Donetsk, Feb 8 - DAN. Former Somali unit commander Mikhail Tolstykh (call sign “Givi”) was a courageous fighter and a reliable comrade-in-arms, Donetsk People’s Republic Head Denis Pushilin said on Tuesday.

“Five years have passed since the death of legendary Somalia battalion commander Mikhail Tolstykh, Givi,” Pushilin said. “He was a courageous figher, a reliable comrade and charismatic and open person. He fought and gave his life for the truth and his native land so that all Donbass residents remain true to themselves. We’ve been able to achieve much of what he had dreamt about: we’re reviving Russian Donbass.”

The DPR leader said it was a duty to the memory of Givi and other fallen heroes “to bring their fight to a victorious end.”

Pushilin laid flowers to Tolstykh’s grave in the Donetskoye More cemetery in Donetsk. He also laid flowers to graves in the Alley of Heroes and to the monument of the DPR’s first Head Alexander Zakharchenko.

Mikhail Tolstykh was born in Ilovaisk in 1980. He served in the Ukrainian army and joined DPR militia in the very beginning of the conflict.  Tolstykh participated in the fighting for Slavyansk, Ilovaisk and Donetsk Airport. A DPR hero, holder of two St George Crosses, and For Slavyansk Defence medal,  Tolskykh was killed in a terrorist attack at the Somali unit headquarters in Makeyevka on February 8, 2017. *jk