By BosNewsLife News Center

d0bcd0b0d0bcd183d0bbd18fBUDAPEST/UZHHOROD (BosNewsLife)– Svetlana Milchevich, an evangelical Christian who became a voice of the voiceless with her public fight against abuse of power and corruption by Ukrainian authorities, has died after officials refused to allow her to seek medical treatment in neighboring Hungary. She was 64.

“Svetlana Milchevich, who suffered of stomach cancer, peacefully passed away and is now with the Lord,” said her family in a statement. Milchevich died in a cold, run-down hospital of Ukraine’s western border town of Uzhhorod, where doctors were struggling to find enough pain killers for her and other patients.

She tried to leave Ukraine Thursday, October 29, with her daughter Agnes R. Bos, the co-founder of Christian online news agency BosNewsLife, to seek medical care in Hungary, where hospitals are closer to European Union standards.

But Ukrainian border guards took away Milchevich’s Ukrainian passport citing “a court decision,” although they failed to provide documents. Hungarian officials were monitoring the situation as she had a permanent Hungarian residence permit.

After a tense stand-off that lasted several hours, the weak Milchevich was taken away from the border post by an ambulance, bumping over pothole filled roads, to the nearby Uzhhorod Town Hospital.


Uzhhorod Court Executor Mihaylo Petrovych Grishchuk, who could only be reached the next day, told BosNewsLife that Milchevich would be allowed to leave the country “within perhaps 10 days” after paying about 2,000 euros in local currency for “moral and financial damages.” That is at least 20 times the average monthly wage in Ukraine.

He confirmed that judge Taras Bisaga ordered her to pay compensation to the influential business man Josif Ivanovich Kostich, a close ally of Uzhhorod’s controversial Mayor Sergei Ratushnyak, whose name is also spelled as Serhiy Ratushniak.

“However by that time it became clear that she was very weak and there was not enough time anymore to arrange the funds and get her out of town,” explained Bos, who linked the fine to her mother’s fight against corruption.

She added that her mother received several death threats from officials including a well-known local judge, Vasily Dmitrevich Andrijtso, the chair of the regional Zakarpatskij Okruzsnoj Administrativ Court.  Milchevich was also visited by secret service agents, BosNewsLife learned.

As it became clear she would not be able to travel, Bos and her husband, Stefan J. Bos, who came over from Budapest, Hungary, “decided to stay in Uzhhorod and pray with Svetlana at her bed side,” the family said in a statement. Svetlana Milchevich eventually passed away just around 0500 am local time Tuesday, November 3.  A funeral service was held Saturday, November 7.


Born in what is now Moldova, in 1945,  Milchevich moved to western Ukraine where she became internationally known for leading an unregistered advocacy group of citizens in the border town of Uzhhorod. The group included Christians who lost homes, lands and other properties because of apparently corrupt authorities.

The initiative was launched after Milchevich tried to build a small home on land she bought with her life-long earnings as a clothing designer and administrative worker.

Documents obtained by BosNewsLife appear to show that parts of her land were illegally taken by business man Kostich, apparently in cooperation with Mayor Ratushnyak. Kostich has denied wrongdoing while Ratushnyak’s office has a tendency not to talk to foreign reporters about controversial issues.

The case underscored international concerns that judges and other officials are involved in corruption, and European Union diplomats have repeatedly called for reforms in  Ukraine’s judicial system.

Some corruption cases are being investigated, but Western observers claim not enough is done to tackle the problem by Ukraine’s parliament, which has been deadlocked by political infighting.


Milchevich was just one of many Christian residents suffering under an extensive criminal network, involving former Communist officials and crime groups, that emerged after the collapse of Communism and the breakup of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, according to rights groups.

BosNewsLife extensively covered the situation in Uzhhorod, a crucial gateway towards the European Union, in close cooperation with Milchevich.

The Christian woman and supporters were also involved in an open letter to Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko, titled a ‘A Cry For Justice’, urging him to expand the 2004-2005 Orange Revolution of democracy to border areas and reminding him to pledges he made to stamp out corruption.

Backed by BosNewsLife, the ‘Concerned Citizens of Uzhhorod’ wrote that while “we are not rich and famous” and “trail behind the powerful leaders with whom you often meet” the “hard working concerned citizens of Uzhhorod and victims of injustice” had been with him with “prayers and thoughts, supporting your Orange vision to make Ukraine once again a nation of hope and democracy.”

“We believe that God placed you at this position at a crucial time for our nation. We are proud to have you as our president. But, Mr. Yushchenko, we ask you, please here our cries. And help us to renew our faith in our nation,” they wrote at the time.


Besides fighting for justice, details also emerged over the weekend that Milchevich has long provided aid to a house church that was persecuted under Communism and helped other impoverished citizens.

At an emotionally charged funeral service Saturday, October 7, Stefan J. Bos and Agnes R. Bos, recalled Svetlana Milchevich as an “inspiration to many.”

“Svetlana’s dedication to her family, friends, neighbors and those less fortunate was uplifting in challenging times. From making and designing clothes, interior of homes, gardens, paintings, to cooking and cleaning; anything this hard-working loving, caring, mother, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, friend, neighbor did was done with dedication,” they said in a statement they read in English and Russian.

“And, in recent years, she also became a voice of the voiceless by tackling corruption and abuse of power in this gateway to the European Union,” the couple added.


They stressed that “Svetlana’s sense of justice and love for other people, whether rich or poor” was rooted “in her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

It was “humbling to note,” they told the packed auditorium, that “the Lord choose Svetlana to go ahead of us and the most powerful people in this world to live in eternal glory with Him. Glory that no money can buy.”

They also cited Bible verse John 11:25: “Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” That was reflected in texts accompanying flower wreathes, with one saying: “Real Life never ends.”

Priest Ivan Csepel, of the formerly persecuted Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, told mourners he is convinced Svetlana Milchevich is now with Jesus Christ.

“We know that we will soon see her again, and we are sure that Svetlana would wish that everyone here present today has the same assurance of Jesus Christ,” Agnes R. Bos said, before her mother’s human remains were transported to their final resting place on a hill overlooking the town. “She will always remain a hero.”


URGENT BREAKING NEWS: Ukraine Border Guards Halt “Dying” Christian Activist (Update 1)

Christians Urge Ukraine Judges To Tackle Corruption (BosNewsLife Investigation)

BREAKING NEWS: Ukrainian Woman Wins Major Corruption Case

Ukraine Mayor Flees Amid Persecution Investigation

Ukraine Border Town Awaits End Of Corruption After Davos’ Promise (BosNewsLife In-Depth)

NEWS ALERT: Ukraine Journalist Beaten; Rushed To Hospital After Revealing Corruption in Uzhhorod (BosNewsLife Investigation)


  1. Dear Agnes and Stefan,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved mother. Thank you for sharing her life with the world. She was an amazing lady and I praise God for her dedication and faithfulness.

    I ask the Lord to bless and uphold you during this time. I know Svetlana is so proud of how you both are serving Jesus.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you …
    Because He lives!

  2. Dear Roxann,

    Thank you very much for your message. It came in here almost immediately after we posted the news. Your words mean a lot to us at this very difficult time. While we know she is with the Lord, it remains very sad to realize Svetlana is no longer here with us, here on earth.

    God bless you!

    Agnes and Stefan Bos

  3. Hi. I’m a westerner who lived in Uzhgorod for 3 years doing government work. I have many close friends who were affected by Ratushnyak and his corrupt cronies, so I truly appreciate everything you are doing to correct these wrongs. Good luck! It’s a long, uphill fight, but I believe that what’s right will eventually prevail.

  4. Dear Stefan and Agnes,

    We are so saddened to hear of your dear Mom’s death. But it is so true that we do not
    mourn in the same way the world does, and we know that God is taking you up in His arms
    and comforting you. Keep thinking upon where she is and with Whom she is with! We love you, and thank you for all you do to bring us news of our suffering brethren. Praying for you to be
    strong and of good courage as He strengthens your hurting hearts.

    Love in Christ,

    David and Tamara

  5. Dear David and Tamara,

    Thank you very much for your encouraging words. Indeed we know that she is now living in Eternal Glory with Christ, and it was also encouraging to see that during and after the funeral several people wanted to know more about Him, as they were seeking a personal relationship with the Lord. Yet, ofcourse, in the meantime it remains difficult to accept that she is gone from this world. Thanks so for much for your prayers and spiritual support in this time of sorrow.

    Yours in Christ,

    Agnes and Stefan Bos.


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