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Colorado Springs pastor says his ministry partner in Ukraine was taken by Russian military troops

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — A Colorado Springs pastor tells KRDO that one of his ministry partners who lives in Ukraine has been taken into custody by the Russian military.

“When someone you know and love and care for is abducted, you don’t know what they are going to do to them,” Rev. Ronald David Putnam, the President of Slavic Christian Ministries (SCM), said.

Rev. Putnam said that he has been working to unite people with mission agency partners in Ukraine and Western missionaries for two decades.

Now, the ongoing war in Ukraine just got a lot more personal for him when he received troubling news the past week.

“We heard just yesterday that one of the pastors who we have been in a relationship with and worked with for the last 20 years in a city called Balaklayea, Ukraine," Rev. Putman explained. "He was abducted, him and his wife, by the Russian military."

Sasha Salfyetnikov is a senior pastor from a Baptist Church in Balaklayea. Rev.  Putnam says the two have known each other for years.

Sasha even prayed over Rev.  Putnam’s wedding in Ukraine. Right now, it's unclear why the Russian military took him and his wife into custody.

“This is a pastor who has done nothing but care for people for the past 20 years,” he said.

Rev.  Putnam says his ministry is still doing everything it can to support the Ukrainian people during this time by providing things like food, medicine, and money.

Still, he says there isn’t much that can be done to help rescue his friend and his wife while the city is still very much so a war zone.

“It is one thing to see it on the news and say this is a very difficult situation… it seems surreal since it is so far away. It has even felt surreal to us even though we are in constant contact with those people,” he said. “I think everyone is in a state of shock, fearful, and concerned. Everyone is just pounding on the doors of heaven hoping and praying this couple will come back safely.”

To donate to the Slavic Christian Ministries, click here.

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Cindy Centofanti


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