DENYS PROKOPENKO “REDIS”
31 Y.O., COMMANDER OF THE AZOV REGIMENT
Denys Prokopenko is a lieutenant colonel and a commander of the "Azov" regiment. He is a peer of Ukrainian independence who has met his 31st birthday in Russian captivity.
Denys is of ethnic Finnic Karelian ancestry. His grandfather fought the Soviets in the Russo-Finnish and was the only member of the family to survive serving in the Finnish Defense Forces. Hence, Denys considers his obligation to defend Ukraine as a continuing tradition of fighting against Kremlin regime and Soviet heritage.
Denys has been interested in sports, particularly, soccer. He has been an active and dedicated fan of the Kyiv soccer team «Dynamo».
Denys graduated from the Faculty of Germanic Philology of the Kyiv National Linguistic University with a degree in English Language Teaching. In 2014 he turned 22 and joined the "Azov" regiment to defend the Eastern borders of Ukraine against the russian invasion. In three years he was appointed regimental commander becoming the youngest commander in the history of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In March 2022 he was awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. He is also a recipient of the Order of Bohdan Khmelnytskyi III class and Medal for Military Service to Ukraine.
His subordinates in the regiment characterize him as a natural leader and born commander. Denys is waited at home by his parents, comrades and his wife Kateryna who organized The Association of Azovstal defenders' families – a community of relatives of captured the Azovstal’ defenders.
In private life, Denys is an avid traveler, outdoors and sports lover. He spends his time during rotations skiing in the Alps and discovering Europe. He is particularly fond of farm animals. According to his wife, Denys has a kind heart as he regularly finds himself helping seniors and chatting with the elderly on his travel and off-duty time.
DENIS PROKOPENKO AND HIS WIFE
PRESS ABOUT DENIS
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UKRAINIAN COMMANDER AT AZOVSTAL SAYS "ENEMY" BROKE INTO THE PLANT COMPLEX DURING BATTLES
AZOV WIVES: 'THIS IS NOT A GAME OR A REALITY SHOW. THE TRUTH IS HORRIBLE'
LEADER OF UKRAINE’S FAR-RIGHT AZOV BRIGADE ALIVE IN RUSSIAN CAPTIVITY — WIFE
TIMES OF ISRAEL
AS THE DEFENSE OF MARIUPOL ENDS, FIGHTING IN EASTERN UKRAINE RAGES ON
THE WASHINGTON POST
WIVES OF MARIUPOL DEFENDERS APPEAL FOR SOLDIERS' EVACUATION