ROME — His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC), called for closed skies over Ukraine on Monday to block Russian cruise missiles that are wreaking havoc on the population.
“Today we are already in the twelfth day of war. Today is 7 March 2022,” the archbishop said in a video message appealing for help for his country.
“Today, on this twelfth day of war, according to information from the United Nations, we have already 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine who have left their homeland,” he declared.
“In particular my heart is in anguish for my Kyiv Archeparchy. Vicious battles are taking place in the suburbs of Kyiv,” Shevchuk stated.
“Three cities have become extensive and horrible battlefields, literally several tens of kilometres from the centre of Kyiv. These are Irpin, Hostomel, and Bucha,” he said.
Moreover, on Sunday “we received news that the head of the city council of Hostomel, Mr Yuriy Prylypko, was killed at the moment when he was distributing food and medicine to those in need,” the archbishop lamented.
The journalists were unable to identify who shot at them — they initially believed it was Ukrainian forces who had mistaken them for enemy combatants — but say they were later told by the Ukrainians that it was a “saboteur Russian reconnaissance squad” https://t.co/g2b81NqUAX
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 5, 2022
And yet, he declared: “Today Ukraine is standing. Ukraine is fighting.”
“Today we ask the world community: ‘Close the sky over Ukraine!’ he said. “Precisely Russian cruise missiles are today killing the peaceful population on our lands the most.”
Along with his appeal, the archbishop fervently thanked all those who have supported Ukraine in these days of war, beginning with Pope Francis, who “once more sharply and unequivocally condemned the war against Ukraine during yesterday’s prayer of the Angelus.”
“He said clearly and distinctly that this is not some kind of operation, this is a war. War, first of all, against peaceful people, against the peaceful population,” Shevchuk said.
“I would like to thank today all those who support our people, our homeland, our army,” he said. “I continue to receive innumerable correspondence, letters of solidarity.”
The archbishop offered special thanks to “the Polish people, the Polish episcopate, the Polish government, because they have received already more than one million refugees into their embraces, into their homes, and they are trying to do everything to give the necessary aid to these people.”
“No [NATO] ally has sent combat troops to Ukraine. We have no hostility toward the Russian people, and we have no desire to impugn a great nation and a world power,” Johnson claimed https://t.co/8m8vOGdGnd
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 7, 2022
“May the Lord God repay you a hundredfold!” he said.
“Unfortunately, all talk of green corridors for the possibility of evacuating people from cities that are suffering the most from siege and bombardment is not coming true,” he declared.
“We pray today for the Ukrainian army. We bless our volunteers, all those who bring the day of victory closer,” he stated.
“O God, bless Ukraine! O God, bless the Ukrainian nation! O God, save Your people and bless Your inheritance!” he exclaimed.