Ukraine: Caritas continues to offer aid, despite constant risks
By Deborah Castellano Lubov & Svitlana Dukhovych
As the war in Ukraine grinds on, the Church's local humanitarian outfit refuses to cease operations to help Ukraine's suffering people.
Mila Leonova, communications officer for Caritas Donetsk, which is currently working out of the city of Dnipro, confirmed Caritas' commitment to providing humanitarian aid, despite the ongoing Russian aggression.
Large numbers of Russian rockets struck several cities across Ukraine on Monday morning, even striking the center of the capital, Kyiv, for the first time in weeks.
Attacks in Kyiv
Speaking to Vatican News' Svitlana Dukhovych after the bombings, Ms. Leonova said she was temporarily in Kyiv for business when the rockets hit.
"I was in Kiev for a business trip, and actually, it was a peaceful morning, but then," she said, "when I was in the subway, I heard the explosion."
She pointed out that the explosion she heard was around half a kilometer away, in the center of Kyiv.
Ms. Leonova saw the news about the explosion and air attack from news reports on her smartphone, as she waited for an hour in the subway.
"It was really terrible because we had so much news from different cities - from Dnipro, where I live, to Kharkiv and Odessa," she said. "There were all these air attacks at the same time, so many rockets, so many explosions."
She pointed out that the experience was of course terrifying, but added that the people of Ukraine refuse to be afraid, since they are free and will not be browbeaten.
She did say, however, how many aid organizations have suspended their humanitarian work for safety reasons. Yet, said Ms. Leonova, Caritas' volunteers and staff members have not ceased operations, despite the constant danger they face.
"People can come to us, and we need to think about people," she said, while inviting everyone to pray for peace and an end to Russia's invasion.
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