|Born||5 July 1970|
Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian SSR, USSR
|Died||26 February 2022 (aged 52)|
|Service/||Ukrainian Ground Forces|
|Years of service||2015–2022|
|Unit||58th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade|
|Awards||Order of the Gold Star (posthumously)|
Inna Mykolaivna Derusova (Ukrainian: Інна Миколаївна Дерусова, Russian: Инна Николаевна Дерусова; 5 July 1970 – 26 February 2022) was a Ukrainian military medic who was the first woman to be posthumously awarded the Hero of Ukraine distinction.
In 2014, at the start of the War in Donbas, Derusova's brother volunteered for the 40th Territorial Defence Battalion "Kryvbas". Derusova joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 2015 and served as a combat medic with the 58th Independent Motorized Infantry Brigade. She was called "Violet" (Russian: Фиалка, after the small flower) because she was initially the only woman in the brigade. She was a sergeant. She had a lot of responsibilities, as the head of the medical service, of the medical center, and as a medical instructor. Many medics from civilian life passed through her training to become combat medics in a few weeks.
In 2018, Derusova enrolled in Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University to study social work, to help the military yet another way. She was regularly invited to give lectures about the war. She graduated in 2020, with thesis "Features of complex rehabilitation of ATO/JFO participants" (Russian: Особенности комплексной реабилитации участников АТО/ООС).
On the first day, 24 February, of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Derusova was returning from vacation, but stopped to serve in the city of Okhtyrka in northeast Ukraine. She reportedly saved 10 wounded soldiers, but died herself on 26 February, from artillery shelling of her post.
Hospital visit hoax
On 13 March 2022, the Ukrainian government press service posted photos and video of President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy visiting a Kyiv military hospital. Pro-Russian sources such as RT and politician Illia Kyva claimed that the images showed Zelenskyy accompanied by Derusova, who had died in February, thereby proving the visit was pre-recorded or fake. In fact, the woman accompanying Zelenskyy was Ukraine’s medical forces commander Brigadier General Tetiana Ostashchenko, as could be read on her uniform. The claim was considered to be part of a series of fake claims that Ukrainian authorities had fled the country.
- МИКИТЮК, Виктория (15 March 2022). ""Зная Инну, она по-другому и не могла погибнуть"" ["Knowing Inna, she could not have died differently"]. Fakty i Kommentarii (in Russian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- ОХРИМЕНКО, Ольга (13 March 2022). "Вперше звання Героя України посмертно присвоєно жінці" [For the first time, the title of Hero of Ukraine was posthumously awarded to a woman]. Fakty i Kommentarii (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 25 April 2022.
- Задверняк, Наталія (13 March 2022). "Загинула, рятуючи поранених: Інна Дерусова — перша жінка, яка посмертно отримала звання Героя України" [Died rescuing the wounded: Inna Derusova - the first woman to posthumously receive the title of Hero of Ukraine]. armyinform.com.ua (in Ukrainian). Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Zelenskyy, Volodymyr (10 December 2021). "Про відзначення державними нагородами України з нагоди Дня Сухопутних військ України" [On the awarding of state awards of Ukraine on Ukrainian Ground Forces Day]. Verkhovna Rada (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Zelenskyy, Volodymyr (10 December 2021). "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №629/2021 Про відзначення державними нагородами України з нагоди Дня Сухопутних військ України" [Order of the President of Ukraine No. 629/2021 On the awarding of state awards of Ukraine on Ukrainian Ground Forces Day]. President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Zelenskyy, Volodymyr. "УКАЗ ПРЕЗИДЕНТА УКРАЇНИ №127/2022 Про присвоєння звання Герой України" [Order of the President of Ukraine No.127/2022 On the awarding of Hero of Ukraine]. President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Zelenskyy, Volodymyr (13 March 2022). "Ще потрібно боротись і завдати ворогу максимальної шкоди на всіх напрямках оборони – звернення Президента України" [We must still fight and inflict maximum damage on the enemy in all areas of defense - address of the President of Ukraine]. President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- "Гордість ТНПУ". Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National Pedagogical University (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Семенюк, Анна (28 April 2022). "Майже 80 вулиць із «російськими» назвами перейменували у Мукачеві" [Almost 80 streets with "Russian" names were renamed in Mukachevo]. ZAXID.NET (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 29 April 2022.
- "Президент відвідав поранених захисників України, які проходять лікування у військовому госпіталі". President of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). 13 March 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- Dejaifve, Aude (14 March 2022). "A pre-recorded video? The pro-Russian hoax suggesting that Volodymyr Zelensky has left Ukraine". The Observers - France 24. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- "RT: кадры посещения Зеленским раненых бойцов ВСУ оказались фейком" [RT: footage of Zelensky visiting wounded soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine turned out to be fake]. NEWS.ru (in Russian). 13 March 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- "No, en este vídeo de Zelenski visitando un hospital no sale una doctora fallecida antes de la visita: la mujer es Tatiana Ostashchenko, comandante de las Fuerzas Médicas de Ucrania" [No, in this video of Zelensky visiting a hospital a doctor who died before the visit does not appear: the woman is Tatiana Ostashchenko, commander of the Ukrainian Medical Forces]. Maldita.es (in Spanish). 14 March 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- "Fact Check-Ukraine's medical forces commander mistaken for deceased physician Inna Derusova". Reuters. 14 March 2022. Retrieved 28 April 2022.
- McCarthy, Bill (14 March 2022). "No, Zelensky's hospital visit video doesn't feature combat medic who died weeks earlier". PolitiFact. Retrieved 28 April 2022.