Donetsk, Aug 25 - DAN. A monument to Donetsk People’s Republic hero Mikhaili Tolstykh (call sign “Givi”) was unveiled in Donetsk on Tuesday. The bust of the legendary “Somali” battalion commander was installed in the Lenin Komsomol Park.

The ceremony was attended by DPR Head Denis Pushilin, government officials, parliamentarians and Tolstykh’s relatives, friends and colleagues.

“He could stay on his feet with projectiles flying over his head, and make decisions that invariably led to victories,” Pushilin said. “Our descendants can visit this Alley to honour the memory of Donbass’ true heroes who gave their life for freedom and independence.”

Pushilin thanked Mikhail’s family for raising a hero and Somali unit fighters for continuing his cause.

The sculpture shows Tolstykh in military uniform, with military decorations and tanker’s helmet on. There is an inscription on base next to his birthdate, which reads “Givi. If need be, I’ll die in my land and for my land.” The bust was unveiled to mark the 6th anniversary of the liberation of Ilovaisk (August 29, 2014).

The Mikhail Tolstykh bust is the fourth in the Alley of Heroes. Earlier, monuments to the DPR’s first head Alexander Zakharchenko, former commander of the Pyatnashka international brigade Oleg Mamiyev and USSR and DPR People’s artist Iosif Kobzon were installed there.

Mikhail Tolstykh was born in Ilovaisk on July 19, 1980. He joined DPR militia at 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, Tolstykh survived several assassination attempts and was wounded several times in combat.  He was killed in a terrorist attack at the Somali unit headquarters in Makeyevka on February 8, 2017. *jk