The American bequeathed $ 1 million to the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army: General Zaluzhny gave money to the military
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, received $1000000 in inheritance from an American of Ukrainian origin in January and donated it to the needs of the army, reports with the BBC.
The General Staff confirmed that the information is true. The money was bequeathed to Zaluzhny by US citizen Gregory (Grigory) Stepanets. Whether there was a condition in the will that the money should be transferred to the army is not specified.
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However, as explained in the General Staff, Mr. Stepanets was not a relative of Zaluzhny, and the inheritance became a symbolic gesture of a Ukrainian from the United States in support of Ukraine and its army, quite unexpected for the Commander-in-Chief himself. Over the past year, residents and businesses of Ukraine donated about $500 million to the armed forces.
“In accordance with the will of Hryhoriy Stepanets, a citizen of the United States of America of Ukrainian origin, dated November 15, 2022, General Valeriy Zaluzhny, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, was named one of the recipients of the $1 million inheritance,” the General Staff said in a statement.
They indicate that Zaluzhny sent this money in full to the special account of the National Bank of Ukraine to raise funds for the needs of the army, which was confirmed by the bank's SWIFT message dated January 5, 2023.
They also give explanations of Zaluzhny himself about the million-dollar legacy - he claims that his family made such a decision:
“I gave my whole life to the Armed Forces. And he had no doubts about what he should do with the inheritance. The last will of Mr. Gregory, obviously, was to support the Ukrainian army in my person. I am grateful to everyone who helps the Armed Forces of Ukraine. And I am grateful to my family for their understanding.”
Where is the legacy from?
The General Staff provided a brief information about the person from whom the Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief received a million dollars. He is not a relative of Zaluzhny, and the inheritance became a symbolic and rather unexpected gesture for the general himself.
Grigory Stepanets was born in 1938 in Vinnitsa. His father fought in World War II and was killed by the Germans in October 1941.
“Grigory and his mother were evacuated to the Urals, where they were subjected to hunger and other trials. After the end of the war, they returned to Vinnitsa. There was also very little food in the city then. They survived only thanks to the fact that my uncle fought (he was wounded and lost his leg), shared military rations with them, ”the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said.
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After graduating from high school with a gold medal in 1956, Grigory Stepanets entered the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, who also graduated with honors with a master's degree in mathematics, a master's degree in chemistry, and a PhD in physical chemistry.
He was fluent in Ukrainian, Russian, German, Italian and English, and translated several books.
After graduating from higher education, Grigory Stepanets worked as a research assistant at the university, and later - in several different institutions as a senior systems programmer and analyst.
“While working at the Geophysical Research Institute in Moscow, he signed a letter in support of dissidents and was soon dismissed by the Soviet authorities on a falsified pretext. Later, he was persecuted by the KGB and unable to work. He applied for an exit visa, but he was refused,” the General Staff said.
The situation changed after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power, when Grigory Stepants was allowed to leave the Soviet Union.
In 1989 he came to the United States and started working for Microsoft in Redmond, Washington as a software developer. Together with another software developer, they invented a patent assigned to Microsoft for decoding variable length data codes.
As the relatives of Hryhoriy Stepanets said, “only his love for plants and trees can be compared with Hryhoriy’s love for Ukraine.”
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Grigory and his wife Alla, whom they met in 1959, are survived by a daughter, grandson and great-grandson.
The message about the unexpected legacy of the Ukrainian commander-in-chief appeared against the backdrop of a scandal over contracts for the supply of food to the Ministry of Defense.
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