Lipovets, Kiev Province, April 10, 2023
The seizure of the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos in the village of Lipovets was organized by Deputy Mayor of the city of Karaglyk Ivan Semtsov, and he thus bears responsibility for the death of Volodymyr Natykach, reports the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
According to multiple eyewitness testimonies, Natykach was violently attacking the local dean, Fr. Andrei Olenin, trying to drag him along the ground by his cross, when he suddenly fell over and died soon after.
The local rector, Archpriest Vasily, gave a written statement to the police, explaining that no one even touched Natykach—he simply fell over. The priest also emphasized that not even the man’s death was able stop Deputy Mayor Semtsov from his violence against the church.
Fr. Vasily wrote:
As a result of the described conflict, male persons knocked me to the ground and dragged me by the chain that my Orthodox cross was hanging on. They demanded that I no longer celebrate the Divine services and that I went to live somewhere besides the village of Lipovets. The police officers who were on the scene did nothing to prevent this banditry. Later, Mr. Vladimir Ivanovich NATYKACH, shouting threats that he would hang us, began to drag the dean of Mironovka, Priest Andrei Olenin, by the cross, which was in his hands, after which V.I. Natykach fell on the asphalt and died in convulsions. No one even touched the deceased in any way.”
The Union of Journalists has published testimony about the attack and disturbing videos of Natykach convulsing on the ground before he died.