Russia’s war crimes are Ukraine’s genocide, says UGCC Head at Milan Conference

Thursday, 26 May 2022, 10:41
“Ukraine: Tasks for Peace-Building” was the theme of a scholarly conference held on May 23 in Milan, Italy. The event was organized by the Ambrosianeum Foundation in cooperation with the Catholic University and Archdiocese of Milan. In his online address, the Head of the UGCC spoke about the Russian army’s crimes in Ukraine, and named them as a genocide of the Ukrainian people.

“The war in Ukraine begs an important question for everyone: why? When we see the abuse of civilians, sexual violence against women, men and children, mass graves with hundreds of innocent children killed with their parents, bodies scattered on the streets of our cities, humanitarian catastrophes and deportations - each of us asks ourselves again and again: why?” The Head of the UGCC is convinced that a real genocide of the Ukrainian people is taking place. This fact is confirmed by the manifesto of Russian Nazism published on the website of RIA Novosti, a Russian state-owned news agency, where “the first paragraph declares that Ukrainian as a nationality does not exist; that Ukrainians are Russians who have come to believe that they are Ukrainian. There is no Ukrainian history, language, or culture.” His Beatitude Sviatoslav concluded: “As a people, we were condemned to annihilation.”

“It is even more difficult to fathom Christian justification for such crimes,” the Head of the UGCC stressed, because “the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church not only blesses but also justifies the actions of the Russian army in Ukraine. Christian evangelism is utilized for the goals of ideological propaganda of Russian Nazism. We see this ideology drawing closer and closer to the Islamic State's ISIS doctrine. The same arguments are used, but cloaked in Christian robes. We hear about the metaphysical war against universal globalism, and thus about the Ukrainian people, who are under the influence of the morally degenerate West, presented as the Antichrist. And so, Ukrainians are the ones who carry the seeds of the Antichrist, and must therefore be killed.” Another phenomenon of this war, according to His Beatitude Sviatoslav, is “the use of sexual violence as a weapon. Hundreds of cases of raped women, children, and men… Typically, these sexual crimes are mostly committed in public. This is done in order to completely humiliate the victim and demonstrate the punishment for disobedience. Russian soldiers receive not only permission but also orders to commit such crimes. All these facts reveal the true face of the ideology of “Russ’ky mir”, or the “Russian World”. “We are talking about religious fundamentalism of a totalitarian nature, of which we are victims,” stressed the head of the UGCC.

“As the Church, we will be healing these physical, psychological, and spiritual wounds for a long time to come. This war is real madness. Ukraine has become a land of fire. Wherever Russian soldiers go, no one can survive, cities become ghost towns.”

In conclusion, His Beatitude Sviatoslav appealed to the scholarly-academic community to “investigate and condemn the ideology of the ‘Russian World’, which aims to resolve the Ukrainian question in the same way that the Nazis wanted a solution to the Jewish question…”

The Archbishop of Milan Mario Delpini also addressed the audience, expressing solidarity with the Ukrainian people and assuring the support of the Archdiocese of Milan. “We are watching, horrified, by everything that is happening in your country, and we are trying to help everyone we can by prayer, hosting refugees, medical cooperation, etc.”

The Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome



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