Zelensky: Orthodox world has seen Easter means nothing to Russia

A Ukrainian priest blesses believers as they collect traditional cakes and painted eggs prepared for an Easter celebration in the in Lviv, Ukraine, Saturday, April 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Mykola Tys)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky gave a somber address the day after Orthodox Easter, lamenting the death of his people on the religious holiday and accusing Russia of attacks despite the holy observance.

Zelensky, who had called for a truce on Sunday, said on Monday that Russia “congratulated Ukraine on Easter with an air threat almost all over our country” and multiple missile strikes on cities and towns.

“This is just a deliberate destruction of life in Ukraine. Destruction that did not stop even on the greatest Orthodox holiday,” Zelensky said. “Russia was offered an Easter ceasefire. But the Orthodox world has seen that for the Russian invaders Easter means nothing.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dragged on for more than two months now, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people on both sides of the conflict. Russia has launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s east as the military attempts to seize a land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukraine marked Orthodox Easter Sunday with curfews and boarded-up churches. In Germany and Poland, where a majority of the more than 5 million Ukrainian refugees have fled, parishes struggled to accommodate for the growing number of churchgoers on the religious holiday.

President Biden noted the “brutality of war” in a statement marking Orthodox Easter and called for peace and justice

In his Monday address, Zelensky shared how much his country has changed in the past two months, saying his people “do not have the means to live normally” anymore.

The Ukrainian president also noted talks with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday, as well as new measures to defend his nation.

“We share the same understanding with the United States: when democracy wins in one country, it wins all over the world,” Zelensky said. “When freedom is defended in one country, it is defended all over the world.”

Tags Antony Blinken Christianity Kyiv Lloyd Austin Orthodox Easter Russia Russia-Ukraine Ukraine Voldymy Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky

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