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Major Archbishop of the Greek Catholic Church: Russia has invaded Ukraine

2015-02-23

The Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church rejected the notion that his country is fighting a civil war. Instead, he said their suffering was because of a foreign invasion.

SVIATOSLAV SHEVCHUK
Major Archbishop, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
"We are experiencing a foreign invasion, a war imposed from outside. It is not a civil conflict. It is not a struggle between Ukrainian citizens. It is truly an invasion made after the Russian Federation annexed Crimea."

Every Ukrainian bishop met with Pope Francis last week. The Major Archbishop said that the meeting gave them the assurance they needed to continue with their mission in the midst of war.

SVIATOSLAV SHEVCHUK
Major Archbishop, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
"Ukrainians feel abandoned and betrayed by powerful politicians and diplomats. However, we have felt that the Pope is truly with us."

Further, the Major Archbishop denounced the Moscow Patriarchate for aligning with the government of Vladimir Putin.

SVIATOSLAV SHEVCHUK
Major Archbishop, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
"Unfortunately, the patriarchate has become a powerful weapon in the war of information. Ukrainians are not against the Russians. We see that the Russian people do not understand what happens in Ukraine. That is because the Russian government hides from them the thousands of soldiers that come to Ukraine to kill us."

The conflict cannot be solved with weapons, he said. However, he added that finding a solution is complicated. Most importantly, the conflict in Ukraine should not become another forgotten war.

SVIATOSLAV SHEVCHUK
Major Archbishop, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church
"Indifference kills. I ask you not to be indifferent because what happens in Ukraine is not a Ukrainian crisis. It is not just a local conflict."

The conflict began a year ago and has already left 6,000 dead and more than 12,000 wounded. According to UN estimates, the conflict has produced more than one million refugees.


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