Who destroyed the Ukrainian church buildings?


Eastern Europe


Burning Skete of All Saints. Photo C4U.org

Ukrainian churches burn down. Whether the buildings are new or ancient, they do not survive the war violence. However, the question remains: who is guilty?

For the Ukrainian President, Vladimir Zelensky, it is obvious: the Russians are to blame for the loss of the religious buildings. “They are ready to burn everything: Orthodox churches are just like anything else in Ukraine”, Zelensky warns in an address on his website. According to the President, already 113 churches have been destroyed by Russian shelling.

Skete of All Saints before it burned down. Photo Twitter

He refers to the burning down of the Skete of All Saints in the Svyatohirsk Lavra (monastery) in the region of Donetsk. “It caught fire as a result of Russian artillery shelling.” According to Union of Orthodox Journalists, this church was the largest wooden church of Ukraine.

Furthermore, Zelensky blames the Russian invader for killing three Lavra monks, even though they belonged to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, “which is still considered in Moscow to be connected with the Russian Orthodox Church.”

“Ukrainian military uses religious buildings as a shield”

However, the Russian reading of the events is quite the opposite of the Ukrainian. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, Ukrainian nationalists set the church on fire. That is reported by Ria Novosti.

Photo Twitter

Major General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman of the Russian Defence Ministry, says that Ukrainian soldiers fired at the Lavra church with a heavy machine gun mounted on an armoured car. He explained that the losing troops went “on a monstrous provocation.”

Konashenkov refers to the testimony of eyewitnesses from the local population to back his interpretation of the events. The Major General states that monks and members of the local, territorial defence came to extinguish the fire in the burning skete. “The nationalists prevented this by opening fire to intimidate them.”

Photo Twitter

Furthermore, Konashenkov adds that the Ukrainian military deliberately uses religious buildings and Orthodox monuments as a shield. “The values of the Ukrainian Nazis are opposite to the historical values of the Orthodox people of Ukraine. There is no future for the criminal anti-Christian policy pursued by the current Kyiv regime in Ukraine, and there cannot be.”

Who is telling the truth?

Both the Ukrainian and the Russian authorities call each other liars and claim that they are telling the truth. Both reports exclude each other. President Zelensky from Ukraine: “I believe that this lie of the propagandists should motivate the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to draw conclusions. More decisive conclusions and a clear condemnation of each of those who condone aggression. Ukrainian diplomats will do everything to make everyone in the world aware of this another crime of the occupiers.”



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