agreements were made regarding the remnants of nuclear weapons in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

However, after the Russian Navy fired on and seized Ukrainian Navy ships, there were talks that this agreement had been violated, and that the USA and Europe should take additional measures to protect Ukraine in response.

The Ukrainian state must also recognize the political mistakes it has made in the past...

The Ukrainian people resist.

The heroes of Ukraine stand firm...

The heroes who perished in the Ukrainian-Russian war have not disappeared without a trace; they seem to say, “We are not dead, we are on another mission.”

In Turkish and Islamic culture, there is the rank of "martyrdom." According to Islamic beliefs, martyrs do not die... The Quran states: “Do not say about those who are killed in the way of Allah that they are dead. No, they are alive, but you do not perceive it.”

Families of the heroes who died in the Ukrainian war recount; The heroes in their dreams told their relatives: “We are not dead, we are on another mission”...

Heroes do not die...

They are alive, though invisible to us

The invisible heavenly army of Ukraine, guarding its future

We begin publishing our interview with Nataliya Zaremba, the wife of the pilot hero Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba, who died in the Ukrainian war.


Journalist - Writer


YUSUF INAN - Please tell us about yourself and your husband Mykhailo.

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - My name is Nataliya Zaremba, I am the wife of Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba, who heroically died defending our state.

Mykhailo was an officer of the Ukrainian Navy. He was from the village of Zhulichi in the Lviv region. He dreamed of becoming a military pilot since childhood. He loved watching helicopters that often flew over his house.

Mykhailo was a loving, well-mannered, confident, intelligent, and very determined person. When he wanted something very much, he always achieved his goal. Only with him did I feel needed and completely safe.

Mykhailo studied at the Kharkiv National Air Force University. In 2010, he graduated from this institution and went to serve as a pilot-navigator in the military unit A1100, which at that time was based in the village of Novofedorivka, AR Crimea.

YUSUF INAN - How did you meet your husband?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - We met at school. Mykhailo was in the 9th grade, and I was in the 5th. Our relationship began when Mykhailo was in his first year at flight university. He had just come home for the holidays, and we met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Before leaving for Kharkiv, he asked if we could date... I remember him asking, “Are you sure...?” He probably understood the responsibility and risk due to his chosen profession, and that long-distance relationships would be difficult. But we managed...

YUSUF INAN - How did you get married?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - In 2013, we registered our marriage in Crimea, and a month later, we got married in church. I moved to Crimea with Mykhailo, where he was serving.


YUSUF INAN - Tell us about your children?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - We have two wonderful sons – Ilya, 7 years old, and Andriyko, 4 years old. My husband really wanted a son. He loved and protected them very much.

YUSUF INAN - You started a campaign to have your husband awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. Why is it important to get this title? Your husband is already considered a Hero of Ukraine by Ukrainians.

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - The idea of the Hero of Ukraine title was first mentioned by my husband’s classmate at the funeral. He said that Mykhailo was a hero and that we should definitely fight for this title. At that time, I was too grief-stricken to think about it. The pain was so intense that nothing else mattered. Later, after talking to his comrades, we decided to create a petition. His classmates, military pilots, took this responsibility, asserting that Mykhailo was one of the true heroes who performed tasks in real hell. Unfortunately, few truly appreciate and understand the importance of Ukrainian pilots!

“The entire crew embarked on an extremely important and risky mission. They all deserve high honors and the title of Heroes!”

No one and nothing can replace my beloved husband, or a loving father for our children. The only thing I ask and fight for is the memory of him. He gave his life for Ukraine, for each of us. And a person lives as long as their memory is alive.

That’s why I ask for the help of every citizen of Ukraine to support the petition for the posthumous award of the Hero of Ukraine title to my husband. It’s important for me that my children know their father is a hero! By signing the petition, you honor the memory of the fallen defender Mykhailo Zaremba!

I am deeply moved by the support from people, not only relatives and friends but also from strangers. You are incredible. Thank you for your understanding and empathy.

YUSUF INAN - Where did your husband serve before?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - As I said, Mykhailo studied at the Kharkiv National Air Force University. In 2010, he graduated and went to serve as a pilot-navigator in the military unit A1100, which was then based in the village of Novofedorivka, AR Crimea.

YUSUF INAN - You said you came from Crimea? What was your husband’s position in Crimea?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - Yes, we lived in Crimea for some time. At that time, my husband was the commander of a helicopter detachment in a helicopter squadron.

YUSUF INAN - Did you move to Mykolaiv due to the occupation of Crimea? Can you tell us about this?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - At the beginning of the Russian aggression, Mykhailo remained loyal to his oath and in March 2014, as part of the 10th Naval Aviation Brigade, he left the temporarily occupied Crimea for mainland Ukraine, namely to Mykolaiv.

YUSUF INAN - Did your husband anticipate that Russia would invade Ukraine?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - In early February, Mykhailo was undergoing training in England, and he already said that something very unsettling was happening in the east, that something was looming. When he returned, he repeated this more and more often. Mykhailo even explained the possible situation to the children so that they would not panic if something happened... I think he understood that the invasion was inevitable.

YUSUF INAN - How did you feel when the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - I will never forget that morning... fear, anxiety, worry, uncertainty, not knowing what to expect next. In the first days, we were constantly moving, changing our location. The children were with me all the time, and I had to be strong for their sake. I was with my husband as much as possible until he was deployed on a combat mission. He left on March 4 and did not return. This was our last meeting... The last time I saw my beloved.

YUSUF INAN - How did your husband become a hero? Could you tell us about this?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - After February 24, 2022, the 10th Separate Naval Aviation Brigade named after Rear Admiral Ihor Bedzai, in which my husband served, played a significant role in defending Ukraine. Mykhailo flew many combat missions in the most dangerous and difficult areas of the front.

The crew, led by Major Mykhailo Zaremba, set out on their final mission on March 4, 2022. The helicopter took off from the airfield near the village of Kulbakino in the Mykolaiv region. The crew was tasked with landing a landing group at a given point. During the flight, communication with the crew was lost, and the helicopter was shot down by the enemy.

Mykhailo died performing a combat mission.

Heroes do not die. They are with us forever. They protect us and our future. They are guarding our future, our children’s future.

On March 4, 2022, Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba, a military pilot-navigator of the 10th Separate Naval Aviation Brigade named after Rear Admiral Ihor Bedzai, died heroically in a battle for Ukraine.

YUSUF INAN - What can you say about the character of your hero husband?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - He was a man of steel. Strong, firm, courageous, and extremely loving. He loved life, his family, his work, and his country. Mykhailo always fought for justice. He had a big heart and always supported those in need. Mykhailo had a great sense of humor and an incredible smile. He was a loving husband and father. Only with him did I feel safe. He always encouraged me to be strong and never give up. He loved flying and always dreamed of the sky.

YUSUF INAN - How do you and your children cope with this loss?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - It’s difficult. Painful. Every day we miss him more and more. But I believe that he is with us. I believe that Mykhailo became a guardian angel for us, for Ukraine. Our children are proud of their father. They know he is a hero. We try to live our lives with dignity, as Mykhailo would want.

YUSUF INAN - Do you have a message for the people of Ukraine and the world?

Nataliya Zaremba-Kunka - My message to everyone is to appreciate every moment of life, value your loved ones, and remember that freedom and peace are the most important things we have. Let’s cherish and defend them. And let’s always remember those who gave their lives for our future.

I want to express my sincere gratitude to everyone who supports our family and all the families of fallen heroes. Your support and understanding give us the strength to live on. Let’s remember the heroes, let’s remember their families, and let’s support them. They are the ones who paid the highest price for our freedom. Let’s honor their memory. Thank you.

YUSUF INAN - Thank you for sharing your story. Your husband is a true hero. His bravery and sacrifice will never be forgotten.


This touching interview was conducted by Yusuf Inan, journalist, writer, and Editor-in-Chief. It highlights the extraordinary bravery and sacrifice of Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba, a hero whose legacy lives on through his family and the grateful nation he defended.


The interview with Nataliya Zaremba, widow of Major Mykhailo Ihorovych Zaremba, reveals a poignant and heartfelt story of love, dedication, and ultimate sacrifice. Major Zaremba, a Ukrainian Navy pilot, dedicated his life to defending his country. His journey from dreaming of flying as a child to his heroic final mission reflects his unwavering commitment. Despite the immense personal loss, Nataliya and her children continue to honor his memory and legacy, advocating for his recognition as a Hero of Ukraine. This interview serves as a powerful reminder of the human cost of war and the enduring spirit of those who fight for freedom.