BARANOVICHI, 20 May (BelTA) – A memorial to the fallen pilots Major Andrei Nichiporchik and Lieutenant Nikita Kukonenko of the Lida Assault Air Base was unveiled in Baranovichi, Brest Oblast, BelTA has learned.
Chairman of the Brest Oblast Executive Committee Yuri Shuleiko said: “Exactly two years ago two young officers repeated the heroic deed of Vladimir Karvat. They saw the city, understood what was happening to the aircraft, and decided in favor of preserving civilian lives. What can we say today to the guys, who are no longer with us? To the heroes of their country? We have something to be proud of today – the military education, the upbringing of officers that prompt such decisions.”
Colonel Vladimir Nichiporchik, father of a Hero of Belarus, continued: “Memory is the ability to preserve and reproduce some thoughts, actions, events. I am convinced that the Belarusian nation is fully capable of it. 19 May 2021 will remain in the memory of our nation forever. I express huge gratitude to residents, to the administration of the city and the oblast for the idea to immortalize memory of our sons, to the author and realizers of this beautiful idea for the excellent implementation.”
A site for construction had been previously allocated in Rozy Lyuksemburg Street. A sculptural composition was placed there in the shape of two wrought cranes flying into the sky with the silhouette of the Yak-130 aircraft in the background. The surrounding area was beautified.
Apart from that, streets will be named after the Heroes of Belarus in the new construction area of the Anisimovichi 1 microdistrict.
It has been a year since the tragedy happened in skies above Baranovichi. A Yak-130 military aircraft of the Lida Assault Airbase crashed on 19 May. The crew died. The aircraft crashed slightly more than one minute after the emergency on board occurred. At an altitude of about 50 meters the pilots managed to stabilize the direction of the flight and send Yak-130 into one location devoid of residential buildings.
Andrei Nichiporchik and Nikita Kukonenko were the commanding officer and a pilot of a combat training wing of the 116th Guards Assault Airbase of the Air Force and Air Defense Command of Belarus' Armed Forces. They were awarded Hero of Belarus Medals posthumously in recognition of their valor and heroism in the line of military duty. Their relatives received the medals.