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Drone attack leaves Catholic cathedral in Kyiv with damage

Ukrainian Catholic cathedral in Kyiv

Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

John Burger - published on 11/27/23

Russia launched 75 drones over Ukraine, a number the Ukrainian Air Force calls "a record."

The impact of a Russian drone attack on Kyiv left the main Catholic cathedral in the city with significant damage, according to a report on the website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. 

Russia launched 75 drones over Ukraine in Saturday’s pre-dawn attack – more than 60 of them over Kyiv. The Ukrainian Air Force called that “a record number” in the 21-month invasion. All but one were destroyed by air defense. Five persons were injured, including an 11-year-old child.

Dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed by falling debris, The New York Times reported.

The damage to the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ was due to the shock wave of an explosion after a drone was shot down. 

“The shock wave damaged doors and knocked out windows in the cathedral,” according to the website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. “A high-rise building near the church suffered greater destruction.”

“As a result of the drone attack on Kyiv, six windows in the basement of the Patriarchal Cathedral were damaged,” the report said. The facade of the cathedral was also damaged. 

“The blast wave shook the double-glazed windows. The fittings on the four doors of the church were damaged, everything came loose from the door locks,” said Vasyl Bukatyuk, director of the Construction Directorate under the Patriarch of the UGCC.

In addition to the church, the residence of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head and father of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, was also damaged, Bukatyuk said. “In the Patriarchal Residence and the Patriarchal Curia, the fittings of three doors were damaged.”

In the early days following the February 24, 2022, invasion by Russia, the cathedral’s basement served as a bomb shelter.

A Day of Remembrance

Later in the day on November 25, after the latest drone attacks, His Beatitude Sviatoslav joined with leaders of other Churches and religious organizations and the political and military leadership of Ukraine in a prayer service marking the 90th anniversary of the Holodomor, the famine orchestrated by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in 1932-1933. The service took place in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra – the historic Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv.

At the end of the Angelus prayer on Sunday, Pope Francis spoke of the “lacerating wound” of the Holodomor and invited people to pray for peace in Ukraine. 

The Ukrainian population is preparing to go through a painful winter due to electricity and gas shortages due to Russian strikes on strategic infrastructure.

“Let us continue to pray tirelessly for all people torn by conflict, because prayer is the force for peace that breaks the spiral of hatred, breaks the cycle of revenge and opens unexpected paths of reconciliation,” Pope Francis said.

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