Yesterday, Christians of the Eastern rite celebrated Easter. The traditional greeting "Christ is risen!" sounded also in Russia. But did these words mean the same thing as in the whole Orthodox world? Russia "congratulated" Ukraine on Easter with an air threat almost all over our country, a missile strike at the Poltava region, and a missile strike at Kremenchuk. Why was this attack needed at Easter? There is no military threat from which this could protect Russia. This is just a deliberate destruction of life in Ukraine. Destruction that did not stop even on the greatest Orthodox holiday.
Volodymyr Zeleskyi said this in his address to Ukrainians this morning.
"So are these people who continued to shell our cities and communities yesterday Christians? Who fired at Chuhuiv of the Kharkiv region. Who killed two more children in the Donetsk region on Easter - girls aged five and fourteen.
Killing children, destroying lives, covering up with cynical and total lies what has been done against peaceful cities - all Russia is doing on the territory of Ukraine - is definitely not Christianity. This is what Christ opposed.
People who once again refused to open humanitarian corridors from Mariupol are not Christians. People who filmed propaganda reports in the occupied regions of Ukraine about the distribution of alleged humanitarian Easter kits are not Christians. Moreover, everyone knows, including in Russia, that before February 24, all Ukrainians in all parts of Ukraine had the opportunity to celebrate Easter freely in any church and without any "humanitarian" kits.
People who are trying to build a brutal occupation regime in the seized districts of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, holding people hostage, torturing people are not Christians. Those who did not allow people to leave the occupied territory even on Easter, threatening them with death.
Russia was offered an Easter ceasefire. But the Orthodox world has seen that for the Russian invaders Easter means nothing. For them, it is just a red date in the calendar, which requires special words, special behavior, but not what is called faith, and not what is called Christian good.
The Russian army has made this Easter red not only formally in the calendar, but also red with blood. Christians would not do that if they had the opportunity to make peace.
So holding a candle in the temple does not mean being a Christian. Eating or even celebrating Easter every year is not enough to be human, to be a Christian", hi said.
Volodymyr Zeleskyi has thanked the police, the Security Service of Ukraine, all those responsible for security on Easter, for not allowing any russian provocation yesterday.
"And I am grateful to all our police officers, to all employees of the Security Service of Ukraine, to all those who were responsible for security on Easter, for not allowing any provocations yesterday. All that Russian propagandists announced recently.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine are deterring attacks by Russian troops in key areas. In the Kharkiv region - in the Izyum direction, in Donbas - especially near Popasna, in Mariupol where the resistance of the city's defenders continues, in the southern areas, where the occupiers are trying to go on the offensive", Volodymyr Zeleskyi said.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has thanked U.S. President Joe Biden and the people of the United States for leadership in supporting Ukraine. "These are real things that strengthen not only our state, but democracy as a whole", the President said.