Svyatogorsk, Donetsk Province, Ukraine, June 3, 2022
Archimandrite Galaktion was among those killed. Photo: news.church.ua The Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra and its sketes in the Donetsk Province in eastern Ukraine have been damaged by shelling several times since the beginning of the fratricidal war in late Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the Lavra was hit again on June 1, and for the first time, several monastics were killed and injured, in addition to a number of laypeople.
The Lavra has been home to hundreds of refugees from the fighting in eastern Ukraine for many years now.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol reported on Wednesday:
I am deeply saddened to inform you that on May 30, during the armed clashes, the 3rd and 4th monastic buildings of the Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra suffered.
During the shelling, the dean of the Lavra Archimandrite Galaktion, Monk Aristokly, and Nun Barbara were killed.
Hieromonks Joasaph and Amphilochy and Hierodeacon Alypy were injured.
The number of dead and injured laypeople is currently unknown.
I ask for your holy prayers for the repose of those killed and for the speedy recovery of the wounded.
According to an update yesterday, Hieromonk Joasaph later died from his wounds, while Hieromonk Amphilochy remains in critical condition, and doctors were forced to amputate Hierodeacon Alypy’s leg.
Additionally, the oldest protodeacon of the Donetsk Diocese, Alexander Tkachenko, was also killed in shelling elsewhere in Donetsk on May 30.
May God make the memory of Fathers Galaktion, Aristokly, and Joasaph, and Mother Barbara to be eternal!
On Saturday, March 12, several buildings at the Lavra were damaged, including the Holy Dormition Cathedral. The bridge connecting the monastery to the city of Svyatogorsk was also damaged.
Two explosions occurred at the Lavra again on May 4, breaking the windows and doors of the monastery churches. Two refugees were also wounded and had to undergo surgery. However, the Divine services continue at the Lavra as usual, and the brotherhood continues to take in refugees.
On May 6, the Holy Protection Church at the Lavra’s St. George Skete in the village of Dolina was completely destroyed by shelling.
On May 10, the Lavra’s St. John (Maximovitch) Skete in Adamovka suffered from shelling. The roofs of several buildings were destroyed, windows were broken, and flower beds planted by the nuns were destroyed.
On May 19, the church at the Skete of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Icon of the Mother of God in the village of Bogorodichne, was destroyed.