Vladimir Katriuk was born on 1 October 1921 in the village of Luzhany, now Ukraine. He got married to Maria Stéphanie Kavoom (maiden name) in 1948 in France.
Katriuk has been said to have joined the Schutzmannschaften Nazi police units in 1942, although it is unclear whether or not he joined those forces voluntarily. He was part of the Schutzmannschaft Bataillon 118, which was sent to Belorussia, where it participated in a number of the most brutal and infamous pacifications.
Katriuk was allegedly involved in the 1943 Kathyn massacre, in Belarus. On 22 March 1943, a German convoy was attacked by Soviet partisans nearby the village of Khatyn, resulting in the deaths of four police officers of Schutzmannschaft Batallion 118. As a retalion measure, they completely destroyed the village of Khatyn as a collective punishment against the population for having supported the Soviet partisans. The first victims of the punitive operation were a number of loggers who had been working in the forest at the time of the ambush. Following this, in a joint action with the SS (Schutzstaffel) Dirlewanger brigade, the Schutzmannschaft Batallion 118 entered the village and drove the inhabitants from their houses and into a shed, which was then covered with straw and set on fire. Those who managed to escape from the shed, we’re killed by machine gun fire. The village was then looted and burned to the ground. In the operation, 149 people, including 75 children and teenagers, appear to have been killed. Katriuk has been said to have actively participated in the killing of the loggers and the villagers who tried to escape.
In August 1944, Katriuk and his battalion were transferred to France to fight against the Western Allies. However, together with a majority of the men of the battalion, he defected to the French Resistance. After having refused to return to the Soviet Union following an order by a Soviet repatriation commission, he joined the French Foreign Legion (FFL) with which he stayed until the end of WWII.
In 1951, Katriuk and his wife immigrated to Canada from France under a false name, i.e. Nicolas and Maria Stéphanie Schpirka. After five years of residency, they decided to acquire the Canadian citizenship, but they wanted to revert to their correct name, Vladimir and Maria Katriuk. The application for change of name and the application for citizenship were respectively granted in May and November 1958.
On 22 May 2015, Katriuk died of a stroke, at the age of 93.