Lightning kills Ukrainian politician who tried to revive pagan cult

Derazhnoye, Ukraine - A Ukrainian politician who had been excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church for his attempts to revive ancient pagan cult was killed by lightning on Saturday while on a fishing trip, Russian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda reported on Monday.

According to the report, Vasily Chervoni was at a fishing trip near the village of Derazhnoye and suffered a direct lightning hit during a thunderstorm. He in hospital died shortly afterwards.

The newspaper reported that the late politician was a close friend of Ukrainian President Yushchenko and had at one time occupied the governor’s post in Rovno Region. A former activist in the Soviet youth movement Comsomol, Chervoni started an independent political career in early 1990s with radical Ukrainian nationalists. At some point, the politician joined the religious movement Runvera – a Ukrainian sect that seeks revival of obscure ancient cults, in particular, the worship of the sun god Dazhbog.

In 1992, Chervoni was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church. When he was retired from the governor’s post in 2006, all Orthodox churches in Rovno Region had a special prayer thanking the Lord for deliverance.