Bohdan Solchanyk was not a materialistic young man. He did not seek worldly pleasures, but rather took delight in his studies, his fiancee, his faith. What Bohdan wanted -what they both wanted – was live in the Ukraine with dignity and freedom.
Bohdan’s dream died last week at a peaceful protest against the government, where he and 80 others were “brutally shot and killed by government snipers in the central square of the capital of Ukraine, as the world’s TV cameras showed the slaughter live.”
Borys Gudziak, writing at RealClear Religion, says Bohdan’s life meant something, despite the fact that he lived only 28 years.
The message of Bohdan’s life and death is simple. It is a message that Europe and the world need to hear at a time of great anxiety and confusion surrounding Ukraine and Russia. This confusion is largely created by the propaganda of those who despise Bohdan’s vision of life, and are confounded by his very life of sacrifice.
Bohdan was one of the millions who for months assembled peacefully, joyfully, with song, with prayer, with poetry, with street theater, with music and dance in the very center of Kyiv and many other towns and cities in Ukraine. Their goal was simple: to manifest their desire for freedom, liberty of the press, vitality of civil society, justice in the court system, freedom from corruption in business, politics, education, and the medical system. In one word: a life of dignity. A life guaranteed to most Europeans.
Bohdan’s life was cut short because his civic position was a threat to authoritarianism, cronyism, and corruption. He was a threat to radical social inequality with oligarchs and politicians living in vulgar opulence while the rest of the population struggled to survive. He was killed because people in power feared his song and his joy, the dance of millions and the solidarity of a nation.
Gudziak says that Bodhan was not a puppet of a government, a schemer, a soldier. He was simply a young man who deserves what we all wish: a life free to create, learn, love.