ROME – Ukrainian Archbishop Svyatoslav Shevchuk announced in a video message on Friday that Ukraine was crying and bleeding because of its “unequal battle with the Russian occupier.”
The Ukrainian people “defend their homeland in the context of this great, unjust, senseless and holy war”, He said Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
In his message, the Archbishop chronicled the recent suffering of his people, including the heavy bombing of the cities of Kharkiv, Mykolaiv and Zaporizhia between Thursday and Friday.
The enemy launched a massive missile attack on the city of Toritsk in the Donetsk region, hitting a bus stop where civilians were waiting for their transportation. “A lot of people died and were injured,” Shevchuk said.
The Orthodox Church was damaged and the priest was badly injured. The sacrilege really goes beyond any common sense.”
He said that despite the aggressions committed against it, Ukraine “is learning to overcome and with the power of God defends its right to exist, its right to freedom,” noting that many international institutions have stated that “the invaders are losing the strategic initiative.”
Ukrainians are successfully defending their land. That is why we say today: Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine prays! ” He said.
The Archbishop also gave a word of thanks and appreciation to the emergency service workers of Ukraine who were tirelessly carrying out rescue missions.
“We see our cities and villages burning every day. And our firefighters tirelessly put out these fires. “We see how the enemy is systematically destroying the infrastructure of large cities, launching missile strikes on cities and the civilian population.”
He added, “Our rescuers are relentlessly dismantling the rubble, getting them out from under the rubble and rescuing the people who were there.”
“Today, on behalf of our entire church, I want to say to firefighters, paramedics, rescue workers and utility workers of all kinds: Thank you very much!” Shevchuk said. “We thank you for your heroic service, even at the cost of your own life, so that cities and villages may not be without electricity and gas.”
“We thank you for your hurry to help and for being the first helping hand of God and Ukraine, which extends to those who became victims of the Russian occupation,” he stated.
“May the Lord bless you and reward you a hundredfold,” he said, “for all the heroic service you render to your people and country.”