The Head of the UGCC on Day 112: The source of military aggression is found within Russia itself

Friday, 17 June 2022, 10:50
In today's world of half-truths and lies that pretend to be the truth, reason, a gift of the Holy Spirit, makes it possible not to succumb to this delusion and to see the real cause and effect of events. This is especially important when it comes to the causes, motives, and roots of Russia's open military aggression in Ukraine: Reason is the antidote to the propaganda and lies that Russia is flooding the world with, and which continue to kill Ukrainians and threaten the whole world.


On June 15, the 112th day of the war, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, spoke about the need for the gift of understanding and of discerning reality for all people, and particularly for those who influence decision-making, the consequences of which impact all mankind.

On this day the Head of the UGCC began, as always, with gratitude to the Lord and to Ukraine’s defenders, and offered recent updates about events at the front, in particular, about the defense of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region.   

“Once again, this morning we thank the Lord and the Armed Forces of Ukraine for allowing us to see the light of day and for surviving to this day and through this last night. Unfortunately, many people died in Ukraine. Again, according to reports which we receive from various state authorities, about 100 servicemen die every day. And no one still knows how many civilians die each day, but their number is probably higher.

The legendary city of Severodonetsk in the Luhansk region is holding up heroically, and it is becoming a city of heroes, a city of martyrs. Once an administrative center of Luhansk region with a population of one hundred thousand, today it is the epicenter of a huge battle. Russian troops are ten times more numerous than the Ukrainian military presence there. But our soldiers are bravely defending the city, defending this chunk of Ukraine’s Luhansk region.

Active hostilities are taking place along the entire front line, from the Kharkiv region to the Kherson region in the south. Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! The enemy is persistently trying to intimidate us. Yesterday missile strikes inflicted wounds on the western regions of Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky. However, Ukraine is successfully defending itself, which astonishes the world.”

In this week following Pentecost, the liturgical tradition of the Church addresses the person of the Holy Spirit, His presence among us and His gifts to the human person. His Beatitude Sviatoslav continued his reflection on the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, which he began yesterday. Today’s reflection is on the gift of understanding:

“This week, according to our tradition, we experience a special week of Pentecost. Every day we sing the praises of the Holy Spirit, who once descended on the apostles in the form of tongues of fire and is present and alive today in the body of our Church.

Yesterday we began to reflect on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, beginning with wisdom. Today I propose contemplating another gift called understanding.

In the Ukrainian language, the word “understanding” has many meanings. Reason, the gift of understanding from the Holy Spirit, is a person’s special ability to penetrate the depths of reality, to distinguish the causes and consequences of various events and phenomena, and through this, to contemplate the source of all that exists, lives and moves – Our God and Savior.”

What is understanding, as a gift of the Holy Spirit, for modern man in practical, not abstract or theological, terms? It keeps you from being led astray and deceived, and allows you to distinguish between truth and lies:

“This gift of the Holy Spirit is vital in keeping us from being deceived by the devil's wiles. After all, we live in a world of fakes, a world of wishful thinking, where untruth and falsehood pretend to be the sole truth. It is important that today, with the help of this special gift of the Holy Spirit, we not succumb to this fog of illusion that the tempter wants to blind us with, but that we delve into reality, and understand and know it correctly.”

Today, a sound mind and clear vision are necessary for those who have a special responsibility for making decisions that have very significant consequences; in particular, this applies to the world’s understanding of the causes of Russian aggression in Ukraine, according to the Head of UGCC:

“This gift [of understanding] is extremely vital for those who have special ministerial responsibilities in the Church, state, and society. In my opinion, understanding as a gift of the Holy Spirit is very much needed by those who are trying to understand the causes and consequences of this full-scale Russian aggression. Because today we see that they are trying to deceive the whole world, substituting wishful thinking for reality. We see and know, from our own experience of the war, that Russia's aggression against Ukraine is unprovoked. Anyone who thinks that some external force has caused military aggression in Russia is either a prisoner of Russian propaganda or is simply deliberately engaged in deceiving the world.”

The reasons for Russia's military aggression are inherent, and found within Russia’s nature, stated the Head of the UGCC. Ukraine was the first to suffer the blows of Russian aggression, but is obviously withstanding them, to preserve the entire civilized world and its values:

“Unfortunately, that chunk of post-Soviet space that is now in Russian Federation territory, has its deep flaws and diseases from Soviet times. This post-Soviet revanchism, which today has emerged with a new face of extreme Russian nationalism in the form of “Russian world” (“russkiy mir”) ideology, has clearly acquired genocidal features. And Ukraine is its first victim.

That is why it is so important to understand the causes and consequences of this war. Sadly, the causes of this war lie in Russia itself, within it. The Russian aggressor is trying to solve his internal problems with the help of external aggression. He projects his illnesses on others and blames the whole world for it.”

“Today we pray for the gift of the Holy Spirit for politicians, diplomats, and church and religious leaders, that the Lord give them the ability to see causes and consequences, the depth of reality and the ability to distinguish truth from lies and falsehood,” concluded His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the UGCC.

The UGCC Department of Information



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