He also stressed the need for cooperation within the broader framework of the Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations (UCCRO), and in contacts with religious leaders and institutions abroad.
Also on March 23, Shevchuk visited a hospital in Kyiv. In his daily video message on March 24, a month after the full-scale Russian invasion began, he said he was struck that he did not see a sad face among the wounded defenders of Ukraine.
“When I greeted them, I held their courageous hand in my hands, but the rest of their body, the whole body was wounded,” he said.
“This soldier, this person, this woman, smiling, told me about victory, the victory of Ukraine. And everyone asked for prayer so that they could return to the army as soon as possible, and again side by side with their fellow sisters and brothers to defend our homeland.”
“Their faces, their eyes, their supplications shine with hope for all of us. With the hope that the truth will be victorious.”
In his video message, Shevchuk called for urgent action to save the population of Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine that has suffered severe Russian bombardment. The settlement, which had a pre-war population of more than 400,000, is known as the “City of Mary.”
“Today, this city needs humanitarian corridors. It needs even the international community to help break through the siege and bring humanitarian goods, which we have, to those who are slowly dying of hunger today,” he said.
“Last week, these people survived on snow that was melting and could thereby have drinking water. Today there is no more snow in Mariupol. Let us save this City of Mary! Let us do everything to save this city, which really is today a place of clash of good and evil, a place where the fate of Ukraine, Europe, and the world is decided.”