Monday, June 24, 2024

Ukrainian Trophy Raid champion Andriy Gusev killed in action in Kharkiv

Andriy Gusev, a Master of Sport of Ukraine who won the Ukrainian Trophy Raid Championship in 2014, died on 3 June while serving in Kharkiv Oblast. The Automobile Federation of Ukraine issued a statement of condolences on Monday.

A lieutenant colonel, Gusev was the commander of the “Omega” third separate special unit. Omega groups are special forces formations for the National Guard of Ukraine, specialising in counterterrorism and special combat operations. Although Kharkiv city was liberated by Ukrainian forces in May 2022 followed by much of the oblast after a successful counteroffensive in the fall, the region has remained under Russian fire since.

Prior to joining the military, he competed in the Ukrainian Trophy Raid Championship, an off-road racing discipline based on navigation through difficult terrain similar to rock crawling. In 2014, he and Viktor Monomarchuk won the title in the top-level TR-1 category in their Suzuki Samurai. They also raced a Toyota Land Cruiser in the National Trial Series.

For his successes, Gusev was named a Master of Sport, a title granted to athletes for their contribution to Ukrainian sport. Igor Kalinovskaya, a Master of Sport like Gusev who competed in rally raid and has served in the Ukrainian military since 2014, died from illness at the start of the month. Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov won the 2013 Trophy Raid Championship for UTVs.

While it occurred in June, Gusev’s death is the second confirmed by the FAU in five days. Last Thursday, the federation stated karting driver and military intelligence officer Kyrylo Demidov was killed in action in southern Ukraine on 6 August.

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine is now in its 539th day.