Attack on Kharkiv Cathedral will not go unpunished, Ukrainian president says


Eastern Europe


The Assumption or Dormition Cathedral in Kharkiv before the Russian invasion in Ukraine. Photo Wikimedia Commons

President Zelinsky of Ukraine has strongly reacted after Russian bombs hit the Orthodox Cathedral in Kharkiv. “God sees”, he warns and says that it is impossible to hide in a bunker to get away from God.

In his speech to the nation of 3 March, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky mentioned that even religious targets had become targets for Russian bombs. He reacted to the shelling the day before of the Assumption or Dormition Cathedral in Kharkiv, in the eastern part of the country, by Russian troops. Fortunately, “the people inside the cathedral were not injured,” the press service of the Kharkiv eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said, but the windows and stained-glass windows in the cathedral were broken, and the cathedral’s decoration was damaged, website Ukrinform reported.

“The Cathedral in Kharkiv has become a target”, Zelensky said in his speech quoted by the Swedish newspaper Dagen. “It is one of the oldest memorials in Ukraine. At the moment, it is used as a shelter for residents of Kharkiv, both for those who believe and those who do not believe.”

Russia will pay

“It’s a holy place, now wounded in the war”, the president continued. “Not even this deters them. They expect that God’s retribution will not come at once. But He sees, and He answers. You cannot hide from His answer. No bunker can protect you from God.”

Zelensky’s words were interpreted as addressing Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin, who is said to be in a safe bunker, while the war rages on.

Zelensky said that the Russians could destroy all cathedrals and churches, but not the faith of the Ukrainians, adding that all demolished buildings would be rebuilt – a reconstruction that Russia will pay for after the end of the war.

Earlier in Kharkiv, on 1 March in the morning, a Russian missile damaged the chancery of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, website Aleteia reports. During the attack, a missile destroyed the roof of the cathedral offices and one of the attic rooms. “Mass had just ended. We miraculously survived. Thanks be to God, no one was injured because we were in the basement,” recounted Father Wojciech Stasiewicz.



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