The Russian missile strike on a hardware store in Kharkiv which resulted in at least 14 deaths and 40 people wounded is yet another example of Russia’s campaign of terror against the civilian population of Ukraine. The World Council of Churches denounces all such attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure which have become a hallmark of Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine. Russia is providing a terrible example in its regular violation of some of the most fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, an example being followed in a tragically increasing number of contexts, including in Gaza and Sudan.

The World Council of Churches shares with all people of good will the determined hope that there will be accountability for all such violations, and justice for the victims of these crimes.

We pray for the strength and resilience of the people of Ukraine in the face of Russia’s aggression, and urge the Russian leadership to turn back from this mutually destructive course. We call for an immediate ceasefire and dialogue to end this invasion and for a peaceful future in Ukraine and Russia.

Rev. Prof. Dr Jerry Pillay
General secretary
World Council of Churches