"They Were Shot from a Grenade Launcher and Wounded Were Killed With Shots at Close Range" - A Monument to the Victims of Russian Militants Will Be Installed in Slavyansk

This year in Slavyansk a monument will be installed on the mass grave of believers of the Protestant church, brutally killed by militants in 2014.

The murder of four men in the summer of 2014 in Slavyansk was one of the cruel realities of the militant regime that raged in the occupied city, IA Vchasno reports.

Militants in camouflage without identification chevrons dragged two sons of the pastor and two deacons from the general meeting in the church on June 8, 2014, on the day of the Trinity. They pointed a finger at certain people and pushed them into cars. Since then, neither relatives nor friends have seen them. They only prayed that they were alive.

 It became known about the fate of these men after the liberation of Slavyansk. One of the militants phoned relatives on the phone and told them what happened. They all were tortured and tormented, mocked an execution, and then released, allowing to leave on one of the cars. As soon as they moved, they were shot from the grenade launcher, and then the wounded were killed with shots at close range. They buried bodies, leaving in a common grave in one of the squares of Slavyansk along with 10 other victims, who at that time remained in the local morgue.

"Why did you do this?" - was a question of relatives. With such a massacre militants wanted to intimidate all believers in the city, to break their faith. Among the militants were people with stripes "Russian Orthodox Army." "Your faith is American, you are enemies," the representatives of the "Russian world" said.

"People suffered exactly because of the faith, they absolutely did not show their political views, lived a righteous life, helped their relatives. The strong spirit infuriated those who managed Slavyansk in 2014, - says chaplain Andrey from the Church of the Transfiguration of the Lord. - This essence seemed dangerous for the militants, only because of that they went to the violence."

The death of two sons, Albert and Ruvim, for Pastor Alexander Pavenko was a real blow, but he does not intend to take revenge for innocent victims. The deacons Viktor Bradarsky and Vladimir Velichko, who had large families and many children, died innocently. "Faith helps to cope with grief. Love your enemies - this is the basis of our life, - the pastor asserts. "The militants wanted to hurt us - they did it, but they wanted to shake the faith - this will never work."

The official funeral of the victims of the "Russian Spring" took place already in the liberated Slavyansk at the end of June 2014. Believers from all over Ukraine came to the ceremony of farewell. Despite the streets of the city were not completely demined and examined by rescuers, people were not scared, they were going to say goodbye to the deceased.

City authorities allowed to leave the grave in the same place where the first burial took place. The place in the city park was symbolic. The mass grave of Protestants is located in close proximity to the monument of the Civil War and a memorial to the victims of the Holodomor. The names of the residents of Slavyansk, who died at the hands of militants, will also go down in history. In the next few days, with the help of the parishioners, a monument will be installed on the grave. The relatives of the victims assure that money will not be spent from the budget of the city on it.

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