At the end of last year, Slidstvo.Info journalists learned about the death of hero of the report “‘Where the wounded are’ — storming Russian positions and evacuation near Bakhmut”. Combat “Sydney” stopped responding to messages. Journalists tried to find out what happened. Recently, “Sydney’s” sister confirmed his death. 

This article is dedicated to the memory of the soldier of the 5th Separate Assault Brigade, “Sydney”, whom Slidstvo.Info journalists met in September 2023. 

Maksym Anishchenko with the call sign “Sydney” stood out among the other fighters. Despite the fact that the man could barely stand on his feet because of fatigue, he found the strength to smile at the camera — broadly and sincerely, as if he were seeing old friends.

Maksym Anishchenko, call sign “Sydney”

“Now, when it’s a bit quieter, you start to realise that your strength is leaving you. Because there is adrenaline, you perceive everything in a completely different way. Even though it’s hard, you somehow do it all…”, Maksym explained. 

“Sydney” was a newcomer among the rest of the fighters, it had only been a couple of weeks since he had arrived from his “training”. We met in September, and Maksym decided to mobilise in June, his sister Oleksandra recalls. 

“It was a well-considered decision. He was where he wanted to be. That’s our motto, both of us: ‘Who else but us?” the woman recalls in a telephone conversation. 

The last time she spoke to her brother was on 26 November. Maksym, according to his sister, had just returned from a three-day duty at an observation post and was due to go on a mission the next evening. “Sydney” was a scout. On the 29th of the same month, Oleksandra received a call from the military command and was informed that her brother had gone missing. 

She had to find out what exactly had happened and whether she should look for him in captivity or in hospitals. 

“The commander didn’t even call me back. I started calling my friends in the military and the Security Service of Ukraine. I needed the truth so that I could understand the algorithm of actions further. And on the 3rd of December, one of his fellow soldiers told me that Max was dead,” explains Oleksandra. 

His body has not yet been retrieved from the battlefield. 

“We are guys made of steel, so we cannot be broken. I mean, we don’t give up, we fight to the end,” Maksym said after leaving the battlefield in early September 2023, tired but surprisingly inspired. 

The man died a month short of his birthday — on 26 December, Maksym Onyshchenko, call sign “Sydney”, was to have turned 35. The man is survived by a 10-year-old son. The family of the deceased is currently collecting all the necessary documents for the child to receive his father’s death benefit.

The video has English subtitles.

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