On January 31st, we paid our last respect to the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia Battalion Commander Ivan Andreevich Balakay (callsign “Grek”), Rossa Primavera Information Agency reporter Mikhail Kotofeev informed.
Grek was killed on January 29th while pulling wounded soldiers from his Battalion out from under fire. They came under fire from Ukrainian army soldiers while defending against a provocative attempt by the Ukrainian Nazi regime to break through the line of DPR defense.
The funeral service for Grek was held in the Trinity Cathedral.
The comrades in arms and friends of the fallen commander came to pay their last tribute. Ivan Andreevich had no enemies before the Civil War came to Donbass. He was a very kind and calm person. He will live in his friends’ memory as a calm man who would always smile kindly.
He found himself enemies at the beginning of 2014, when criminals, sent by the nationalist occupants in Kiev, tried to suppress the protests in Donetsk against the February coup in Ukraine.
Before the war, he was a construction worker. But when he joined the people’s militia, he quickly proved to be a capable commander and took the lead over a battalion of the Vostok Brigade. After the militia was reorganized into a regular army – the Donetsk People’s Republic People’s Militia, Grek continued his military service and became the commander of the 11th Battalion of the Independent Motorized Infantry Regiment of People’s Militia.
His battalion successfully carried out the most difficult tasks assigned to it by Command. One of the reasons the Ukrainian army’s provocative attack on People’s Militia positions failed is that the Ukrainian military met Grek’s Battalion.
But, the Battalion Commander was killed. He now joins the ranks of “Immortal Regiment”.
He was buried on January 31st at Chulkovsky cemetery of Donetsk.
We shall always remember Ivan Andreevich Balakay, callsign Grek as a brave and skilled warrior, a good commander, and a kind man.