He was threatened with execution three times, was being starved in captivity and not given medications – all because in 2014, he had the courage to proudly say in Donetsk that the city belongs to Ukraine. The publication ShoTam made a report about the indomitable priest.
He prayed in Donetsk, supporting Maidan in 2014. For this, local collaborators captured him and four times simulated his execution. They released him only when the priest began to lose consciousness due to worsening diabetes.
Tikhon (Sergii) Kulbaka is a Greek Catholic priest of Cossack origin. Since childhood, he was fond of Ukrainian culture and spoke his native language. And when the Revolution of Dignity began, he actively supported the Maidan. In the spring, the occupiers invaded the Donetsk region. People with Ukrainian views were being persecuted. Despite this, Tikhon claimed that Donetsk is Ukraine.
Outraged collaborators abducted and captured him. For nine days, the diabetic priest lived without medications: only on bread and water. He was blindfolded and shots were fired near him repeatedly.
“On the fourth day, when I was first taken to that simulated execution, I fainted. “I had an atrial fibrillation attack,” the priest recalls.
Then the collaborators dropped him off in the middle of nowhere. He managed to make it to the Ukrainian checkpoint. It turned out that the disease turned into oncology. But thanks to Israeli doctors, the Ukrainian recovered. Having overcome the disease, he returned to Ukraine. In Lviv, the man was given shelter by local monks. Father Tykhon leads the service there and psychologically supports the displaced persons.
“The mother of an Azov fighter, who is currently in captivity, came to see me. She’s from Mariupol. Trying to console her, my heart was torn by pain because of what she was going through,” says Kulbaka.
Almost nine years have passed, but his thoughts are with Donetsk region. Serhii Kulbaka believes that one day the Ukrainian flag will once again be hoisted there.