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Ukrainian dean killed in Bucha was trying to walk to safety, says friend

by Kelly Valencia
Vitaliy Vinogradov update.png - Banner image
Facebook: John Byeong Beom Kim

Vitaliy Vinogradov, an Evangelical seminary dean who was found dead in Bucha, was allegedly trying to walk 10 miles to safety in Kiev when he was murdered by Russian forces. 

That's according to a close friend and ministry associate of Vinogradov who has spoken to the Baptist Press. 

Ruslan Kukharchuk said Vinogradov had been missing since 6th March. That's when he decided to leave Bucha to walk towards the office of All together in Kiev, a Christian family ministry, where he served as a board member. 

"It was really dangerous, at the beginning of March, because from the first of March, Bucha was totally occupied by Russian soldiers," Kukharchuk said. 

"Almost all people who were trying to escape the city, to go out of city, was under a risk, because Russian soldiers did not allow anybody to move, even just to walk."

Kukharchuk, who is the leader of All together, said he last heard from Vinogradov on 4th March. 

"On March 4, Vitaliy called me. 

He (was) leaving Bucha. He asked, if he were able, if he could walk from Bucha to Kyiv, about 10 miles,  to move to our office to stay there, because it was really dangerous to stay in Bucha, which was already occupied by Russian troops," he continued. 

"As we understand for now, and as he explained to us before, he was walking to Kyiv to our office, to stay there during this occupation period of Bucha," Kukharchuk said. 

"But unfortunately during this walk to Kyiv, he was killed and he was shot."

The ministry reported him missing on 10th March after looking for him. 

Ukrainian forces found Vinogradov's body and that of a fellow believer and friend Oleg Grishchenko, laying on the street on 1st April after Russian forces withdrew from the area. 

Their bodies were among hundreds found on streets and mass graves. 

Kukharchuk described Vinogradov as a "God's person" and "a brilliant organizer and analyst, respected theologian and teacher." 

"It's a huge shock and grief for me personally, for all our team and he was very pleasant person. He was loved by everybody. He was very kind.

"Kindness is like a symbol of Vitaly Vinogradov," Kukharchuk concluded. 

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