The dean of an evangelical seminary found dead in the streets of Ukraine

Kyiv, Ukraine (BP) – The dean of an evangelical minor seminary in Kyiv is among more than 400 civilians found dead on the streets of the capital and surrounding areas, the seminary confirmed in early April on Facebook.

“Vitaliy Volodymyrovich Vinogradov, our dear brother, Christian leader, employee and wonderful person, has been found dead in Bucha,” said Kim Bien Bum, director of kyiv Slavic Evangelical Seminary (KSES) and pastor of the Church of Blessing of Christ. “There are no words to express all the grief. He will be greatly missed by all of us on this earth, but we are happy that his life will go on forever. … He will be greatly missed.

After Ukraine repelled Russian forces nearly 40 days after Russia invaded, news footage was released showing lifeless bodies of men, women and children strewn on the streets of Kyiv and surrounding communities, including Bucha, with the latest death toll at 410.

Widespread outcry over civilian deaths followed, including a video message from Yarsolav “Slavik” Pyzh, a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, president of Ukrainian Baptist Theological Seminary (UBTS) in Lviv.

“For us as a nation, this is a very difficult time. Seeing what other human beings could do to innocent civilians, women, children and the elderly,” Pyzh said in the video, “is incomprehensible. [sic]. And days will pass before we learn to live with this reality. We will not be able to understand or accept this reality, but we will have to learn to live with this reality.

Pyzh was not a close acquaintance of Vinogradov, whose seminary is about 350 miles east of Lviv, but UBTS staff “are very upset and we think it’s a loss for the Ukraine,” Pyzh emailed Baptist Press on April 5.

The UBTS video shows multiple images of those killed in the Russia attack, some of the bodies with their hands tied behind their backs, red nail polish on a lifeless female hand, legs tied up, a blanket over the remains from a head, yet another man hit on the sidewalk, his sack of potatoes knocked over by his side.

“And I know the time will come when the whole idea of ​​forgiveness has to sink into our minds, but now we’re not in that period. We are now in the phase of experiencing this evil,” Pyzh said.

He pleads in the video for viewers to share the gruesome footage as evidence of wartime atrocities.

“Let’s do everything we can so that everyone sees the real face of Russia, of what Russian soldiers are doing,” Pyzh said. “And not just Russian soldiers, but Russians who remain silent or approve of this action that is taking place in Ukraine. Let other people witness it. This is my plea for you.

UBTS, about 45 miles from the Polish border, worked since the first days of the invasion to help and serve the Ukrainian refugees.

KSES is an accredited interfaith theological seminary founded in 2014 that offers three degrees in theology, according to its website. “To prepare leaders, teachers, and pastors for effective ministry in God’s domain” is the stated mission of KSES.

Barry F. Howard