Rome Newsroom, 19 April, 2022 / 8:15 pm (ACI Africa).
A Ukrainian military commander has written a letter to Pope Francis asking him to help save the people of Mariupol, who have suffered from limited access to food or water under Russian bombardment for 50 days.
Major Serhiy Volyna, who has been leading the 36th marine brigade in the battle for the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol, described some of the horrors of the war he has witnessed and pleaded with the pope to do something to help safely evacuate people from the city.
“You have probably seen a lot in your life. But I am sure that you have never seen the things happening to Mariupol. Because this is what the hell on earth looks like,” Volyna wrote, according to an English translation provided by the Religious Information Service of Ukraine on April 18.
“I have little time to describe all the horrors I see here every day. Women with children and babies live in bunkers at the factory. They are hungry and cold. Every day they are living in the sights of enemy aircraft. The wounded die every day because there is no medicine, no water, and no food.”
Volyna, who is not a Catholic, but an Orthodox Christian, said that he was turning to the pope for concrete help “because the time has come when prayers are not enough.”