The Western world must provide “rapid reaction, not just banking interventions” against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, a priest from a Ukrainian church in Edinburgh has said.
Father Vasyl Kren, of Our Lady of Pochayiv Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Scottish capital, said the community was “very sad and angry” about the situation.
Meanwhile, the Church of Scotland has called for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table.
Explosions were heard in Ukrainian cities on Thursday as Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Thursday that a military operation had begun in the country.
Father Kren said democratic language would not be understandable to Russians and called for more support.
He told the PA news agency: “If you hear us, please consolidate with us and pray, in material aid, but also if you have a strong air force or military, help to protect borders.
He added: “I beg the western world for a quicker reaction, not just banking interventions.”
Father Kren, who was born in Uzhgorod and has lived in Scotland for nine years, said he called his parents, sister and other family members in Ukraine to check on them and offer full support. can help.
He hopes people will find comfort in his church, which has around 150 worshipers and reaches around 1,500 people on Facebook.
He said: “We all thought it would happen, but nobody 100% believed that the man from Moscow would set it off, even when the US intelligence forces tell the time and we see the huge amount of tanks , we thought, ‘oh this is just a show of power’, there will be no explosion in our country.
“But even though we try to be calm and do our best to bring peace to our family, the situation is unusual and the feeling that you can’t help your family, what are you going to do is a sort of panic and anxiety present.
“I believe the church now has the important role of nurturing people, bringing them together and at least giving them the place where they can come to discuss and show their emotions.”
Russia said it only targeted Ukrainian airbases and other military assets, not populated areas.
But, in a televised address, Mr Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere in Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the invasion “a disaster for our continent”, while Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK would impose tough sanctions and rally countries to support the Ukraine.
She tweeted: “I summoned the Russian Ambassador to meet me and explain Russia’s illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.”
The Church of Scotland calls on all parties to renew their peace efforts and to prepare to offer humanitarian aid to the people of this country.
Lord Wallace, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, said: “Our prayers are with the people of Ukraine who are now under attack and fear for their lives.
“We call on the UK government to join governments around the world and together persuade all parties to agree to a ceasefire and return to the negotiating table immediately.
“At the same time, we call on the UK government to prepare a generous humanitarian response to help people fleeing war.
“The government should urgently prepare a plan to welcome and resettle refugees from the conflict and help neighboring countries respond locally to the crisis.