Baptist pastor’s daughter, grandson killed in Russian drone strike in Ukraine

By The Christian Post |
Ukraine flag
Yehor Milohrodskyi | Unsplash
A drone strike in Odesa, Ukraine, resulted in the tragic deaths of 12 individuals, including a Baptist pastor’s daughter and grandson. The attack, which targeted a residential building, also left 20 others injured, with some in critical condition.

In Odesa, a city frequently subjected to Russian aggression, the drone’s impact was devastating on March 2, CNN reported. Among the victims were Anna, the daughter of Pastor Nikolai Sidak of an independent Baptist church, and her infant son, Timothy. They were in their apartment when the strike occurred, leading to their immediate deaths under the debris.

Serhiy Haidarzh, Anna’s husband, and their daughter, Liza, were in another room and survived the attack, the Baptist Standard said. The incident took place as Anna and Timothy were sleeping, with Serhiy and Liza in a separate part of their home.

The family’s ordeal ended with the discovery of Anna and Timothy’s bodies the following day around 4 p.m., as confirmed by Igor Bandura, vice president of the Evangelical Baptist Union of Ukraine.

The strike not only claimed the lives of Anna and Timothy but also resulted in the deaths of five children, including Timothy, the youngest victim. The ages of these children ranged from 8 months to 9 years old. The attack has sparked a wave of mourning and outrage in Odesa, with locals paying tribute at the site by laying flowers, candles and toys.

Serhiy Haidarzh recounted the fateful night at a memorial service, revealing that a change in routine, with Anna falling asleep with their baby, led to their survival in a different room. The loss was profound, with Serhiy waiting 16 hours before rescue workers confirmed the tragic outcome.

“I was very worried that they suffered, but the doctors said they died in their sleep. They were found in the same position they fell asleep, they were together,” he was quoted as telling the congregation.

The Kravets family also suffered immense losses. Tetyana and Oleh Kravets, both serving in Ukraine’s armed forces, and three of their children were killed. The search efforts concluded with the recovery of their bodies.

The nature of the drone used in the attack is under investigation, with speculations about its enhanced destructive capacity.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokeswoman for the Southern Operational Command, suggested the possibility of a reinforced warhead, given the unusual level of destruction.

Originally published by The Christian Post