The story of the heroic Bakhmut pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Maksym Fedorov!

The story of the Ukrainian Hero Pilot Lieutenant Colonel!

The story of the heroic Bakhmut pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Maksym Fedorov!


The story of the heroic Bakhmut pilot, Lieutenant Colonel Maksym Fedorov!

Yusuf İnan: Who is Maria Ivanivna Fedorova? Could you tell us about yourself?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: I am Maria Ivanivna Fedorova, the wife of Lieutenant Colonel Maksim Sergeyevich Fedorov, who tragically lost his life on 11 December 2022 during a combat mission near the city of Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region, close to Bakhmut.

Yusuf İnan: Could you tell us about your husband, Maksim Sergeyevich Fedorov?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Maksim was born on 14 April 1978, into a military family. He spent some time in Poland before moving to Myrhorod in the Poltava region with his family and sister Ksenia following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He spent his childhood and youth there. In 1995, he enrolled in the Kharkiv Pilot Institute, graduating in 1999, and was subsequently assigned to Novi Kaliniv in the Lviv region. Throughout his military career, he participated in numerous UN peacekeeping missions, including deployments in Liberia. Following Russia's aggression against Ukraine in 2014, he joined the Anti-Terrorist Operation and was awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky III degree in August 2014. He received several state and local awards, as well as commendations from his military unit. In 2018, he retired from the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a helicopter squadron commander and began working for the airline "Ukraine Helicopters," participating in humanitarian missions in Sudan, Mali, and Somalia, and in firefighting operations in Turkey in 2021.

When Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, he promptly returned from abroad and rejoined his military unit, where he was appointed as a senior helicopter squadron pilot. He continued to serve as a flight instructor and a first-class pilot, undertaking numerous missions. Recently, he was posthumously awarded the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytsky II degree. Maksim was a person of great integrity, fairness, kindness, and positivity, always believing in a better future. He was knowledgeable and intelligent, respected by his peers and colleagues. On 11 December 2022, a Russian missile struck the helicopter Maksim was commanding, ending his life and that of his entire crew: Maksim Fedorov, crew commander; Vladislav Levchuk, pilot-navigator; and Vitaliy Markevich, aircraft technician.

Yusuf İnan: Could you tell us about your family?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Maksim and I met in the spring of 2017. Our family was established recently, in 2018. Our son, Vladislav, was born in 2020. Due to the nature of his profession, we seldom saw each other. Maksim was often away on long missions, so we mostly communicated by phone or video calls, and sometimes we wouldn't see each other for eight or even six months. We had just started living our lives together when all our plans, dreams, and lives were turned upside down.

Yusuf İnan: When did your husband die? How did you receive the news of his death?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: 11 December 2022 was the most horrific day of my life. I refused to believe the terrible news that my beloved had died until the very last moment. Only our son keeps me going, knowing that I must be both mother and father to him.

Yusuf İnan: How did you feel at that moment?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: It is an unbearable pain that does not diminish; instead, it intensifies. I still have not learned to live with this pain and accept that Maksim will never return from this mission.

Yusuf İnan: Do your children know that their father is dead?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Maksim has three sons. The eldest, Sergey, is 20 years old from his previous marriage, and Dmitriy is only 11 years old. Our son, Vlad, is just 2 years old. The children know about their father’s death; it is a significant loss and pain for them as well.

Yusuf İnan: Do the children miss their father?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Vladislav is too young to fully understand, so he waits for his father, wants to talk to him. When he sees a photo of his father, he wants to call him. When he realizes his father does not answer, he becomes very disappointed and starts to cry; sometimes I have to comfort him several times a day. When I tell him that his father loves him and that he is in the sky, he immediately smiles.

Yusuf İnan: You wrote a petition to the President of Ukraine, requesting that your husband be awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine. Your husband is already a hero. Why did you submit this petition? What is your goal?



Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: To me, of course, my husband is a hero, but by creating this petition, I want to ensure that he is not forgotten, because there are very few people like Maksim. Maksim returned to the army of his own volition. He could have continued working abroad; he had three children, which exempted him from military service. Naturally, I did not approve of this decision, but it was futile to argue with him. He said, "The Russians will come to our home, and I will be abroad. Who else is there? I have significant experience; I can train the young generation. Maybe this is why young people without combat skills are severely affected by the war." I believe Maksim deserves the title of Hero of Ukraine because he went to war knowing the risks, knowing that each mission could be his last, that each flight could be his final one. Yet he went because he wanted a better future for us. He believed in a better world and died there not only for us but so that others could live peacefully. I want our heroes to be remembered. I do not want them to be forgotten within a year. I want future generations to know to whom they owe their peaceful lives; this is how Maksim wanted to see his country.

Yusuf İnan: Where is your husband's grave? Is it close to where you live? Do you plan to visit the cemetery?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Maksim's grave is 20 kilometers from our home. This is my hometown; I was born in the village of Stryi. Maksim and I often visited there to see my mother, and he loved it there. I visit Maksim's grave frequently, sometimes daily, sometimes less often, depending on my condition, but at least once a week.

Yusuf İnan: As the wife of a heroic pilot, what do you think?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: We have no right to give up; we must defeat the enemy. Otherwise, we would be disregarding the lives of our loved ones.

Yusuf İnan: How did you meet your husband?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: We met at the end of winter in 2017 while he was on a mission in the Luhansk region. Over time, we began communicating more and meeting more frequently, and eventually, our relationship grew beyond friendship. By the end of the year, we decided to live together and started making future plans.

Yusuf İnan: When did you get married?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: We officially formalized our relationship on 1 September 2020, and the next day my husband flew out on another mission. In April 2021, our entire family moved to Stryi. However, with the large-scale invasion in 2022, he returned from Turkey and moved to his mother's house with our son Vladislav and joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Yusuf İnan: Why did you move to Stryi?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: We found peace in the nature of this city and planned to continue our lives here. We hoped to spend more time together, to live happily as a family with our son.

Yusuf İnan: What role did your husband play in the war?

Maria Ivanivna Fedorova: Maksim was a highly skilled and experienced pilot. Throughout the war, he trained young pilots and participated in combat missions. He was involved in many critical operations and was known for his courage and dedication to his country. His bravery and determination saved many lives and hindered the enemy's advances.