Vyacheslav Matviyenko Ukranian Martyr

Vyacheslav Matviyenko

March 22, 2022

Senior soldier Vyacheslav Matviyenko, call sign Syava or Iceland, died on March 22, 2022, while performing a combat mission in the city of Mariupol, Donetsk region. On April 15, the defender would have turned 32.

Vyacheslav was born in Ukrainian Donetsk. He studied at School No. 25 in the city of Makiivka. Since childhood, he was passionate about football and drawing, and he read a lot. Later, he obtained a degree as a water supply and sanitation technician at the Donetsk Polytechnic Technical College. From the age of 16, he was a member of the fan sector of FC “Shakhtar” (Donetsk). In 2011, he married his beloved, Christina.

When the Russo-Ukrainian war began in 2014, he moved with his wife to Dnipropetrovsk region. The next year, their daughter was born, and they decided to move to Mariupol. There Vyacheslav decided to defend his native Donbas. In 2016, he signed a contract with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. He served in the 54th Separate Mechanized Brigade, with the call sign Syava. He participated in the ATO/OOS in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. In 2019, he transferred to the Separate Special Purpose Unit “Azov,” where he served until his death. In the new unit, he took a new call sign – Iceland.

From the first days of the full-scale war, Vyacheslav defended Mariupol and the Azovstal plant with his comrades. He fought as a rifleman-spotter in the mortar unit of the fire support platoon.

“During my first clash against the Luhansk residents back in 2006, he was in the front row, and I was behind. He turned around and said, ‘Cover me.’ In 2010, it seems, during a big clash against Zaporizhzhia, I found myself behind him again: ‘Syava, I’m behind you again. Covering.’ We put on caps – looked at each other, laughed. We weren’t close friends, but we were on the same wavelength. Or, as the fans say, in the same ‘sostav’… And, Syava, we’ll miss you terribly in our ‘sostav’… Rest in peace, Syava! We’ll cover you!” – wrote the friend of the deceased, Vitaliy Ovcharenko.

“In 2017, during his service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, he started writing a book. Unfortunately, it was in electronic form and remained on his phone. The book was about the struggle that we must wage, both in war and in everyday life. He thought a lot – what he would do if not for the war. And more and more often he came to the conclusion that he could no longer live without this struggle,” – added his close ones.

The defender was posthumously awarded the Order of Courage III degree.

Vyacheslav is survived by his parents, wife, daughter, other relatives, numerous friends, and comrades.