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Ukraine war: Son speaks of revenge after his father is killed in combat near Kyiv

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By Anelise Borges
Yuriy Shabadash
Yuriy Shabadash   -   Copyright  Credit: Euronews   -  

These are excruciating days for Ukrainians. It took Yuriy Shabadash's family several days to recover his remains after he was killed in combat near the city of Irpin.

The cemetery where the 59-year-old is buried bears witness to the current escalation of a war many here consider has started not last month but eight years ago when Russia annexed Crimea and began supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine. 

Since then, more than 14,000 people have died. 

But very few here minimise the seismic shift 24 February -- the day Russia invaded -- came to represent.

'Just remember, they are cowards'

Yuriy's son Artem now wants revenge and says he has no other option but to fight this war.

"We didn’t start it but we will finish it," he said. "Russians can’t fight in close combat. Just remember, they are cowards."

During the burial service, there are vows to resist and fight on despite the test Russia’s invasion of this country represents. 

Present at the funeral is Rostyslav Fedorko, a provision manager of the "Brotherhood battalion".

"I feel like a lack of faith has to do with this. Because if we were to believe as we should believe, we would crush Russia, we would destroy Russia, we would destroy the Kremlin. But now we are just resisting in our territory because we lack faith. We are weak in faith."

Ukraine’s capital Kyiv remains "Russia’s primary military objective”,  according to western officials.

And many warn Moscow could try to encircle the city in the coming weeks and turn to even deadlier tactics in the process, as the human toll of the war continues to climb.

Watch the full report in the video player, above.