By Stephen Cauchi
28 February 2022
UKRAINIANS in Melbourne are praying for their compatriots as they witness an intensifying war in their home country, as Russian troupes advance.
Saints Peter and Paul’s Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral’s representative The Very Reverend Peter Struk said Sunday’s services were well attended, as was a rally through the city.
Father Struk said the feeling among the Ukrainian community could be summed up in the phrase “we shall resist”.
“We’re praying and we’re rallying … and the patriarch in Kyiv is still there – he’s celebrating Mass and he’s been praised by Pope Francis for his tenacity,” he said.
Father Struk said the Ukrainian community felt God would delivery them. But he said they feared the damage caused by war, including nuclear threats being made by Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Father Struk said morale among the Ukrainian community was still strong, with rallies mainly attended by younger generations.
He said even in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, morale was reasonable, especially considering the fierce barrage its citizens were facing.
“They’ve got everything from all sides but they’re holding as best they can,” he said.
Father Struk said he realised other countries could do little militarily to help the situation, as it risked sparking a bigger war.
Australian politicians lent support to the country over the weekend, with several attending Ukrainian church services over the weekend.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and federal Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese both attended services.