Metropolitan Onufriy of the Russian Church in Ukraine appealed to Russian President Putin in a letter to allow soldiers and civilians trapped in Mariupol to leave the city.
As he stated in his letter, he decided to address the Russian president as his family “had fully experienced what life is like in isolation from the mainland, under constant bombardment, without food, water, and medicine, when death can come at any time from powerful weapons, hunger or lack of medical assistance”.
It even reminds him of his own experiences of the war, as “your family survived the siege of Leningrad and your older brother Victor died in 1942”.
Metropolitan Onufriy addressed the Russian president and stated that the inhabitants of Mariupol and its defenders are in a similar situation to the one described above.
“It is my pastoral duty to ask you to allow anyone who so desires – civilians and military personnel – to leave the city of Mariupol.
In various wars, the opposite sides found a possible manifestation of humanity in each case. We know that Russia has repeatedly acted as a mediator in Syria during the evacuation of fighters who were surrounded.”
Reminding the Russian President that he is a Christian himself, he stated that “I hope that as a Christian, you will agree to Operation Extraction for the Ukrainian Guard in Mariupol, and allow civilians, police, border guards, and military personnel under siege to enter territory controlled by Ukraine or the territory of third countries.”
And he concluded: “In the name of the Risen Christ, I implore you to choose one of these.”