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PATRIARCH SVIATOSLAV: “The role of the church is consistent. During the last
three months, the church, especially the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church,
was with its people. And it will continue to remain with its people. If, God
forbid, we will have to stand together on the battlefield with our soldiers,
with our army, the Ukrainian Church, especially the UGCC, is ready to
provide pastoral support.

Every citizen of Ukraine must be prepared to defend his or her independent
and sovereign state. The church has always sought to defend peace. The
church at all costs tried to prevent bloodshed. Unfortunately, there are
already victims in Ukraine, and bloodshed was not prevented. We will
continue to use every opportunity to relieve tension in society and avoid

THE GUARDIAN: Ukrainian and Russian troops in standoff at Crimean military
base – live updates



As the world was being lured by years of careful calculation, preparation
and machination, all leading up to the Winter Olympics In Sochi, Russia,
into a comfortable belief – or perhaps a desired belief – that the great
bear had finally been domesticated, the people of Ukraine sat outdoors on
cold cobble-stoned streets in Kyiv’s Independence Square – the Maidan –
ready to give their lives in order to be rid of yet another corrupt leader
and to finally breathe the ever fresh air of freedom and of a lifestyle that
enables them to grow and be productive citizens of their nation. For a brief
few days it seemed to be a dream come true when that leader suddenly packed
up and left town and those who had supported him abandoned him. Those who
remained and who had supported the Maidan were suddenly the majority in the
Verkovna Rada – The Ukrainian Parliament – acting with solidarity in the
name of Ukraine first.

Then suddenly, the mask was dropped. Without the slightest provocation or
act of aggression against any Russian speaking citizen of the Crimean
Peninsula or of any other region of the independent nation of Ukraine, the
bear’s claws and fangs were no longer restrained and its military troops
invaded Ukraine. No longer was there any attempt to “improve the image” of
the bear. It would no longer remain in its domesticated realm. Is it once
again setting out to recreate the lost empire? Will this doctrine of
protecting its citizens in Ukraine expand to other nations – even those
never part of the former empire? Regardless of the answers to these
questions, once again our beloved ancestral homeland – Ukraine – is under
threat of suppression and repression.

The world watches. The world says “Stop!” The world says “Go home!” The
world says “Ukraine has the right to self-determination”! In reality,
however, what can simple words accomplish? Will the world find the courage
to do more than pronounce warnings? Will the world, this time, ensure that
Ukraine and her people will not again be subject to a new form of genocide?
Or will the world once again ultimately abandon what it considers a futile
effort to force the bear back into its own domain and simply turn a blind
eye and a deaf ear to the situation? Words are simply words, with no
inherent authority or power. It is what stands behind – and before – those
words that matters. No one envisions a military force entering Ukraine from
the West. This would only inflict more unnecessary damage upon the people of
Ukraine – remember the last armies that came from the West who the poor
Ukrainian people at first thought to be liberators? No, military force will
not accomplish the necessary end. The words of modern diplomacy must be
backed up with effective economic, political and social actions and
sanctions, which will convince the invaders that its efforts are futile and
counterproductive for its own welfare and the welfare of the people subject
to it.

All our lives we have studied the history of our Ukrainian nation and
throughout our ministry we have held in our arms the victims of the bear’s
aggression, the survivors of the suppression, repression, family separation,
gulags, torture, Holodomor – death by starvation – looking into their eyes
as they remember the millions of their own family members lost “for the good
of the empire”. We witnessed the joy in their faces as they thanked God for
the freedom of their nation – their whole, united nation – before
independence and over the past 24 years since the referendum on independence
passed overwhelmingly throughout all the nation. As the result of this, in
the face of threats to that independence, that we must make demands of our
political leaders, here in the United States of America and throughout the
world for immediate strong, effective and honorable action before it is too
late – once again. We urge all our clergy, faithful and parish communities
to be in contact with our President, Congressional Representatives and
Senators, our state Governors and Legislators to stand firm in support of
Ukraine and her beloved people!

We remain in solidarity with our Orthodox, Catholic and other Faith leaders
in Ukraine who have proved their devotion to their flocks in their steadfast
prayer and ministry to those who sat on the cold cobble-stoned Maidan. We
have personally delivered material support to the hospitals caring for the
injured and the families of those murdered. Today, however, we call upon all
our brother Hierarchs of Orthodox Churches throughout the world to utilize
their God-give authority, including those in Russia itself, to call for the
cessation of the attack of Orthodox brothers against their own in the Faith!
We call upon Christians of other denominations and adherents of all
religious Faiths around the world to urge their followers to speak up and
help to avoid a cataclysm for a nation that has endured far more such
cataclysms than it should have been able to endure. But, endure it did! Only
by the Grace of God was Ukraine reborn over these 24 years – in spite of
weak and fractured leadership at all levels – political social,
ecclesiastical and more. The time has come to allow her to blossom, as she
has begun to – without being a threat to any of her neighbors and without
abandoning millennium old international relationships.

Ukraine and her people were for a significant and vital period of time, the
very epicenter of world Orthodoxy. She and her people have proven themselves
by their incredible faith in our Lord and God and Savior, Jesus Christ. She
has submitted herself to hope in Holy Trinity and to the Protection of the
Mother of God. We, as the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the
United States of America, beg for the sincere and endless prayers of all who
read these words or hear them spoken. We especially appeal to those monastic
communities around the world, who pray continuously for mankind to place
Ukraine and her people in their hearts and minds during all their prayers.

May God in the Holy Trinity and the beloved Mother of God, the Ever-Virgin
Mary, and all the Saints and Martyrs of Ukraine hear our prayers and protect
our God-loving Nation of Ukraine and grant her peace and the knowledge of
Truth and Love at all times.


Let us Pray to the Lord – Lord, Have Mercy! Господу помолимось – Господи,

Almighty Father, You said that when two or three are gathered in your name –
you would be among them. Remembering Your words and having received the land
of Ukraine for our heritage; We ask you today to prove us mindful of this
great blessing. Bless our ancestral homeland Ukraine and these United States
with honorable works, sound learning, and good manners. Save us from
violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance. Defend liberty
which is an expression of your Divine Will. During this time of difficulty
throughout our ancestral homeland Ukraine fill our hearts with gratitude,
and grant the people of Ukraine, and all of us the grace to continue to
trust in You and Your mercy as we did in previous days of trouble. We ask
this for we know that you are a gracious and loving God in whom we are
blessed through the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, always now and
ever and to the ages of ages. AMEN.

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