Remembering the battle of Ilovaisk we commemorate those brave people, volunteers, who fell during the operation three years ago. In this article we are going to recall a man of outstanding fate, a millionarie, whose spirit forced him to leave a comfortable and prosperous life to take up arms when stormy times have come.

Markiyan "Marko" Paslawsky was born on January 16, 1959 in the USA, in Manhattan, New York, in the Ukrainian-American family, which had fully preserved mamory about own roots far beyond the ocean for decades after emigration. Marco graduated from US West Point Academy, was promoted to a major and became a commander of a he 75th Regiment of the Rangers - one of the elite units of the US Army. In 1991, having finished army service, he had decided to took up business. Markiyan moved to Ukraine - to the homeland of his ancestors - where he runed a metal bussines and became a millionare.

During the Revolution of Dignity Marko was an active participant of street battles against the defenders of Yanukovich's chiminal regime. On February 20, he was among those bravehearts, who having being armed with sticks and self-made shields came out against fully equiped Berkut at Instytutska Street.

Marko was on the forefront of the battles, side by side with those who are called now the Heavenly Hundred. By miracle he avoided a Berkut's bullet on that day: U.S. citizen and millionaire Mark Paslawsky participated in ‘Heavenly Hundred’ assault at Instytutska Street with tyre and shield on Feb. 20, 2014. PHOTOS

In April 2014, Markiyan obtained a Ukrainian citizenceship in order to go to the front. But what frontline you can dream about if you are 55 years old. In this age millionares in New Jersey usually waste their time by playng golf, not storming terrorist strongholds with a Kalashnikov! Given the advanced age, a volunteer unit was the only option for Marko, hence he joined the Donbass battalion.

I met Marco in Petrivtsy, when brought a NATO delegation to the battalion's base. It was he hwo conducted them excurcion in the camp. I remember the foreign guests were impressed by the story about a sucessfull American bussinessman, who leaved all he has to fight for a country his parence came from. At the same time I was struck about how modest Marko was, fully focused on his cause, without all this staging heroism. He deliberately hadn't talked much about own military past to avoid extra attention. He remained a soldier and did his job. It's hard to say why, but his advices usualy helped the Donbass battalion commanders, although he couldn't image himself working in the command staff, I think he believed that his age would not allow him to fully command - Markian had been very demanding of himself. It wasn't inherent for Marko to complain. He often said it is pride for him to fight for his parents' land, which had become a native for him by blood, by spirit, by faith and eventualy became a place where he found peace.

At the war, Paslawsky duly took part in all operations of his battalion. He liberated Popasna, Lisichansk, and he was in the wanguard in the battle for Ilovaisk ... He died under the mortar shelling on the first day of the Ilovaisk liberation operation, died as a hero.

Markian Paslawsky awarded with the Order of Danylo Halytsky posthumously, as well as with such public awards as the Plast Iron Cross and the People's Heroe of Ukraine. On December 6, 2014, the memory of Markian Paslawsky was honored at the NHL match between New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals. 

One of the streets in Popasna town weas named after him, as well as a gymnasium in Pidgaity village of Ternopil region - where his parents were born. In Lviv there is a rehabilitation clinic named after Paslavsky. Marco Paslavsky was burried with honors in Askolds grave in Kyiv.

original by Yury BUTUSOW