Maksym Galinichev, a young Ukrainian boxer lost his life at 22 while fighting for his country. He was serving with the 25th Airborne Brigade when he was killed in the Luhansk region near Kreminna. 

This devastating loss highlights the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine and the toll it has taken on combat athletes, with Galinichev being the third to lose his life in this way. His sacrifice will not be forgotten as he is remembered as a hero for laying down his life for his country.

Who is Maksym Galinichev?

Maksym Galinichev had won medals at both the Olympic and European levels.  

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At the age of 22, Galinichev represented Ukraine at the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Argentina and brought home a gold medal for his country at the European Youth Championship in both 2017 and 2018. He also earned a silver medal in the under-56kg division at the Youth Olympics while competing for Ukraine.

Galinichev decided a year ago to forego competing at the European Boxing Championships in Armenia in order to volunteer for military service amidst the ongoing conflict with Russia. It has been reported that Galinichev leaves behind a three-year-old daughter.

Anton Gerashchenko, a Ukrainian government adviser, shared the news of Maksym Galinichev’s passing on social media. Galinichev had volunteered for military service and bravely returned to the battle lines twice, even after suffering injuries. 

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Team GB Boxing also expressed their condolences on Twitter, stating that they were deeply sorry to hear of his passing and sending their thoughts to Maksym’s loved ones during this difficult time. 

Fellow Olympian Vladyslav Heraskevych hailed Galinichev as a hero for his sacrifice in laying down his life for Ukraine.

The first athlete to lose their life between Russia and Ukraine was kickboxer Maksym Kagal, who died in Mariupol in March 2022. Kagal was a member of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion, which promotes extreme nationalism and has been involved in conflicts in southern Ukraine. 

Another boxer, Oleg Prudky, also lost his life in combat in May of that same year. Prudky, who was a two-time amateur champion and had served in the special forces of the Cherkasy Police, was one of four members who died in an attack.