Yaroslav Pavlovych Goroshko was born on Осtober 4, 1957 in the village of Borshchivka, Lanivetskyi district, Ternopil region in the family of country teachers Motria Lavrentiivna and Pavel Kindratovych.
Yaroslav was studying successfully at school and had only “good” and “excellent” marks, especially he liked history and literature.
After the graduation from the secondary school Yaroslav was trying to enter Khmelnytskyi Higher Artillery Command Institute (KHACI), but he failed. After military conscription in the Soviet Army, on July 1977 Yaroslav entered Khmelnytskyi Higher Artillery Command Institute and graduated in 1981.
After the graduation he voluntarily submitted a report with the request to send him to serve in the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan.
His destiny was such as he dreamt. Yaroslav served in elite special forces where the service was demanding and challenging, and it forced soldiers to act on the brink of resources.
Among the main tasks facing the special forces soldiers were an exposure and elimination of mujaheddins’ caravans with weapons and ammunition, and also a struggle against armed robbers who acted in frontier areas. The fulfillment of these tasks was very tough owing to mujaheddins who were good prepared and armed, got the perfect knowledge about the terrain and were ready to kill ‘non-believers’ 24/7.
During his stay in Afghanistan Yaroslav Pavlovych went through a very thorny way of knowing himself, impregnated with the blood and sweat. But he honorably withstood all the trials prepared by his fate, and in two years in the rank of captain he returned home.
He was awarded the Order of the Red Star and the Medal “For Bravery” for participation in combat and intelligence actions.
After returning from Afghanistan Ya. P. Horoshko was sent to undergo his further service to the city of Iziaslav, Khmelnytskyi district to the position of a platoon commander of special weapons. During his military service in Iziaslav, Horoshko established a reputation as a diligent and disciplined officer who payed great attention to combat and physical training of his unit. A young commander was noticed at one of the events of a special group and was offered the position of commander of the special forces company in the city of Mariina Hirka (the republic of Belarus).
In December 1986 Captain Horoshko went on service to Mariina Hirka. A year later his company became the best among the companies of special forces of a brigade.
From the recollections of Colonel Miklashevskyi, the former colleague of Ya. Horoshko: "… Regarding Slava’s character I can say that, first of all, he was a strong-willed commander. He was always trying to be the first everywhere, even not in his favour. His family was in the background, unlike his service and work with the personnel – they were on the first place.
…You may have met such people as “carved out of a stone”, I mean the character. Yaroslav Horoshko was such a man. "
But Yaroslav Pavlovych could not stay away when every day there were reports about the number of dead Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan. He felt that his military experience was needed to his state again. In January 1987 he voluntarily submitted a report with the request to send him to serve as a part of the 40th Army.
For him it was enough that he had already been to Afghanistan. No one had a right to condemn him, because he had already performed his international duty in full. But he had such a thorny fate. Serving the Motherland – is always personal life’s abandonment.
In February 1987 Yaroslav Pavlovych was appointed to the position of a commander of the special forces company (SFC) of 186th separate unit of SFC of the 22nd separate brigade of SFC of the 40th Army in the Republic of Afghanistan.
Soldiers were respectful to Yaroslav Pavlovych who had an invaluable combat experience gained in over 40 military exits, and, most importantly, trust him for the obligation and integrity. Almost all his military campaigns were effective. However, a heavy concussion, bloody battle near kishlak and the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union was awaiting him further.
The battle near Duri kishlak went down in a history of Special Forces. On October 31, 1987 night the SFC reconnaissance group under the command of First Lieutenant Oleh Onishchuk was attacked by a large group of mujahidins and in the course of an unequal battle the group was almost killed.
When the question concerning the assistance to the group of Onishchuk appeared, his friend Yaroslav Horoshko was immediately chosen.
In the morning of October 31, 1987 intelligence officers under the command of Captain Horoshko flew to the aid of Onishchuk’s group.
From the submission to decoration for the battle near Duri kishlak of Captain Horoshko “Group led by Captain Horoshko came to the aid of First Lieutenant Onishchuk’s group, entered a fierce battle with rebels, who were much superior in number, destroyed more than two dozen rebels with fire and hand-to-hand fight, and took away from the battlefield the perished intelligence officers from Onishchuk’s group”.
Later mujaheddins damned that place, and none caravan with weapons passed that stony road through Duri kishlak.
In February 1988 Captain Ya. P. Horoshko was awarded a second Order of the Red Star for participation in combat and intelligence operations, fulfillment of special tasks with international assistance, and on May 5, 1988 he was awarded the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
In July 1988, Yaroslav Pavlovych entered the Frunze Military Academy and graduated in 1991.
After the graduation he was offered a high position in Moscow with the possibility of a rapid promotion, but Yaroslav Pavlovych refused.
“I am a Ukrainian and want to return to serve in Ukraine”, – he said to high-ranking officials in Moscow. His request was granted, he was directed to Iziaslav to the position of a commander of the separate special forces battalion.
In September 1993, the government commissioned him with a new, very responsible issue – to train special forces of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine of the Defence Ministry of Ukraine. The commander was willed, tough, but fair. He was training new Ukrainian special forces the way his long military experience prompted. Among his duties there also were the training of combat swimmers, which is a special, quite specific line of work.
As a combat commander Yaroslav Pavlovych did not have a right to drop behind his subordinates. He used to be the best. Thus he paid special attention to the diving training and was constantly improving his skills.
On June 8, 1994 during one of the training sessions on diving, the Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant Colonel Horoshko tragically died.
Yaroslav Pavlovych left two sons – Pavlo and Ivan. As their father dreamt they both became officers. Symbolically is that his younger son Ivan serves in the military unit of his father. With honor and dignity the descendants of the Hero of the Soviet Union continue the glorious traditions to serve the Motherland.
The fact that Horoshko’s native school is named after him demonstrates a striking example that the memory of the real feats is immortal. Traditionally, on the first of September during the solemnities there is a right provided the best students of the school to be a part of the Honor Guard and lay flowers on the bas-relief of the hero. And the topic of the first lesson is “Learning patriotism, to be patriots of the motherland, the way Yaroslav Horoshko was.”
In 2007, in a native school of the hero there was opened a museum in his name. Employees of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine participated in the opening of the museum commemorated the 50th anniversary of Yaroslav Pavlovych’s birth. In the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine considerable attention is given to the holding Yaroslav Horoshko in remembrance. Thus, in 2003 in the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine there was created a Book of condolence, which includes information about persons who made outstanding contributions into the development of the military intelligence of Ukraine. The first page of this book contains information about the Lieutenant Colonel Horoshko. Furthermore, in a military unit commanded by Yaroslav Pavlovych there was created a photoexposition that reflects his operational record. In 2006 the Museum of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine was founded, in which a special place is given to the exhibition about Yaroslav Pavlovych’s path of life.