Ukrainian bishop sees ‘real chance of peace’ in country’s crisis

19 October 2017, 13:57 | Society-digest | 0 |   | Code for Blog |  | 

Jonathan Luxmoore

18 October 2017 CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE

Ukrainian church leaders have accused Western governments of ignoring continued suffering in their country, where war has left more than 10,000 dead. Peacekeeping proposals were being debated by the European Union and U.N. officials in mid-October to end the conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists.

The Catholic bishop responsible for eastern Ukraine has backed calls for the deployment of international peacekeepers and praised “pressure from below” to end the nearly four-year war.

With the Ukrainian government ready to establish conditions for a peacekeeping force, “there are now good signs this could happen,” said Bishop Stanislav Szyrokoradiuk of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia, whose diocese includes rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk.

"Although some politicians still hope to use this conflict for their own power interests, pressure for reconciliation is spreading up from below among the people who’ve had enough of it. This is a positive change, and it brings a real chance of peace,” he told Catholic News Service on Oct. 18.

Peacekeeping proposals were being debated by the European Union and U.N. officials in mid-October to end the conflict between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed separatists.

Szyrokoradiuk said he has been in continual contact with people on both sides who believe pressure from the U.S. and Western governments would induce Russian President Vladimir Putin to “talk and reach agreements.”

“Those whose decisions led to this war, and who saw it as a way of making dirty money, will naturally stand by policies they’ve staked their reputations on,” the bishop said. “But people at large are demanding their leaders do something to end this terrible bloodshed. Peace will come sooner or later, from below if not from above.”

Ukrainian church leaders have accused Western governments of ignoring continued suffering in their country, where war has left more than 10,000 dead.

Ukraine’s armed forces have been substantially rebuilt with $857 million in “non-lethal” Western military aid. Gen. Viktor Muzhenko, chief of the military’s general staff, predicted in mid-October he could recapture Donetsk and Luhansk from the separatists with defensive weaponry requested from the U.S., but only at a heavy cost in lives.

Szyrokoradiuk said his church’s Caritas-Spes charity was helping needy Ukrainians on both sides of the conflict.

However, he added, more than 100,000 displaced people, a fifth of them children, were living in industrial containers, abandoned barracks and railway sheds in Kharkiv alone as winter approached. Effective humanitarian aid would be essential to any peace process, he said.

 

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  • Тарасій | 23 November 2017, 09:15

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  • dutchak1 | 23 November 2017, 08:30

    "Сонце ще не зійшло, а в Країні Дурнів вже кипіла робота ..." (с) О.М. Толстой, "Золотий ключик або пригоди Буратіно"

  • ukrlem | 22 November 2017, 23:33

    http://news.church.ua/2017/11/22/jevropejskij-pravozaxisnik-vislovila-sturbovanist-bezzakonnyami-v-kolomiji-video/

  • velovs@ukr.net | 22 November 2017, 15:51

    Р. Р. S. Крім того, впадає у вічі і надзвичайно дивує й те, що це відродження ("оживлення") самостійних і суверенних держав народів обох святих Господніх Єрусалимів відбулося точно в ті

  • velovs@ukr.net | 22 November 2017, 14:55

    Р. S. А також. Впадає у вічі, що рівно - день у день - через 72 (біблійно-містичне й сакральне число) роки по тому, як 1942 р. у Бабиному Яру нацисти розстріляли Олену Телігу та її побратимів і

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