Those we have lost

Insp. Andrey Poshivay, 39: Embodiment of a Hollywood-style hero

Murdered by Hamas terrorists while guarding at the Supernova music festival on October 7

Ch. Insp. Andrey Poshivay (Courtesy)
Ch. Insp. Andrey Poshivay (Courtesy)

Ch. Insp. Andrey Poshivay, 39, from Beersheba, was murdered by Hamas terrorists while guarding at the Supernova music festival on October 7.

Armed solely with a pistol against assailants wielding assault rifles, he managed to take down several terrorists before being mortally wounded.

He is survived by his mother, Maria, and his siblings Tatiana and Eugene. He was buried in Beersheba on October 11.

Those close to him attest that his accurate shooting stemmed from a lifetime of honing his skills as a hunter and marksman, cultivated since his formative years in the small Crimean village of Vishnevka, where he was born.

Tall, fit, with piercing blue eyes, Andrey’s calm and confident demeanor made him the face of the Israeli police to Russian-speaking journalists. A quintessential self-made man, he diligently learned Hebrew and then English, relentlessly pursuing his goal to excel as an officer and policeman.

Raised as a typical Ukrainian country boy who enjoyed fishing and playing video games, Andrey was unaware of his Jewish roots until later in life.

“During the German occupation in World War II, his family destroyed all evidence of their heritage,” recalls his friend, Vishnevka-resident Ilona Lysakova. “He was thrilled about his connection to Israel. During visits [to Ukraine] after his emigration, we would spend entire nights by the campfire, enthralled by his stories of life in Israel, while he was quite the heartthrob among the local girls.”

After serving in the Ukrainian armed forces, Andrey moved to Israel in 2004 and enlisted in the Israeli military, driven by his dream. His initial application for officer training was rejected due to his limited Hebrew. However, a chance encounter with a senior officer who recognized his potential changed his trajectory. This officer secured Andrey a spot in the program with a stern warning: “Don’t let me down.” Embracing the challenge, Andrey not only met but exceeded expectations, rising to the rank of major by the end of his service in 2019.

He then joined the police force, starting anew. His journey to becoming an inspector in the Beersheba patrol police was arduous but fulfilling.

“Mastering new languages was tough for him, but necessary for police work. So, he dedicated himself to learning and still managed to squeeze in time for jogging at 2 a.m.,” shares his Ukrainian friend Victor Zelinsky.

Andrey’s role required tact as much as it did enforcement, especially while stationed in small Bedouin villages where diplomacy was as crucial as policing.

His last assignment — to provide security at a rave — seemed straightforward but turned tragic when the event escalated into a massacre. Andrey responded as only he knew how, with the bravery and decisiveness that had defined his entire career.

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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