A faithful woman, mother to three kids, worked as a teacher in a church school, was buried in a Slavic church. The young woman died while pregnant with her fourth child.
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On February 14, an immigrant from Ukraine, Rita Tabunscic (nee Kondratyuk), 35, died in the city of Tacoma, Washington. Her funeral took place at the Slavic Christian Center on March 9. According to her relatives, she died in the hospital being pregnant with her fourth child.
The death of a young Christian woman, a church activist, caused a greater resonance in social media and the local immigrant community.
Viktor Kondratyuk, father of the deceased, said at the funeral service that his daughter “left an example for many…”
“The Lord gave, the Lord also took away, we cannot say anything against the Lord, and his determination,” Viktor Kondratyuk said.
During the funeral service, Rita’s sister Tatiana said that her sister had been in the hospital for one month.
“Unfortunately, we, brothers and sisters, were not allowed to say goodbye to our own sister,” Tatiana complained.
Nadezhda Ivleva, church member said at the funeral that Rita was a church activist and took part in church events until her last days:
“We can’t believe that Rita has left us… Rita attended our “Mothers in Prayer” services. On January 24, after our prayer, Rita felt bad. After having called brother Anatoly, we prayed with anointing, and tried our best to help her. But, alas, the efforts were in vain … And then we called an ambulance, and Rita was taken to the hospital … We kept praying, but God had His own plan…”
“January 24th, 2023 my brother’s wife, Rita Tabunscic, who is pregnant with their fourth child was not feeling good after a prayer service. While still being in the church she went unconscious, paramedics were called to the scene and she was taken to the nearest hospital,” Alex Tabunscic wrote on the GoFundMe, where he announced a $50,000 fundraiser for funerals and related expenses to support the family.
According to him, the doctors recommended that the woman be taken to the hospital, “Rita has been in a coma ever since.”
“The doctors are not giving any chance of her survival due to a massive hemorrhagic stroke,” wrote Alex Tabunscic.
“Last night, February 26, 2023, due to an infection in Rita’s body, the doctors decided to save the baby through a cesarean section. The child was born healthy, but unfortunately, Rita passed away. Please pray for this family, husband and 4 children who were left without a mother. All funds raised will go to the support and needs of this family,” the organizer of the fundraiser added later.
However, rumors began to rapidly spread on social media about the allegedly unnatural cause of Rita’s death. Due to the circulating controversial messages, the organizer of the fundraiser had to publish a photo of Rita’s death certificate, which states “intraventricular hemorrhage” and “rupture of arteriovenous malformation” as cause of her death:
“Due to the massive reposts of false accusations on social media around Vasily’s family, we wanted to clarify the situation by attaching a legal document, Rita’s death certificate, which indicates the real date of death and the diagnosis – Arteriovenous malformation AVM. This date refutes the false information about Vasily’s intentional disconnection of his wife from the life support system on February 26th. Rita was pronounced brain dead by 2 neurologists on Feb 14th, 2023 and this is her legal date of death. According to the law, brain death is a legal definition of death and only because of her pregnancy she was on somatic support until the peri-neonatologists decided that the risks outweigh the benefits of the baby staying inside of Rita. At that point, they decided to do a c-section and Rita was disconnected from life support per the law. Vasilii did not sign any do not resuscitate orders as there was no option to resuscitate a person who is brain dead/legally dead. Doctors say that Rita’s death occurred on the day when her brain stopped functioning. We hope this document will clear all your doubts. Do not believe unsubstantiated accusations without any evidence. May God bless you all and send His peace into your hearts!” (Author’s spelling and punctuation kept – SlavicSac.com).
“Despite all the hardship that my family underwent – the hospital’s ban on my stay near my wife on the first day of her hospitalization; the subsequent seven visits of CPS; the police investigation of domestic violence towards Rita, which was not confirmed. And God took all those attacks away from my family and sent his protection and defense,” Vasilii Tabunscic, husband of the deceased women, said at the funeral of his wife.
Family clan drama
In the Superior Court of Washington for Pierce County, where Rita died, Slavic Sacramento found a number of petitions for protection orders from domestic violence: Taisa Kondratyuk vs. Alex Tabunscic; Vasilii Tabunscic vs. Vadym and Bogdan Kondratyuk; Diana Viktorovna Kondratyuk vs. Alex Tabunscic.
In particular, it is stated in a petition for protection order dated March 6, 2023 on behalf of Vasilii Tabunscic (and his children: Tabunscic Emma, Matthew and Rachel) vs. Vadym Kondratyuk:
“Vadym Kondratyuk is my brother-in-law, his sister Rita Tabunscic, who is my wife, has passed away last week. The whole family is very angry and they made a lot of threats on social media that were directed towards me. These threats stated “to bury me alive, to do harm to me and my family, and take my kids away from me”. I know that he possibly has criminal background and I am afraid for my life and my children’s life and safety.”
Аccording to another petition, dated March 6 this year, the judge restrained Vadim Kodratyuk for two weeks from approaching Vasilii Tabunscic and his children.
As it follows from the petition, Vadym Kondratyuk is the uncle of the children mentioned above. In court, the parties demand a Russian-language interpreter.
An affidavit on behalf of Rita’s brother, Vadym Kondratyuk, states that he is the owner of Kon Construction LLC.
“My sister was in an abusive marriage for 10 years… Vasily beat up Rita in front of our younger sister Tessa…For 8 years Rita only opened up to some of her siblings about the abuse and she asked us to keep quiet about it because she was worried he would make her life worse,” Vadym Kondratyuk wrote. “About two years ago is when things got really bad, Vasily became angry, very controlling and very abusive mentally and physically. My sister Rita was a victim of domestic violence. Rita was a God fearful woman and she believed and prayed God was going to change Vasilii, unfortunately, but sadly her prayers and hopes never came to be.”
Vadym Kondratyuk also states that when Rita was experiencing financial difficulties and Vasilii allegedly did not help her, she even had to ask for money to provide for herself and her children with food.
In their petition against Viktor Kondratyuk, Alexandru and Yulia Tabunscic asked the court to prohibit the latter from coming within 200 feet distance, they also requested the court to make Viktor Kondratyuk surrender all firearms.
“The defendant threatened to kill us,” the petition says. According to the authors of the petition, one day Kondratyuk broke into the Tabunscics’ house and beat Alexandru.
As the attendees of the funeral said, Rita and Vasilii got engaged in 2011. According to some information, Rita worked as a teacher at a local school. The Google search cache contains the name of Rita Tabunscic, and she is described as a kindergarten teacher.
“I graduated from the Slavic Bible College. Attended TCC and Pierce College,” a Google search reveals, then the link leads to the Tacoma Christian Academy website. However, the page where information about her supposed to be located has been removed. According to the secretary of state, the Academy is registered to Alexei Guyvoronskiy. The principal of the school is Alex Slobodyanik.
When speaking up during the funeral service, school director Alex Slobodyanyuk confirmed that the deceased worked as an elementary school teacher at a church school.
Slavic Sacramento tried to contact the relatives of the deceased woman, as well as the administration of the Slavic Christian Center, where Rita’s funeral service was held, but no one responded. The Slavic Christian Center is registered to Vasiliy Rusev; Peter Sayenko, the founder of the church, died last year.