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Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos conveys a letter of support to Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv & All Ukraine

Shocking warfare continued for a seventh straight day on Wednesday in various parts of Ukraine, a week after a full-scale Russian invasion of the eastern European country.

According to the latest reports, the Black Sea port city of Kherson has been seized by Russian forces, while the major cities of Kharkov and Mariupol are also surrounded and being bombed. The capital of Kiev remains in the government’s hands, although sporadic air raids and shelling is reported.

In terms of the Sea of Azov port city of Mariupol, which hosts a sizeable ethnic Greek community, diplomatic staff at the Greek consulate, Greek citizens, reporters and a group of expatriates departed in a convoy on Wednesday, aiming to reach the border with Romania or Moldova.

International condemnation of Russia’s invasion also continued, with US President Joe Biden on Tuesday vowing that Russia’s Vladimir Putin will pay dearly, over the long run, for his invasion of Ukraine, even if his military campaign succeeds in the short term.

Biden addressed both chambers of the US Congress in the annual State of the Union address.

In terms of reactions by the Primates of Orthodox Churches around the world, the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, His Beatitude Ieronymos, on Tuesday conveyed a letter to Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

In his letter, Archbishop Ieronymos expressed the support and sympathy of the Church of Greece to the pious Orthodox people of Ukraine, who he said are suffering greatly from the war. Additionally, His Beatitude declared the willing support and solidarity of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece to provide humanitarian aid that will be requested by the fraternal Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

Among others, Archbishop Ieronymos stated that “…With constant prayer and great attention, we are watching what is happening these days in Ukraine, the attack and the violent invasion of Russian troops. Siding with the pious Orthodox People of Ukraine in this new ordeal and expressing our heartfelt brotherly understanding towards you, we declare our admiration for the flourishing and unconquerable morale of the Ukrainian people…We extend our condolences to you, and the martyred people of the Orthodox Ukrainians.”


Archbishop Elpidophoros 

Still in the country, the visiting Archbishop of America, His Eminence Elpidophoros, said the invasion of Ukraine was “brutal and inhuman,” speaking during an interview with Greek state television.

His Eminence also referred to the waves of refugees forced to flee their homeland, assuring that the Orthodox Church will support them wherever they are.

Archbishop Μakarios

Halfway around the world, the Archbishop of Australia, His Eminence Makarios, paid a visit on Wednesday to the embassy of Ukraine in Canberra, accompanied by hierarchs and officials of the Archdiocese.

Archbishop Makarios and members of the delegation were warmly welcomed by the Ukrainian embassy’s Chargé d’ Affaires to Australia, who briefed them on the current situation in his troubled homeland.

His Eminence reaffirmed the unwavering position of the Holy Archdiocese of Australia in support of peace to prevail, in harmony with the Mother Church and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Romanian Patriarchate 

Back in southeast Europe and close to the conflict zone, the Romanian Patriarchate dispatched on Tuesday morning a truck-load of food and primary care products for Ukrainian refugees that arrived at the Republic of Moldova.

The shipment was organized by the Diaconia Social Mission of the Metropolis of Bessarabia.