Indeed, the week began with ordinary and, in my case extraordinary, business transactions in banks because this is the world we live in and I was born in the United States so business is a way of life, but with a good purpose, because humanitarian aid and war assistance is the reason and it is paramount today.

My transactions covered the purchase of a set of drones, thermal imaging and systems for communication. These things are ubiquitous and key in today’s warfare, but the problem is methods of payment and delivery. I am very transparent in my activities and challenge the US government to find any wrongdoing. There is no money laundering.   

Someone may think that there are no generous people. No! Generosity abounds. I track down these benefactors. Still, banking bureaucrats and government overachievers slow down progress. It comes down not to the criminality at the top, but to the primitiveness of lackeys.

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Nonetheless some accomplishments ensued and there were interesting meetings, in particular, within the world of education and scholarship, rectors, deans, heads of departments, academic councils and, most importantly, students. My meetings were with the head of the Department of History of World Ukrainians, Professor Volodymyr Serhiychuk of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv National University in Kyiv and the Rector of Vasyl Stefanyk Precarpathian National University in Ivano-Frankivsk, Professor Ihor Tsypenda.

EXPLAINED: Why ‘Russian World’ Doctrine Declared Heresy Is Important for Orthodoxy
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EXPLAINED: Why ‘Russian World’ Doctrine Declared Heresy Is Important for Orthodoxy

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine declared at a synod that the Russian Church’s teachings were heretical. Now the rest of the Orthodox world has to take a stance.

Equally important I was given the chance to communicate with the students at those universities. In Lviv, there was a meeting with the narrow presidium headed by the Chairman of the Scientific Society named after Taras Shevchenko, professor mathematician Roman Kushnir. Cooperation, joint publications, scholarships for students affected by the war at this difficult time for study were discussed.

Before I left Kyiv, in Darnytsia, on the left bank, I had a very focused and resolute meeting with Father Vitaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, his staff, and, in particular, volunteers who work in the humanitarian field, making stretchers and many other things, as well as masking and cover that is so necessary for our armed forces.

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I have known Father Vitaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine for several years. He works tirelessly not only in the area of assistance to the armed forces of Ukraine, but also helps faithful Ukrainians to move from the churches of the Moscow Patriarchate (an affiliate of special services of the Kremlin) and arrange the legal transfer of its structures to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. His authority is the highest because it comes from His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius.

Father Vitaly hails from Volyn, and his ancestors, patriotic priests, were repressed and sent to Siberia. His older brother just happens to be a priest as well.

Such people as I have mentioned by name, are very special. They are active in their professions and, in addition, they help Ukraine in its military struggle. They lead a whole group of ordinary people, in particular young people, who are very much aware of their purpose in life and are indispensable in Ukraine’s war defense.

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At last, on Good Friday, I found myself in Lviv. I visited the Church of St. Andrew. At first I simply watched the crowds during the laying of the shroud which stretched out not only outside the church but to the next block.

As the services concluded I came back four hours later and joined the queue. They were still long because our people are deeply religious. There were a lot of soldiers of the Armed Forces of Ukraine standing in line, as well as a lot of little ones with hands tightly held by their mothers.

I cannot get over a mother and child scene so prevalent in Ukraine. I look into the eyes of the child and often wonder what awaits him or her. At the shroud, the guard was held by members of the Ukrainian youth organization, Plast.

I felt at home, and even better. These are my people. They are believers, indomitable and therefore I can only strive to be like them.

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