"During the war, the UGCC Cathedral in Kyiv became a saving Noah's Ark" - Patriarch Sviatoslav
"We feel like we are on combat duty in Kyiv, so to speak," he emphasizes, "From the very beginning of this full-scale war, our Patriarchal Cathedral has become the center of many realities and dimensions. During the siege of Kyiv, it was a refuge, a home, and a bomb shelter for hundreds of Kyivans who entrusted their lives to our cathedral and in its dungeons, people actually lived. It was especially difficult for the elders to move around the floors during each air raid. So we had a social service center, because we had to feed and warm everyone. It is interesting that they came to us with all members of the households - there were dogs and cats, hamsters, fish and parrots. So, really, our cathedral was like Noah's Ark saving."
According to the hierarch, the prayer in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv did not stop for a moment. Prayers, supplications, and sermons were even louder. It really proved to be the core of the Ukrainian world. Because everyone, in fact, wanted to hear whether the cathedral still stands and whether there is life there.
"I remember how the left bank of Kyiv was a very dangerous zone," says Patriarch Shevchuk, "The bridges across the Dnipro were closed, and we were actually trapped. The front was advancing from Brovary, a few dozen kilometers from the North. From the direction of Irpin, Bucha, we were heavily shelled. There were actual battles with Russian subversive groups around the cathedral. But we survived."
And then, the main cathedral of the UGCC turned into a logistics center. Because from East to West, people were moving in a continuous stream – displaced persons who needed support, shelter, help, and orientation. And humanitarian supplies were moving from West to East.
"Tons of humanitarian aid were being moved to my residence," says His Beatitude Sviatoslav. "Clothing, medicine, food. And I made sure that nothing was stale. Everything is constantly moving and moving and does not linger. In general, we have two tools for the rapid response of our church. Such emergency assistance from the patriarch is the patriarchal Foundation "Mudra Sprava", which, with the help of the internal church solidarity of our bishops and people from all over the world, organizes the necessary rapid response elements: where food is needed – it is provided immediately, where clothes are needed –they are offered immediately, where evacuation is needed – it is immediately organized. Following the emergency aid comes the planned, permanent, structured work of Caritas Ukraine. Thus, thanks to our networks' activities, we have saved tens of thousands of lives."
The head of the UGCC also especially thanked the benefactors who helped implement all the necessary projects. He also said that during the year, he visited all parishes that survived the disaster of the war. These are cities near Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Mykolaiv, Kryvyi Rih, etc., noting: "the UGCC is always with the people."