Born in 1959 to a Ukrainian-American family, Mark (Marko) Paslavsky served in the 75th ranger regiment before quitting the military in the rank of Major and moving to Ukraine in the 1990s.

Nicknamed ‘Franko’ (after the great poet and writer), Paslavsky had been with the Donbass battalion and fought in Eastern Ukraine since April 2014. In late May – early June, after his battalion joined the National Guard, he underwent training at the Novye Petrovtsy training site.

On August 19, 2015, he got shot three times in the back when liberating the town of Illovaysk and died at the age of 55. Mark was buried on the site of the Askold Grave in Kiev.

The unveiling ceremony was attended by his mother and sisters, former MPs Stepan Khmara and Yevgeny Onyschuk, Mark’s comrades-in-arms from the Donbass battalion, and Taras Kostanchuk, Mark’s CO who gave him his last order. As a former member of the PLasta (Ukrainian scout organization), Paslavsky has been posthumously awarded the Iron Cross, the organization’s highest award. The award has been handed over to Mark Paslavsky’s mother.