The war in Ukraine: ‘We may pray for the Russian people but not for those who run this war’
In the Eastern Orthodox Christian calendar, Sunday was the Day of Atonement. But Ukrainians who have suffered the consequences of the Russian invasion say they cannot forgive this year. France 24’s Gulliver Kragh reports from Lviv, a western Ukrainian city teeming with people who have fled the fighting to the east.
Today, many Ukrainians paraphrase the crimes of the Soviet regime as primarily crimes committed by Russians against Ukrainians.
“All Ukrainians can find a story, if they look back in their family tree, about one of the executed members. People who remember this know that you cannot expect anything good from the Russians,” says Vera, a graphic designer originally from Enerhodar.
It is Yom Kippur in the Eastern Orthodox Christian calendar, but Father Andres is convinced that there is no need to forgive Putin.
“It is in Deuteronomy: ‘Cursed is he who transgresses his neighbour’s lands.’ We may pray for the Russian people, as a lost people. But not for those who lead this war, no. God forbid,” said the priest.
“How can we forgive them for this,” says Nadezhda, a florist who fled Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth largest city. “No, there is no such forgiveness. Of course not. Never.”
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