The New Martyr Soldier Evgeny of Chechnya (1984-2002)
Canonized on August 20th, the day of his martyrdom
A young soldier named Evgeny had been captured by the Chechens along with five of his buddies.
Chechens promised to spare the young Russians their lives if they converted to Islam. The others agreed, but Evgeny refused, insisting that he was an Orthodox Christian. The Chechens beheaded him and subsequently sent his severed head to his mother as a sort of memento. This young lad had been recognized everywhere as a (Moscow and environs, Sergiev Posad, Murom, Diveevo, Arzamas) martyr, in a spontaneous, popular movement of piety. His picture was everywhere, usually with the caption “Martyred Soldier Evgeny.” He was martyred on his 18th birthday, 6 months after he started his service.
Chechen field commander Rusland Haihoroev beheaded Evgeny, after Evgeny denied conversion to Islam and refused to give up his cross (which, by the way, was part of the medal for bravery). Many months his mother searched for his body, and finally after paying $500, was shown the forest where he was buried. She found the bodies of 4 more boys along with his. A giant wooden cross has since been erected on his grave. His own cross, the one that he refused to give up, his mother, Lubov Radionova, has donated to St. Nicholas Church in Ordinka, Moscow.
The New Martyr Evgeny the Soldier was canonized on August 20th. A Church in his name is to be build in Hankala, near Groziniy. It will be the only Orthodox Church in Chechnya.
Holy New Martyred Soldiers for Christ, pray for us!