Baptist Pastor’s Harrowing Escape: Witness to Tragedy in Russian-Occupied Ukraine

My name is Volodymyr.

 I have been a pastor since 2007 in the village of Golubyvka, where we had a children’s ministry and many children. 

Eight of them broke into the church. 

As the pastor, I was taken outside. 

They forced me to walk in front of them, and at that time I heard that the bolt of the automatic rifle was pulled back. 


Then almost immediately followed a click, but it was a misfire. 

Then just a few seconds later he pulled the bolt for the second time, again a click, no shot fired.


 God’s grace was with me at that point. I turned to them and said, “Let me pray for you guys.”

One of these militiamen scoffed, “This is the first time we’ve seen such an idiot, we want to shoot him, but he wants to pray for us.” 

I had no fear for myself, the only fear I had was for my wife, for my soul mate. 

Other pastors in our region were shot over these years. 


They were shot together with their son, they were Evangelical church ministers. 

There was a persecution of all Protestant churches.

 They call us horrible things, say we are evil, and the only church that they were loyal to was the Moscow Orthodox Church.