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Prayer vigil held for victims of attack in Ukraine

YOUNGSTOWN — More than 100 people gathered inside SS. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church today were united in prayer for the people of Ukraine suffering because of the escalating war with Russia.

The Ukrainian community and people of other faiths met at the church for a prayer vigil and chanting of hymns in memory of those lost in the Ukraine. The church, which is one of the few local Ukrainian parishes, was filled to capacity, with people also sitting in the balcony.

Archbishop Daniel Zelinsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, who plans to return to Ukraine as soon as he can, said more than 14,000 Ukrainian soldiers, other military forces and citizens have died since the conflict began eight years ago when Russia annexed Crimea.

“It has been surreal what has been happening. My faith has grown stronger in my Lord for what we have faced with this aggression. Whether here, in New York, Los Angeles or anywhere, Ukrainians are united. There are many Americans who are Ukrainians,” he said.

Zelinsky said the Ukraine has received support from NATO allies such as the United States. He said he is proud of the political leadership of the Ukraine, which has gotten the world’s attention.

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin is “unpredictable” since he had said there would be no aggression against the Ukraine.

“You cannot trust Putin or the other Russian politicians. I urge our elected officials to be vigilant. We need to have Russia change their attitude to the Ukraine and stop persecuting people,” Zelinsky said.

Read more in Monday’ Tribune Chronicle.

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