Born on 10 April 1967 in Korostyshev, Zhytomyr region, Lieutenant Colonel in the reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In 1984 he entered the Kamyanets-Podolsk Higher Military Engineering and Command School, which he graduated from in 1988.
From 1988 to 2004 he served in the armed forces (commander of an engineering platoon, company, battalion, deputy commander of a military unit for armament).
In 2004 he was discharged to the reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
From 2004 to 2013 he worked as Deputy General Director and Technical Director of Alex Trans Group LLC.
In December 2013, he took part in the Maidan events. After the occupation of Crimea and the invasion of Ukraine by the Russian armed forces, he voluntarily joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine and defended his homeland.
In September 2014, he was mobilised to the 90th Independent Airborne Battalion to the position of Assistant Battalion Commander for Operational Support. The battalion carried out combat missions in Donetsk airport and the vicinity of Donetsk: Opytnoye, Vodyanoye, Peski.
Since 22 January 2015, he took command of the battalion.
On 25 September 2015, he was demobilised to the reserve, worked as an assistant to the chairman of the NGO "Society for Assistance to the Defence of Ukraine".
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The officer from August 2022 was the commander of the 206th battalion of the TRO, where he fought in the Mykolayiv, Kherson and Kharkiv regions. He also defended Bakhmut.
"It was under Bakhmut that it was particularly hot. In the literal sense of the word. It was during the defence of this city that our unit suffered the greatest losses," Vitaly said in an interview with ArmyInform.
Also Vitaly Baranov was awarded the orders of Bogdan Khmelnitsky III degree and II degree in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
It is known that the legendary fighter had already had heart problems for several years, however, this did not stop him. On 8 October 2023, the lieutenant colonel's heart stopped - it happened during a combat mission in the Donetsk region.
Vitaly Baranov was 56 years old.