The commander of the Belarusian battalion Volat, who defended Ukraine, died in the battles for Lysychansk
6 July, 2022
Ivan "Brest" Marchuk, commander of the Volat battalion of the Belarusian Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment

Ivan Marchuk (call sign Brest), commander of the Volat Battalion of Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment, died in the battles for Lysychansk on June 26.

On that day, the Volat Battalion tried to restrain the tank breakthrough of the Russian forces near Lysychansk, engaging in an unequal battle with the prevailing Russian forces. 

After a few hours of confrontation, the Russian equipment was destroyed, and the Russian forces were repulsed. Then only one battalion member was slightly wounded.

In the second wave of the battle, the Russian forces threw significant forces, including tanks, at the small Belarusian unit. Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment began to retreat; for a moment, communication with them was interrupted.

"In the early days, we had no understanding of the whereabouts of some of our soldiers, and we relied on media awareness. At such moments, it is very important to keep silent so that the Belarusian volunteers, in case of captivity, have a chance to be exchanged and return home., just like other service members of the Armed Forces. That is why the Regiment endured the pause, so as not to harm our boys," the Regiment said.

It is now known that the commander "Brest" of the Volat Battalion lost his life while performing his combat duty.

"From the first days of the war, he stood in defense of Ukraine against Russian aggression and was at the origin of the creation of the Kalinoŭski Regiment. We knew him as a courageous, determined, and selfless person, ready to do anything for the sake of each of his fighters. "Brest" had exceptional authority among the soldiers of the Regiment. He was a faithful son of the Belarusian land and believed in the future of a free Belarus. This is a huge and painful loss for all of us," the Regiment said.

During that operation, several more Regiment members went missing. Kalinoŭski Regiment keeps in touch with relatives and friends of the missing, keeping looking for the soldiers.

It is also reported that one volunteer, Jan Jurbeyka, with the call sign "Trombley," is in Russian captivity.

"According to the order that our soldiers received, to preserve their lives and health in case of captivity, they must say what the enemy wants to hear from them. We draw special attention to the fact that our soldier serves on contract, and is not a mercenary, so he is officially a prisoner of war," the Regiment's representatives emphasized.

Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment 

The Belarusian Kastuś Kalinoŭski Regiment emerged as a battalion in March 2022 for the defense of Ukraine, in particular Kyiv. In May, it was reorganized into a regiment.

The leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, said in June that up to 1,500 Belarusian volunteers are fighting in the Ukrainian army, and their number is likely to grow. According to her, Belarusians who want to help Ukraine are studying in other countries now. Tsikhanouskaya didn't specify the exact number of volunteers, noting that she is not authorized to speak about it.