GALLOWAY, Ohio (WCMH) – A Columbus man has died in Ukraine while fighting in the war against Russia as a volunteer soldier. 

The family of David Baturin gathered for a public memorial service Friday evening at Grace Evangelical Church.

Baturin, 26, was born in Ukraine and moved to central Ohio shortly after with his family. 

He went on to become a United States Marine according to a page set up as a memorial for Baturin. He was killed on the morning of Oct. 7 while fighting with Ukrainian soldiers.

“There is no greater love than when somebody lays their life for their friends. That’s exactly what David felt and by the calling on his heart that’s what he did. This is not just a loss of their family, this is a loss of all of us and we feel the pain and the sorrow in our hearts, and may God just heal their hearts in this moment,” said Associate Pastor Viktor Moskalyuk, who spoke about Baturin with the blessing of the family.

Hundreds packed into the church sanctuary Friday night to sing hymns, pray and listen to David’s siblings talk about their older brother.

Moskalyuk said Baturin attended their church and would participate in Bible studies as well as youth mentoring. When the Russian invasion of Ukraine happened, Moskalyuk said Baturin could not sit back and watch his homeland suffer.

“Best of us die. You know, when things like this, when a war and atrocities like this happen and people of free will, people who stand up to those who bully, we always praise them and say ‘Those are heroes.’ And that’s what David did. He couldn’t stay home, he just went out and wanted to help as much as he can from his side,” Moskalyuk said.

The war in Ukraine has been going on for a year and a half. Moskalyuk has been working to bring supplies and aid to Ukraine, while also helping more than a thousand Ukrainians escape the war and find a home in central Ohio.

“Keep on praying for people in Ukraine. Keep on praying for people who are fleeing from war. We are receiving refugees every single day and they’re in need of help. A lot of people don’t have hope right now, don’t have homes, they’re running away from war and there is nowhere to go. And they know there is a community here in Columbus, so they come over here,” Moskalyuk said.
For those who would like to help provide resources directly to people suffering in Ukraine, find out how on the Grace Evangelical Church website.