Friday, September 29, 2023

    Metropolitan Epifaniy on Ilovaisk tragedy: deliberate, premeditated, treacherous murder

    Today, August 29, Ukraine celebrates the Day of Remembrance of Ukraine Defenders, who died in the struggle for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. On the occasion of this sad day, Metropolitan Epifaniy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine honored the memory of the fallen heroes.

    On social media, the head of the OCU recalled the tragic events of 2014 near Ilovaisk, where hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers were killed while escaping from the encirclement.

    “The deadly ‘green corridor’ ran through fields covered with ripe sunflowers. That is why this flower has become for us a symbol of memory of the fallen heroes,” the metropolitan stressed.

    He condemned the actions of the Russian leadership, which committed an act of treachery and opened fire on the convoys of retreating Ukrainians, and urged not to forget the feat of defenders who sacrificed their lives for the independence of their Homeland.

    “It was a deliberate, premeditated, and treacherous murder, a war crime, a crime against humanity. Unfortunately, it was neither the first nor the last committed by the Russians against Ukrainian defenders. But we know that every murderer, every executor of criminal and anti-human orders will face unavoidable punishment and inevitable eternal retribution in the fiery Gehenna, which is prepared for the servants of the devil. Because all invaders, occupiers, and murderers are essentially servants of Satan, and they will all be held accountable by their deeds and merits,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.

    He emphasized that OCU honors and prays for every fallen defender. “…for us, they are all the modern-day HEROES, regardless of whether they have been assigned the corresponding official title,” said Metropolitan Epifaniy.

    “Bright memory to those who gave their lives for the sake of Ukraine and for the sake of our common future. May the Lord rest their souls in the Kingdom of Heaven. Eternal memory to them!” concluded the head of OCU.