Stepan Soika was born on March 14, 1920 in Krychovo village, Tiachiv district in the large family of a priest. After 5 years of village school he entered a gymnasium in Khust. While being a student at the gymnasium he became involved with Ukrainian “Plast” and Czech “Sokil”. At the end of 1938 he was an active participant of the events that aimed to establish the Carpathian Ukraine Independence.  When he worked as a teacher at the primary school in Novoselytsia village he witnessed the elections to Carpathian Ukraine Soim and the following occupation of Transcarpathia by Hungary. In 1942 he was mobilized to the Hungarian army where he was trained at the Officers artillery school. In 1944 while being on the Romanian front line he was captivated by the Romanian Army and later on passed to the Red Army. He was at prisoners’ camps in Timishoara, Debretsyn, after which he worked on the restoration of bridges and tunnels in Carpathian. In 1945 he went to Lviv where enrolled in Ivan Franko Lviv University. Later on, he studied at the Forestry Institute. After graduation he ended up staying in Lviv. Today Stepan Soika is a doctor of science at the Zvolenskyi Technical University as well as a professor, an active member of Ukrainian Science Academy of Ecology, Ukrainian Forestry Academy, an honored member of the Ukrainian botanical community and an active member of the Taras Shevchenko Scientific community. He received a European Lenne-prize for his achievements in the field of an environmental protection. Stepan Soika is a famous scientist with a highly recognized name and a society activist. Today he lives in Lviv.

Photos From Archives Stepan Stoyka