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    Russia’s war on Ukraine “colonial”, part of “genocidal plan” – UGCC Head

    This is how Archbishop Sviatoslav characterized Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, answering the question of Polish journalist Krzysztof Tomasik – what is this war? This conversation became the basis of the book “God never left Ukraine”.

    This is reported by the UGCC information department.

    According to Archbishop Sviatoslav, today the word “war” means great pain for Ukrainians.

    “In the word ‘war’ we hear the strikes of Russian missiles and drones, we see the destruction, and we are aware that in a moment an entire city might disappear, that an entire region can become a wasteland. Maybe for some in this world, war is still a computer game. But in reality, war is a game of human destinies, the destinies of entire nations and states. Therefore, the word ‘war’ for Ukrainians also means a great crime, and those who unleashed this war are criminals.

    For Ukrainians, the word ‘war’ also means genocide. We are a nation that survived the genocide of 1932-1933, and we still bear its great wounds: in the vast expanses of Ukraine, with its fertile black soils, people died of hunger. In 2022, we commemorated the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, which had been aimed to strip our people of their right to life, to destroy them because they considered themselves a separate nation. The same thing is happening today because whoever comes from Russia to Ukraine today comes not only to take the land, but also to destroy those who live on this land,” the Head of the UGCC emphasizes.

    His Beatitude Sviatoslav spoke about the genocidal nature of this war and the reasons why Russia seeks to destroy Ukraine and Ukrainians. His Beatitude calls this war a colonial one, and this is why:

    “If you look deeply, this is a real colonial war. First, Russia does not recognize the very fact of the Ukrainian people’s existence. They say that being Ukrainian means being a follower of some ideology, that it is not a matter of ethnicity or nationality; that it was the ideology of Nazism that made us Ukrainians, and that is why they are starting a war to ‘de-Nazify’ us, that is, to turn us into Russians again. It is obvious that we are dealing with a completely genocidal plan because de-Nazification equals extermination. How can you turn someone into a Russian if they have never been one? We are Ukrainians from our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. We have our own language, culture, history, churches and, finally, we have our state.

    Second: this is really a colonial war because Russia believes that the Ukrainian state never existed, that we have no right to exist. They believe that the Ukrainian state, which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet Union, was a temporary historical mistake. And so the great ‘fixer’ who corrects history comes to finally show us who and what we should be. It was constantly repeated that Ukraine is a ‘failed state’ and that it does not make any sense – if you poke it with a finger, it will collapse. It is with such hopes that the Russian ‘fixer and savior’ invaded Ukraine, hoping that everything would fall apart by itself, and that they would be greeted with flowers; that for the citizens of Ukraine, their state was an offense, and that they will make everyone here happy.

    Third: Russia has always needed Ukraine for its greatness. Why? Therefore, they stole our self-awareness roots. They stole from us the Baptism accepted by Volodymyr the Great. They appropriated the history of Kyivan Rus. They stole Kyiv’s central and state-building role. Every time something was revived in Kyiv, whenever it became a church, religious, cultural, or state center, a “punitive expedition” always invaded from the north and destroyed everything. They believed that Russia would not be great without Kyiv. That is, for them, our land is not a separate state, but only the territory which they claim. Moreover, it is claimed that this is a geopolitical zone of Russia, or, if we use church terminology, it is their canonical territory. Therefore, any differences Ukrainians have with them is an insult to them. They want to turn Ukrainians into Russians, and this is the very tragedy of this war.”

    His Beatitude Sviatoslav says that under President Putin, the Soviet system was actually revived in Russia, Soviet myths were reactivated, on which a new revanchist policy could be built:

    His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized that independence and freedom are the fundamental choice of the Ukrainian people, which is confirmed today, every day, no matter what:

    “Today we do not know how far we still have to go and how far we have already gone. But the more crimes Russia commits against our people — clear crimes — the more Ukrainians mobilize. Because they say: ‘We have no other choice.’ We learn to hold on, persevere, and not give up. We learn to turn this great misfortune and suffering into an experience that has meaning, purpose, and wisdom… There are no such moods that we are tired, that we cannot bear the pain and so we’ll give up. On the contrary, all this causes righteous fury in Ukrainian society. This fury turns into courage. Ukraine has learned to defend itself, so today we are a completely different nation than we were even a few months ago.”

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