Ukrainian Archbishop: Russians Turning Captured Factories Into ‘Concentration Camps’

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is part of the global Catholic Church. (Wikipedia)

Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is part of the global Catholic Church. (Wikipedia)

(CNS News) — Russian forces are dismantling the factories that they capture in Ukraine and are turning them into « concentration camps, » said Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in an April 25 message.  At these camps, Ukrainians are selected or filtered, to be shot, deported to Russia, or forced into the Russian army.

Azovstal, a major steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine, is now occupied by Russian forces, and they have turned the facility into a « fortress, » said Archbishop Sviatoslav. « There are a huge number of people in its cellars. There are children who have not seen the sun for a month and a half. »

« Mariupol cries out to the world: Stop this war! Do everything possible to save people’s lives! » said the archbishop. « Mariupol is truly a martyr city. We see how in the city the occupier begins to dig new mass graves for thousands of people, whom he dumps into those mass graves. »

Azovstal iron and steel factory, Mariupol, Ukraine. (Photo: Chad Nagle, Wikipedia)

Azovstal iron and steel factory, Mariupol, Ukraine. (Photo: Chad Nagle, Wikipedia)

« We see another great calamity, » he continued.  « The occupiers are dismantling our factories and enterprises en masse in the territories they have occupied. »

« They are then exported to Russia and they turn those plants into concentration camps where so-called filtering operations are carried out, » he said, « some people are shot, others are deported to Russia, and others are forcibly mobilized into the Russian army. »

The Ukrainian people are crying out to Heaven and to the world for solidarity, for salvation, and for help, » said the archbishop.  « But Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine celebrates Pascha! »  (Pascha is the Greek word for Easter; the same word is found in Aramaic and Hebrew.)

Archbishop Sviatoslav also noted that the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, which is the main cathedral of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, is also functioning as a bomb shelter. 

The Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine, before the Russian invasion. (Screenshot)

The Patriarchal Sobor of the Resurrection of Christ cathedral in Kyiv, Ukraine, before the Russian invasion. (Screenshot)

« During the war, its crypts became a bomb shelter where about 500 people were rescued, clothed, warmed, fed, and treated almost every day and every night, » said the archbishop. 

In closing his remarks, the archbishop said, « O God, bless Ukraine! O God, bless the Ukrainian army! O God, let each of us meet You, the Risen One, to know You, to believe in You, and to live in You and with You! »

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is part of the global Catholic Church, headed by Pope Francis.  

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