Anton "Sif" Hrytsai - a fan of football club "Vorskla" (Poltava) and a representative of "Crew of Golden Eagle"
Anton Hrytsai was born on May 7, 1987, in Poltava. He graduated from the Faculty of History of Poltava V.G. Korolenko National Pedagogical University. He decided to study there at the call of his heart because he loved Ukraine above all. He was an active football fan, a member of the ultras community of the Poltava club "Vorskla". He became one of the founders of the ultras community C.O.G.E. He devoted a lot of time to the around-football movement, and was engaged in martial arts. Anton Hrytsai participated in the events of the Revolution of Dignity as a member of the Poltava Self-Defense. He was one of the authors of the graffiti memorial to the Heavenly Hundred near the Poltava State Agrarian Academy. In September 2014, he voluntarily joined the ranks of the "Azov" battalion. On the website of the heroic regiment, it is noted that after joining the "Azov", Anton was in the guard, then became a soldier of the first hundred of the battalion. When "Sif" was transferred to a combat division, he had to choose between artillery and infantry. He wanted to take a machine gun, but there was no PKM available, so he became a rifleman. One of his first missions was on duty after the terrorist attack in Mariupol. On January 24, 2015, he saw Grad missile flying over the East district. 31 people were killed. Anton could not sit idly and wanted to go forward and take the offensive. Anton, the brave Poltava ultras died on February 15, 2015, in the village of Shyrokyne (Volnovakha district, Donetsk region). It happened during the Pavlopil-Shyrokyne offensive operation, on the day when the so-called "truce" came. Russian terrorists attempted to break through armored vehicles in Shyrokyne. Due to the thick fog, tanks and troops of the enemy entered the village. They used artillery and mortars. Azov fighters repulsed the attack. A positional confrontation began. Till the afternoon terrorists continued to shell the positions of the Ukrainian battalion with small arms. In the late afternoon, Azov troops managed to evacuate civilians from Shyrokyne. As a result, almost a hundred militants and ten armored vehicles were destroyed. Unfortunately, Ukrainian defenders suffered losses during the fight – seven were killed and about fifty were wounded. He was said to have slept only 15 minutes because he and his friend had one sleeping bag and they took turns sleeping. From the very dawn - there were street battles against separatists and a company of Ossetians. It was the first serious street battle for "Sif", in which he proved to be brave and disciplined. During the retreating of the group "Sif" was the last to go. Covering the others, he did not manage to reach a shelter - an enemy VOG grenade exploded under Anton's feet. Anton's commemoration was honoured with a minute of silence in his favorite stadium on March 8, 2015, during the match of the 16th round of the Ukrainian Football Championship "Vorskla" - "Hoverla". That day, the players of the Poltava club came to the field in black T-shirts with "Anton "Sif" Hrytsay" name on them , and his comrades unrolled a banner with a portrait of Anton on the stands.
On August 15, 2015, at the building of Poltava National Pedagogical University, a memorial plaque in honour of Anton was unveiled. On the same day, in the village of Krutyi Bereh, at the stadium "Ltava", a fan tournament in honour of Anton Hrytsai was held. It was attended by 16 teams representing the football communities of the clubs "Vorskla", "Poltava", "Shakhtar", and "Chornomorets", as well as the division of the National Guard of Ukraine "Azov". Later, this fan tournament became an annual event. The competition in honor of Anton Hrytsai was held every year, until the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. By Decree of the President of Ukraine No. 176/2015 of March 25, 2015, "for personal courage and high professionalism displayed in the protection of state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine", he was awarded the Medal "For Courage", III degree (posthumously). The main thing for him was the fact that his mother would never cry... He did not have time to start a family and build a house in the woods near Poltava, where he loved to have a walk with his beloved Ksyusha and faithful comrades. He was a patriot, an excellent fighter, and an organizer. Anton knew and respected the history of his native land, he loved Ukraine and was a fan of his favorite club "Vorskla". He was an honest and friendly, open and initiative, straightforward and cheerful, stylish and handsome man. On May 7, he would have turned 28 years old. A soldier of the "Azov" regiment. He died the day after Valentine's Day 2015. He will always love his Motherland and will be rooting for Ukraine and protecting his loved ones from heaven. Anton "Sif" Hrytsai, thank you for everything! Peace to your soul, dear friend!
That is what Y. Logvinenko, journalist of RSTBC "Ltava" will later write about the Ukrainian Warrior.