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Ukraine marks Orthodox Easter with prayers for those trapped

The sun rose as Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Easter in the capital, Kyiv, on Sunday with prayers for those fighting on the front lines and others trapped beyond them in places like Mariupol. St. Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kyiv was surrounded by hundreds of worshipers with baskets of blessing. Inside, a woman shook a soldier’s hand, turning for a moment to kiss his elbow. Other soldiers prayed, holding a handful of candles and then being crucified. An old woman slowly made her way through the crowd and the flickering candles. A young woman was holding narcissus. Outside the cathedral, a soldier who gave only his first name, Mykhailo, used his helmet as an Easter basket. He said he had no more. “I hope I only need to use the helmet for this,” he said. “President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a service elsewhere in Kyiv, urged Ukrainians not to let anger over the war overwhelm them.” “We all believe that our sunrise will come soon,” he said. With the Orthodox Church torn apart by tensions between Russia and Ukraine, some believers hoped the holy day could inspire peace gestures. “The church can help,” said a man who gave only his first name, Serhii, as he came to a church in Kyiv under the Moscow Patriarchate. He and others brought baskets for the priests to bless for Easter, with a brush sprinkling holy water over offerings of painted eggs at home, lighted candles, and even Jack Daniels bottles. The inhabitants of the provincial villages hit by the war approached the holidays with some contempt. “Said Katerina Lazarenko, 68, in the northern village of Ivanivka outside Chernihiv, where wrecked Russian tanks are still scattered on the streets. “How do I feel?” “Very nervous, everyone is nervous,” said another resident, Olena Koptyl, as she prepared her Easter bread. “Easter holidays do not bring joy. I cry a lot. We can not forget how we lived. ” She and 12 others spent a month sheltering Russian soldiers in the basement of her home before the troops withdrew. Ukraine on Sunday prepared for the first high-level US trip to Kyiv since the start of the war on February 24, after Zelensky announced he would meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Zelenskyy gave a few details in a press conference on Saturday night, but said he was waiting for results – “not just gifts or some kind of cake, we are waiting for certain things and specific weapons” .___ Oleksandr Stashevsky contributed to this report by Ivanivka.

The sun rose as Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Easter in the capital, Kyiv, on Sunday with prayers for those fighting on the front lines and for others trapped beyond them in places like Mariupol.

The Cathedral of St. Volodymyr in Kyiv was ringed by hundreds of worshipers with baskets for blessing. Inside, a woman shook a soldier’s hand, turning for a moment to kiss his elbow. Other soldiers prayed, holding a handful of candles and then being crucified. An old woman slowly made her way through the crowd and the flickering candles. A young woman was holding narcissus.

Outside the cathedral, a soldier who gave only his first name, Mykhailo, used his helmet as an Easter basket. He said he had no more.

“I hope I only need to use the helmet for this,” he said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in office elsewhere in Kyiv urged Ukrainians not to let anger over the war overwhelm them.

“We all believe that our sunrise will come soon,” he said.

With the Orthodox Church torn apart by tensions between Russia and Ukraine, some believers hoped the holy day could inspire peace gestures. “The church can help,” said a man who gave only his first name, Serhii, as he came to a church in Kyiv under the Moscow Patriarchate.

He and others brought baskets to bless the priests for Easter, with touches sprinkling holy water over offerings of painted eggs at home, lighted candles and even Jack Daniels bottles.

The inhabitants of the provincial villages hit by the war approached the holidays with some contempt.

“We will celebrate Easter no matter what, no matter the horror,” said Katerina Lazarenko, 68, in the northern village of Ivanivka outside Chernihiv, where dilapidated Russian tanks are still scattered on the streets.

“How do I feel?” “Very nervous, everyone is nervous,” said another resident, Olena Koptyl, as she prepared her Easter bread. “Easter holidays do not bring joy. I cry a lot. We can not forget how we lived. ” She and 12 others spent a month sheltering Russian soldiers in the basement of her home before the troops withdrew.

Ukraine prepared on Sunday for the first high-level US trip to Kyiv since the start of the war on February 24, after Zelensky announced he would meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Zelensky gave a few details in a press conference on Saturday night, but said he expected results – “not just gifts or some kind of cake, we expect specific things and specific weapons.”

___

Oleksandr Stashevsky contributed to this report from Ivanivka.

Ukraine marks Orthodox Easter with prayers for those trapped Source link Ukraine marks Orthodox Easter with prayers for those trapped

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