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Ukraine: In the Kherson region, the Russians tortured a cleric of the OCU to death

22. Februar 2024

On February 15, in the first half of the day, it became known that the occupiers in the village of Kalanchak of the Kherson region murdered the rector and builder of the Church of All Saints of the Land, Ukrainian archpriest Stepan Podolchak. Bishop Borys (Kharko) of Kherson and Kakhovka reported this with reference to eyewitnesses and special services. Bishop Nikodym (Kulygin) of Kherson and Tavria (OCU) later clarified that Fr. Stepan was not shot (as was initially reported), but tortured to death.

As Svitlana Fomina, the head of the Kalanchatka settlement military administration, told the Central Committee of the Russian Federation, two days ago, on February 13, Russian invaders broke into the residence of 59-year-old Fr. Stepan Podolchak in Kalanchak, the rector of the local OCU church, and took him to an unknown location. On February 15, his wife was called and "invited" to come and identify the body of her deceased husband.

According to Bishop Borys, on this day in 1998, Fr. Stepan was ordained as a priest by Patriarch Dimitriy of the UAPC, and from that time he single-handedly built both the church and the community, which is now the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He received his spiritual education at the College of Patriarch Mstislav in Kharkiv. For a long time before the priesthood, he served as a deacon-psalmist in Lviv region.

"For his faithful service in the conditions of occupation, the Primate blessed him with the highest award - the right to wear a mitre in the fall of 2022 after the liberation of Kherson. Unfortunately, due to the occupation, the award has not yet been presented. Now Fr. Stepan went to receive an eternal reward from our Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ," Bishop Borys notes. "I ask you to pray for the repose of the slain Ukrainian priest Mitrophorian Archpriest Stepan. I also ask you to pray for his grieving wife Halyna, his children and his grandchildren, so that the Lord may strengthen them in sorrow and protect them from ungodly acts. May the Lord receive the soul of Archpriest Stepan in the abode of the righteous and, through the prayers of all the saints of the Ukrainian land, grant us the speedy victory over the evil horde." (Quelle:, 19. Februar 2024)