Those We Have Lost

Supt. Alexei Shmakalov, 34: Yamam officer was ‘fighting the good fight’

Killed battling Hamas terrorists at the Sderot police station on October 7

Supt. Alexei Shmakalov who was killed at the Sderot police station on October 7, 2023. (Israel Police)
Supt. Alexei Shmakalov who was killed at the Sderot police station on October 7, 2023. (Israel Police)

Police Supt. Alexei Shmakalov, 34, of Haifa, was killed on October 7 battling Hamas terrorists at the Sderot police station.

Born in Ukraine, he moved to Israel with his family in 1995 when he was six years old. He had celebrated his 34th birthday less than two weeks before he was killed.

He is survived by his parents, Igor and Yelena, his sister Yulia and his girlfriend Lior Tasa. He was buried in Haifa on October 11.

A career officer with the Yamam counter-terror unit, his friends described him as modest and unassuming, determined to succeed, who enjoyed working out at Crossfit and was also pursuing a degree at Bar Ilan University.

Fauda star Idan Amedi, who was later himself wounded fighting in Gaza, wrote on social media about Shmakalov, whom he served alongside during their mandatory military service.

“The strongest soldier, determined and yet also optimistic and smiling, who I had the privilege of being his friend and commander,” wrote Amedi. “We all learned from you and from your uncompromising journey to continue with all our strength always, without fear and without self-pity. You were the pride of all of us when you became a Yamam officer and we went to sleep feeling safe when we knew you were on guard.”

After his death, a personal notebook with Shmakalov’s writings was discovered, and his family shared excerpts with the Walla news site.

In April 2022, two weeks after a deadly terror shooting attack in Tel Aviv, Alexei wrote: “I am fighting the good fight, perhaps the best of all. Not for honor, not for money, but so that good can triumph over evil and darkness. No matter what history records, I know what side I am on, who was behind me, with me, against me. I am with my people against the enemy. There is no connection more binding than that. I want it to be that way as much as possible, forever… I am ready. I am calm.”

His friend Vadim Mel wrote on Facebook, “Alexei, you were always and will always be a role model to me and a figure to admire. Part of who I am today is because of you. You always set a high standard for all of us of morals, values, strength, perseverance, determination and aspiration to excellence combined with modesty.”

Mel recalled a conversation they once had, “where you said that if you die I should speak about how ‘shit’ you were because it didn’t seem logical to you that everyone who is killed is a king and a champ and a good soul. So I thought a lot about what was not good in you. What can I tell people Alexei was shit at? With my hand on my heart, the only thing that comes to mind is that you were really, really bad at being on time… I’m sorry, you were just too good at everything.”

Shmakalov lived in Moshav Hibat Zion with his girlfriend, Lior, who memorialized him in a local newsletter: “Alexei was a person who lived by the book,” she wrote. “He knew how to do everything fully, as needed. That’s how he was as a boyfriend, a brother, a son and a partner. He always worried about the well-being of others before he took care of himself. He loved everyone and made sure to show them as much as possible… Every day Alexei made sure to make me feel that I was the most important person. Ironically he made everyone feel that way.”

Read more Those We Have Lost stories here.

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