On 10 March, the fifteenth day of Ukrainian defence from Russian invasion, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave 13 service members the Hero of Ukraine, the very best attainable title within the nation with army personnel receiving the Order of the Gold Star. Amongst these honoured was Lieutenant Colonel Viacheslav Ponomarenko, who was competing in rally raid occasions earlier than serving on the frontlines.
He was concerned within the battle for Hostomel, situated in Kyiv Oblast close to Ukraine’s capital and due to this fact a important early goal for Russia. Hostomel’s airport was attacked hours after the invasion started, and it was finally captured the subsequent day adopted by the city itself in early March. Ukraine would launch counter-offensives within the area till Russian retreat a month later.
Ponomarenko led a bunch of defenders and efficiently disabled twenty Russian BMP (“Boevaya Mashina Pehoty”, infantry preventing car) items. Zelenskyy counseled his actions in a 10 March address and defined that “because of his actions, a big variety of enemy’s gear and troopers within the metropolis of Hostomel have been destroyed.”
“President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine to Lt. Col. Viacheslav Ponomarenko for his private braveness and heroism proven within the defence of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and loyalty to the army oath,” reads a 9 June assertion from the Federation Car de l’Ukraine (FAU), an FIA member club who sanctions races within the nation.
“Underneath the management of Lt. Col. Viacheslav Ponomarenko, a mixed special-purpose group within the suburbs of Kyiv—Hostomel—destroyed twenty BMP items of the occupiers’ armed forces together with their personnel and stopped the additional advance of the enemy within the path of Kyiv.
“Viacheslav Ponomarenko is a long-time motorsport activist, athlete, choose, and organiser of off-road motor sports activities competitions.
“Honest congratulations to the Hero of Ukraine and greatest needs from your entire motorsports neighborhood.”
Ponomarenko hails from Dnipro, which serves as a logistical centre for humanitarian efforts however has additionally been focused by Russian missile strikes. In peaceable instances, he raced within the Ukraine Cup, the nationwide rally raid championship.
On the 2011 Baja Polygon, held on a army coaching space in his native Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, Ponomarenko served as co-driver of a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado for Volodymyr Korobskiy and completed second within the Sport class. Different drivers whom he teamed up with embrace Mykola Kuznetsov in a Mitsubishi Pajero and Vavreniuk Bohdan in a UAZ Patriot.
The FAU indefinitely suspended racing on 24 Might, however Ukraine can be represented on the FIA Motorsport Video games on 29/30 October. A twelve-member delegation for the Video games was revealed on 10 August.