In the ranks of the “Carpathian Sich” in the East of Ukraine protects “the Monk” from Transcarpathia.
Among the men of the ODC “Carpathian Sich” there is a volunteer Ivan with the callsign “Monk”. This Callsign guy was named by no accident – more than 1.5 years he served in Hrushevskoho monastery in the Carpathian region. When the war started in the East, Ivan could not stand aside, decided to leave the monastery and carry on with combat duty. I’m originally from Transcarpathia.
In Khust he was educated in woodworking. In 2012, together with the friends joined “Svoboda”, always sharing their views. The idea of the monastery came spontaneously. “I know a priest, with whom we often talked on the phone. And one day after this conversation, I gathered my things and went to his monastery, without telling anyone. It was a week before Easter – April 28, 2013,” says the volunteer.
This decision the guy was worried his mother most of all. She cherished the hope to help raise her grandchildren, so she was not very happy at the news. Besides Ivan’s family is not overly religious in the Church, the household only go on major holidays.
In the monastery of Ivan sang in the Church choir, Ponomareva – served on the altar, and lived in the building owned by the Church.
“Officially, I was not a monk but a novice. As it turned out, not very good one” Ivan apologetically shrugs. “I lived in a monastery at home – loved it all. The people are simple, quiet life. But there is not customary to talk about politics. I needed to engage with public and political activity. At first I thought it was easy. And when the Maidan began, I couldn’t sit still. In December 2013, I first went from the monastery to Kiev. When I returned, there was a great thrashing. Then, once again lived in peace and tranquility”.
When fighting broke out in the East, he supported friends that went off to fight with the transfer of funds. And in early December he decided to go to the ATO to join the “Carpathian Sich”.
“Some people blame me, they say, is it not God’s commandment “thou shalt not kill”. I’m came from a monastery to war. And I think that when the enemy comes into your house, rapes your wife, kills your child, it is a great sin to look at all this and not to interfere. With Ukraine now the same thing happens. I can’t just watch as the invader seizes our land”, – said the Monk.
He is convinced that he feels the protection of God when on duty at positions on the front line. “The largest fire I had to go through in April. Especially creepy was when I was on duty at the tower. I’d climb on it, and the bullets would whistle by. I’m short in height and in small in breast and I would pray that I would not get not caught. Because the armor on that position we don’t usually dress up – it’s heavy, it’s impossible to climb the stairs,” says Ivan.
Now the guy together with other volunteers of the “Carpathian Sich” has applied for membership in the Armed forces of Ukraine, reported in a separate volunteer battalion called “Carpathian Sich”.