Hieromartyrs And Martyrs Of Western Siberia

Protopriest Demetrius Vyshegorodsky, 60 years of age, was shot at the Kuvshinovsky factory in Verkhoturye uyezd.

The priest Fr. Vsevolod Cherpanov was shot at the Nizhnetagilsk factory.

The priest Fr. Paul Fokin was shot in the village of Murzinskoye, Verkhoturye uyezd.

Protopriest Demetrius Diyev was shot at the Alapayevsk factory.

The priest Fr. Peter Snezhnitsky was shot in the village of Triphonovskoye, Irbit uyezd.

The deacon Fr. Vyacheslav Lukanin was shot at the Nevyanovsk factory.

The 69-year-old Protopriest Basil Pobedonostsev was killed at Kamensky factory, Ekaterinburg province.

Protopriest Alexander Miropolsky, the priest Fr. Peter Smorodnentsevand the priest Belyaev were killed at Kamensky factory, Ekaterinburg province.

The priest, Fr. Paul Chernyshev, from Ekaterinburg diocese, was despatched with a group of citizens as if to work on the digging of ditches. But along the way, near the village of Aramilsky, they were all shot.

In 1920 Fr. Alexis Fyodorov, the priest of the village of Travyanka,

Kamyshlov uyezd, was sentenced to lengthy imprisonment in a concentration

camp by the Ekaterinburg Cheka, as was Fr. Alexander Borkov, the priest of the village of Olzovskoye, Shadrinsk uyezd, and Fr. Demetrius Gornykh, the priest of the village of Kochnevskoye, Kamyshlov uyezd. They were accusedof various things, including refusing to serve funerals for those killed by the Whites, and slandering Soviet power in sermons.

Protopriest Vladimirov and Protopriest Strumillo were killed in Ekaterinburg (no further details known).

In 1922, 29 clergy of various ranks were killed by the Bolsheviks in

Ekaterinburg province in connection with the confiscation of church valuables.

(Sources: Vladimir Rusak, Pir Satany, London, Canada: "Zarya", 1991, pp. 23-7, 38-9; Lev Regelson, Tragediya Russkoj Tserkvi, 1917-1945, Paris: YMCA Press, 1977, p. 236)

On the railway from Novokuznetsk to Tashtagol (Kemerovo region, Siberia), next to a tunnel where there is now a small settlement of six houses, there is a place where forced labourers are buried. They include many clergy. One of them was Fr. John - a relative of Patriarch Tikhon.

One's attention is immediately drawn by a stream flowing from the corner of the grave. Its water is very pleasant to the taste and remains at a constant cool temperature summer and winter. It never freezes.

It was a massive burial. Big trenches were dug, and those who had died from exhaustion were simply thrown into them without coffins. The local inhabitants testify that in one place next to a bridge, at kilometre 517,all those who refused to work at Pascha were buried alive under a railway embankment. Over this place burning candles appeared, but with time went out. Some of those under the embankment had simply been too weak to work and had been finished off with an axe in the head. The locals say that more died in the building of this railway than there are sleepers on it.

There is one small tunnel about three hundred metres in length in which, according to the locals, the names of many of those killed were inscribedon stones together with the dates of their deaths. But now all these inscriptions have been concreted over. The atheist authorities could not bear these inscriptions, and tried to annihilate the memory of the martyrs.

(Source: Reader Gregory Ivanovich Mukhortov; Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', No. 2, February, 1995)

Stefan Evfimovich Mukhortov was a pious man of strictly Christian life. He fasted and prayed and loved the Divine services. He often read spiritual books. A circle of men and women gathered round him, drawn by his teachings from the holy fathers. He used to say: "The assault of the revolution is the power of the devil - the power of the Antichrist. Obedience to this God-opposing power will lead to apostasy from God."

He was born in the last years of the 19th century or at the beginning of the 20th. His sister was born in 1902.

In 1920 they were forcibly conscripting people into the Red Army. Stefan refused to join it, as did his two friends, Paul Kachurin and Stefan Shalamov. They decided to run into the woods and hide. But they were betrayed, and their pursuers caught up with them in the middle of a field. Shalashov was wounded, but Kachurin gave himself up. They were taken bound to the village. As they were passing the edge of ravine, one of them was thrust over the edge. At the bottom were some armed men, who wounded him in the stomach, threw him into a cart, took him out of the village and in a place called "skolkol" killed him, before throwing him onto the road.

Stefan Evfimovich Mukortov was bound around the neck and arms on a long rope to a horse's saddle. He was whipped to stop him falling behind the horse. As they came to a wood, they cut him in pieces and cast him onto the road On the third day - it was July, and very hot - all his remains were gathered up by his mother and placed in a coffin. His body looked white and beautiful, and lay there for another three days without any sign of corruption.

His mother, Anna, a very pious woman, prayed much and wept inconsolably after the martyric death of her son. But Stefan appeared to her while she was weeping and praying and said: "Mama, you're giving me no peace with your tears, you know that I am amidst the martyrs." From that time, she stopped weeping.

(Source: Reader Gregory Mukhortov, "Stefan Evfimovich Mukhortov i izhe s nim postradavskhiye", Pravoslavnaya Zhizn', N 3 (602), March, 2000, pp. 27-28)

After the closure of the Mikhailovsky monastery, near Tobolsk, the Monk Simeon of this monastery settled in the woods. Once he set off for the city to look for food. He passed through the village of Sokolovka, but was killed in a bestial manner before he reached it. The authorities ordered that his body be thrust to the side of the road, and forbade his burial.

Protopriest Paul Dokorsky was killed in the village of Mironovskoye,

Barnaul uyezd.

Protopriest Alexander Manuilov was killed after beastly tortures in the village of Ozerno-Titovskoye.

Protopriest Alexander Skvortsov was buried alive in the village of Bolshaya Reka, Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Peter Ostroumov was killed after disgusting humiliations in the village of Kornilovskoye, Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Demetrius Dolgonogov was tortured while tied to a cart. His matushka went out of her mind looking for his remains.

The priest Fr. Elijah Popov was killed in the village of Voznesensky, Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Michael Sharov was killed in the village of Romanovskoye in Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Sergius Gromov was killed in the village of Oskolkovskoye in Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Basil Semin was killed in the village of Vyatkinskoye, Barnaul uyezd.

The priest Fr. Alexander Sokolov was killed in the village of Ishim,

Tomsk uyezd.

The priest Fr. Theodore (according to another source, Vladimir) Bogoyavlensky was shot in the village of Golymshanovskoye, Ishim uyezd. In the spring of 1918 the Red Army soldiers forced him to sing indecent songs, play on the accordion and dance. Finally they ordered him to dig his own grave. Having killed the priest, they threw him into a pit head down and forbade his burial. Six days later, after the expulsion of the Reds by the Czechs, Fr. Theodore was buried.

The priest Fr. Paul, from a village in Usseninovsky uyezd, Tobolsk diocese, had finished two courses at the Kazan Theological Academy. He was killed by the Bolsheviks in the spring of 1918 as they were being driven out of Siberia by the Czechs.

Fr. Euthymius Goryachev recalled: "At the beginning of 1919 rumours began to creep around, very quietly at first, but more boldly and insistently later, that between Achinsk and Bolshoj Uluj [in Krasnoyarsk province] a kind of group, or band, or detachment was operating. This band would not let many of those going to or from Achinsk pass, some of them they robbed, and others they killed. This detachment's base was called the village of Lapshikha. Then more and more frequently the people would mention the name of Shchetinkinas the head of the detachment. He was operating in our area, but had not yet been in Bolshoj Uluj. At the end of January or the beginning of February one of the inhabitants of the village of Novo-Yelovsky brought me a note in which it was written that their priest, Fr. Vladimir Fokin, had been seized by unknown people and taken to the village of Lodocnhaya. At the same time or a little later I received the news that one other priest of my deanery - the priest of the village of Petrovsky, Michael Kargopolov, who before receiving the rank of priest had been an officer in the Cossack armies, had been killed by someone."

Fr. Vladimir Fokin was a true pastor and a warm, responsive person, which is why he enjoyed great respect among his parishioners and all those who knew him. On January 24 he was sezied by Shchetinkin's detachment and

shot one and a half kilometres from the village of Lodochnaya. On his body, in addition to the gunshot wounds, were three bayonet wounds. Since that area had been seized by the Bolsheviks, the body of the priest was taken by night out of the village of Novo-Yelovsky to the city of Achinsk, where the burial service took place. The priest was buried was buried next to the Kazan church. Beside the clergy, almost the whole population of the city attended.

Fr. Michael Kargopolov was arrested on January 31. On the first cart

when the Red Army soldiers who had arrested him, and on the second - the priest. When they had gone a little more than a kilometre from the village, the soldiers stopped the carts, dragged the priest out of the sledge, took off his fur coat and demanded that he take off his cross. Fr. Michael refused. Then they tried to tear the cross out of his hands by force, but

unsuccessfully. Grasping the cross in his hands, the priest prayed: "for they know not what they are doing". One of the executioners shot him point-blank in the head. Fr. Michael fell, and they began to shoot at him, releasing about twenty rounds into him until he was dead. On March 17 a triumphant burial service was carried out in the Annunciation church in Krasnoyarsk with the archbishop and clergy serving. The body of the hieromartyr was buried

next to the Annunciation church.

The priest Fr. Nicholas Vridyev, of the Tobolsk cemetery church, was a former medical orderly who had converted to Orthodoxy from the Jewish faith. He had been the head of the Tobolsk red police and, according to some reports, a member of the communist party. On breaking with the police and the communist party, he became a priest. In 1922 he was killed by the Bolsheviks for treachery and out of fear that he would reveal certain crimes.

In 1921, the priest of the village of Vikulova, Fr. Nicholas, was thrown down from the bell-tower by the atheists. At the same time in the village of Cherny two priests were taken away and tortured to death.

The priest Fr. Nicholas Sinyavsky, from the village of Nesterovsky, Slavgorodsky uyezd, Omsk diocese, was robbed of everything he had and then taken to Slavgorodsky prison, where he died on paschal night, April 20, 1920.

The priest Fr. Anatolius, of the village of Zavodo-Uspensky, Tyumen uyezd, Tobolsk province, finished a course at the Tobolsk theological seminary. He served as a priest in Zavodo-Uspensky for six to seven years. He was a regimental priest in the Siberian army. He was shot for being a monarchist.

The priest Fr. Andrew Volyansky, of the village of Bolshe-Kosulsky, Mariinsky uyezd, Tomsk province, was shot at the age of 44 on August 15/28, 1919. He was shot after the Liturgy for the feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God, while reading the akathist before the venerated icon of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. The church was full of worshippers when several Red Army men with a commissar at their head burst in. Fr. Andrew was ordered to finish the service and take off his vestments. He refused, and said that if they had come to kill him, let them get on with it. The commissar then shot him three times in the head. That day his body remained in the church. The next day two neighbouring priests arrived: Fr. Alexis from Itat station, and Fr. Alexander from the village of Alexandrovka. (Shortly after this, Fr. Alexander, too, was shot.) The two priests washed and revested the body and placed it in a coffin. The church was sanctified and the Divine Liturgy was celebrated, followed by the burial service. Fr. Andrew came to Siberia from the Ukraine. He finished four classes of a theological seminary and then studied for four or five years at the historico-philological faculty of the university of Tomsk. It was his fiery sermons exhorting the people to struggle with the Bolsheviks that elicited their hatred of him.

The priest Fr. Leonid Matreninsky was shot in Verkhneudinsk prison in 1919.

The priest Fr. Alexander served in the church of the village of Alexandrovka, Mariinsky uyezd, Tomsk province. He was shot in about 1919.

Archpriest Constantine Mashanov served in the prison church of the town of Yalutorovsk and taught the Law of God in the Yalutorovsk girls' gymnasium. For reading Patriarch Tikhon's epistle anathematizing the Bolsheviks from the ambon, he was shot in the stables attached to the Tyumen Cheka in September, 1919.

Deacon Alexander Nevsky, of the St. Zachariah church in Tobolsk, was accused of monarchism and shot in the Tyumen Cheka in the summer of 1921. According to another, less likely version, he was killed in Perm in 1920.

Fr. Nicodemus Pedikultsov of the village of Kamen in Tomsk region was butchered in prison with a kitchen knife in October, 1920.

On finishing Tver theological seminary, Archpriest Alexis Voskresensky was ordained to the priesthood for the church in the village of Chashi, Kurgan uyezd, Tobolsk diocese, where he served for more than 30 years until his death. By his efforts the Chashi church was adorned in a most beautiful way, a fine amateur choir was started and several schools were opened in the parish. He was a man of unusual honourableness, of chrystal purity, exact to the smallest details in the fulfilment of his pastoral duties. In his words, there could be no details in pastoral work. He preached at every service, conducted spiritual conversations outside the church, and wrote much in the Tobolsk Diocesan News and in various theological journals. He enjoyed great respect and authority among the local clergy as an experienced dean. He was separated for about a year from his parish in the town of Tomsk and pined for his church and his parishioners. Finally, he could stand it no longer and returned to Chashi at the beginning of 1921. Here a peasant rebellion soon broke out. When the Bolsheviks occupied the village, in March, 1921, they cut Fr. Alexis down with their sabres in his own flat.

The priest Fr. Victor Nizkovsky was the reader in the Chashi church with the above-mentioned Protopriest Alexis Voskresensky. During the war he had been ordained to the priesthood in one of the churches of the Kurgan uyezd, Tobolsk diocese. He was killed by the Bolsheviks during the suppression of the peasant uprising in 1921.

Archpriest Nicholas Tikhomirov of the village of Vvedenskoye, Kurgan uyezd, Tobolsk region was killed in 1921.

Fr. Vladimir Selivanovsky was a native of Vyatka diocese and a relative of the former exarch of Georgia, Archbishop Alexis (Molchanov). He began serving in the Pskov diocese as a reader, then as a deacon, and was ordained to the priesthood before the war for the village church of Kamyshevka, (according to another version, Shatrovo), Yalutorovsk district, Tobolsk province. During the retreat of the White Army from the Urals, Fr. Vladimir decided to go nowhere but to place himself in the hands of God. In 1920 he was arrested and accused of agitating against Soviet power. The "agitation" consisted in the fact that Fr. Vladimir had begun the registration of believers in the parish; the Bolsheviks interpreted this as the drawing up of a list of communists for handing over to the Whites. He was condemned by the Tyumen Cheka to imprisonment "until the end of the Civil War". Fr. Vladimir carried out the duties of a medical orderly in the prison hospital. Having sat there for about half a year, he was sent to the Tobolsk hard labour prison. He was a wonderful co-prisoner who shared his last scrap of food with his fellows. At the end of November, 1920, Fr. Vladimir was amnestied and left for his Kamyshevka. But in February, 1921, during the suppression of the peasant uprising, he was shot by the Bolsheviks in the cemetery of the village. Fr. Vladimir's wife fell ill with a nervous shaking disorder and died.

Fr. Anatolius Maslennikov was from the village of Zavodo-Uspensky, Tyumen uyezd. During the Civil War he was a regimental priest in the Siberian army. He was shot for monarchism in Tomsk in 1921.

Fr. Nicholas Marsov was killed in Tobolsk region in 1921.

Fr. John Snegirev was a teacher, and became a priest of the Ust-Lamensk church, Ishim uyezd, Tobolsk diocese. He was much beloved by his parish. He was killed by the Bolsheviks during the suppression of the peasant uprising in February, 1921, and his body was thrown out beyond the outskirts of the village. For fear of revenge by the Reds, none of the peasants helped matushka to bury his body. It was buried by his wife with the help of just one church watchman.

During the peasants' anti-communist rebellion in West Siberia in 1921, nearly a hundred priests were shot by the communists in Tobolsk region alone.

Many clergy of various ranks were killed in connection with the Bolsheviks' requisitioning of valuables from the churches in 1922: in Chelyabinsk province - 20; in Semipalatinsk province - 12; in Omsk province - 19; in Barnaul province - 41; in Urals province - 49.

The priest of the village of Kularovo, Fr. Vladimir, was arrested in 1928 and, as it seems, was shot immediately. Fr. Vladimir was tall, with a long beard and hair, who always dressed as a priest. Some time after his arrest the Nun Joanna was arrested. She had lived in the church lodge, gave hospitality to arrivals and cleaned the church.

(Sources: Protopresbyter Michael Polsky, Noviye Mucheniki Rossijskiye, Jordanville, 1949-57, part 2, pp. 212, 231-233, 310-11; Hieromonk Damascene (Orlovsky), Mucheniki, Ispovedniki i Podvizhniki Blagochestiya XX Stoletiya, Tver: Bulat, volume 2, 1996, pp. 176-179, 287; Vladimir Rusak, Pir Satany, London, Canada: "Zarya", 1991, pp. 23, 33, 35, 36; Za Khrista Postradavshiye, Moscow: St. Tikhon's Theological Institute, 1997, p. 51)

This took place in the 1920s in an unknown place, but was reported in the Troitsk Orthodox Newspaper for April, 1995.

Hieromonk Porphyrius loved to read the lives of the martyrs. When he was asked why he loved to read about the martyrs, he replied:

"I want to imitate them."

It was the Civil War. Two brothers used to go to Fr. Porphyrius' church, trying to catch him in his words. But they didn't succeed...

Once they came to his house after the service.

"To what do I owe this honour?" he asked.

One of the brothers lashed him with a whip that had studs on the end. Fr. Porphyrius grimaced from the pain and said:

"I know why you've come."

"Why did you say in your sermon that all power is from God?"

"I said that because the Holy Scriptures say it."

"Deny your words."

"How can I deny them when the Scriptures say it?"

"Well, then, we will shoot you."

"As you like," replied Fr. Porphyrius.

They began to beat him and take out the hairs of his beard and head. Then they took him out beyond the outskirts of the village and again beat him. They took off his ryasa, put it on their horse as a horse-cloth, took off his cross and put it on the horse. Finally they shot him.

The judgement of God was not slow to catch up with them. They had not gone more than a few hundred metres when they came into a band of "Greens". The "Greens" didn't like the "Reds" and shot the murderers on the spot...

(Source: Ikh Stradaniyami Ochistitsa Rus', Moscow, 1996, pp. 80-81)

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