Russia Pounding East Ukraine, Terrifying Villagers

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says a long-awaited Russian offensive in the east has begun. As Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions, church charities stepped up efforts to welcome those fleeing the conflict.

Ukrainian authorities fat Russian forces are attacking Ukrainian positions along the entire 300-mile (480 kilometers) front line in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.

Moscow claims to have struck more than 1,000 targets overnight after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky confirmed the Russian offensive in the east had begun.

Russian army spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, “rocket troops carried out strikes against 1,260 military targets.” He added that “they hit 25 Ukrainian military command posts in the towns of Mykolaiv and Golubivka,” as well as many other sites.

Russian-backed fighters were also reportedly trying to storm an industrial complex in the besieged city of Mariupol, where Ukrainian troops and civilians were said to hide.

However, Ukrainian forces were making some successful counter-attacks south of Kharkiv, military analysts said. Yet it became clear Tuesday that the Ukrainian troops face tough battles ahead.

In Ukraine’s Southeast, villagers are desperate, including in the village of Kamianske. “My sister and her husband were killed,” said villager Halya Steblyuk as she wiped out the tears from her face. “I can’t talk, right along this street. We buried them as dogs get buried,” she said, her voice trembling.


While the Russian military’s focus appears on the east, Russian troops have also struck several cities across the country, including even Lviv in the west.

That has added concerns that more refugees will join the millions already fleeing the conflict. Yet, in neighboring Hungary, several church leaders stressed they would await them with open arms.

Among them is Hungarian Cardinal Péter Erdő, who said in an Easter season statement that Jesus “sacrificing his own life restores peace between the world and its Creator and makes peace an obligation for man.” That’s why Erdő highlighted the work of the Catholic Charity helping Ukrainian refugees in Hungary and called special attention to children among them.

He explained that it was important their schooling shouldn’t be interrupted “or else their chances in life could irreversibly diminish.”

He said some 200 teachers in Catholic schools have volunteered to teach Ukrainian children, and several schools in and outside Budapest started classes for children speaking Ukrainian or Russian only. Erdo stressed, “an ecumenical relationship” between the Catholic Church and the Ukrainian and Russian Orthodox churches.

Hungarian Reformed Bishop Zoltán Balog, said “Celebrating Easter in the shadow of war provides an opportunity to think about suffering and the light of the resurrection.”


Balog, who heads the Reformed synod, stressed that the Reformed Charity mobilized 5,000 volunteers, with church members opening up their homes and accommodating over 6,500 refugees.

“Christians must not approve of war… blessed are those that build peace while those waging wars are evil,” Balog added. Though “No alleged or real grievance could legitimize Russia’s aggression” he urged prayers for Russians “because they, too, are suffering so much”.

Bishop Tamás Fabiny, the head of the Hungarian Evangelical Church, said this year’s Easter had a symbolic meaning as churches should “pray, speak up, and help those suffering”.

He said his denomination donated money and accommodated refugees in their homes “at the first call.” The Evangelical Church is “organizing tuition in Ukrainian in some of their schools, using bilingual teachers from [Ukraine’s] Transcarpathia [region] Fabiny said.

He confirmed that his church was receiving help from the United States, Germany, and Norway to provide financial and humanitarian aid to refugees and Hungarians accommodating them.

Cardinal Erdő noted Pope Francis’s recent calls for peace and said, “we believe in the strength of prayer… we allow the people we pray for into our hearts.”

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