Catholic World News

Fighting continues despite truce in eastern Ukraine

October 03, 2014

Despite a declared truce that was intended to stop fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists, violence continues in the region around Donetsk, a Catholic priest has told Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Father Leonard Aduszkiewicz, a Polish priest serving in Mariupol, reported: “We are woken up at night by explosions, and the fighting is continuing, despite the truce. The people here feel utterly helpless; they are coming into the churches, praying and weeping."

Mariupol is less than 30 miles from the order and has strong economic ties to Russia. Separatists are apparently intent on gaining control of the city, forming a corridor to the Crimean peninsula, which is already under Russian control. The Ukrainian soldiers who oppose them, Father Aduszkiewiecz reported, are “badly equipped and living in trenches.” With businesses closed because of the fighting, and supplies dwindling, residents of the city are fearful about the coming winter. Their fears are aggravated by sniper fire, which deters people from visiting contested areas.

“Christians are praying for peace,” Father Aduszkiewiecz said. He reported that ministers of different religious faiths—Catholic (of both Latin and Byzantine rites), Orthodox, and Protestant—have joined in services to bury Ukrainian soldiers.


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