: 'People's Hero' Awards handed out in Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Society16:29 Mar. 27, 2016
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'People's Hero' Awards handed out in Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Soldiers, volunteers and medics receive recognition from the ordinary citizens

The people's award for the people's heroes. Recently, the residents of a western Ukrainian city of Chernivtsi recognised those on the frontlines of the war in eastern Ukraine. Medics, volunteers and soldiers were all selected in an open vote. The award truly means its name - the silver the award is made out of was donated by Ukrainians from all over the country.

One of the heroes that was given an award, is a famous Ukrainian patriot from Donetsk. The pictures of the torture Iryna Dovhan went through were seen around the globe. Dovhan was tied to a post and wrapped in a Ukrainian flag while Russian-backed separatist kicked her and spit in her face.

Dovhan says that horrible incident and the photo ultimately saved her life.

Iryna Dovhan, Award recipient: "This award means so much to me. I promise to be worthy of it."

Two soldiers who volunteered at the front were also the recipients of the award in Chernivtsi. Serhiy Kozak was a part of the 72 brigade. He was severely injured, went through nearly thirty operations and even ran for the city's mayor.

Ruslan Berladin volunteered with the Azov battalion - he was wounded in the arm after he handed his bullet-proof vest to a journalist covering the war.

Read also Multi-media project 'The Victors' unveils more heroes

The 'People's Hero' award comes in two colour-combinations, black and red for the soldiers and blue and yellow for the medics and volunteers. Olena Shevtsova who continues to volunteer at the front says this is the most important award she's gotten thus far.

The 'People's Hero' ceremony travels across Ukraine. To date nearly two hundred silver awards have been handed out .

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