сivic leaders
at war

The Culture Fights Back project to share stories of artists and civil society representatives who have joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

The heroes of this section themselves went through the Revolution experiencing and personally participating in building the Ukrainian state after the Revolution of Dignity. Moreover, they took up arms in order to defend their country.

Roman Ratushnyi

Roman Ratushny was a public activist, journalist, participant of the Revolution of Dignity and military volunteer. At the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion in 2022, Roman joined the Territorial Defense Forces of Ukraine.

The child of writer Svitlana Povalyaeva and public figure Taras Ratushny, Roman was one of the Revolution of Dignity’s first participants in 2013-2014;  he was only 16 years old. On the night of November 30, 2013, he was beaten by the Berkut – special police forces – together with other students. In 2018, Roman founded an initiative that fights against planned construction on the green zone of Protasovyi Yar in Kyiv.

In February 2022, Roman defended Kyiv and liberated the settlements of Northern Slobozhanshchyna, later creating the “Protasovyi Yar” unit. In early April 2022, Roman Ratushny joined the reconnaissance platoon of the 93rd Separate Mechanized Brigade “Kholodnyi Yar” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

On June 9, 2022, Roman Ratushny perished, caught in an enemy ambush on the front line. A street in Kyiv was renamed in his honor; over  30,000 people voted in support of the decision.

Even after his death, the words of Roman Ratushny continue to be quoted: “Burn out the entire Russian subculture in yourself. Burn all the memories from your childhood related to the Russian-Soviet times. Burn the bridges in relationships with relatives or friends who support the other side, with everyone who is a carrier of the Russian subculture. Otherwise, all these things will burn you out.”

Roman Ratushnyi Facebook-page
Materials about Roman in English:
The Economist | The Guardian | The Telegraph