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Residence of Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See vandalized

Ukrainian ambassador Yurash meets Pope Francis


J-P Mauro - published on 12/03/22

The unknown vandals somehow broke into the Ukrainian ambassador's house and covered the door and several rooms with feces.

Unknown individuals gained entry to the residence of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Holy See and vandalized the building. Imedia reported that it is not yet known how they broke in, but the common areas and front door were found to be covered with excrement on December 2, 2022.

Ukrainian Ambassador Andriy Yurash expressed his outrage in a Twitter post, in which he called the act an “extremely brutal act of vandalism,” suggesting that it was meant to intimidate representatives of Ukraine.

Ambassador Yurash did not name Russia as the responsible party, but he posited that it is “absolutely understandable who ordered and inspired this vandalism.”

He linked the vandalism to other occurrences of malicious acts directed towards other Ukrainian embassies in Europe. The Italian news outlet Ansa reported that a box full of animal eyes was delivered to the Ukrainian consulate in Naples earlier that day.

Since the war between Russia and Ukraine began, Ambassador Yurash has been vocal in his reactions to the Holy See’s support for Ukraine, also when he has felt the Vatican has not done or said enough.

Yurash was named ambassador only earlier this year, receiving his first papal audience on April 7, just after the Russian invasion.

Russian hacking too??

The vandalism at the embassy came on the heels of an attack on the Vatican’s website on November 30, 2022. While those who perpetrated the hack are still at large, Ambassador Yurash pointed the blame towards Moscow, stating:

“Russian hackers have once again demonstrated the true face of Russian politics, directly defined by the European Parliament as terrorist.”

Yurash went on to suggest that the hack was a response to comments made by Pope Francis in his latest interview, with the US-based Jesuit magazine America.

The Pope was asked why he didn’t speak out more specifically against Russia or its president.

The Pope replied:

When I speak about Ukraine, I speak of a people who are martyred. If you have a martyred people, you have someone who martyrs them. When I speak about Ukraine, I speak about the cruelty because I have much information about the cruelty of the troops that come in. Generally, the cruelest are perhaps those who are of Russia but are not of the Russian tradition, such as the Chechens, the Buryati and so on. Certainly, the one who invades is the Russian state. This is very clear. Sometimes I try not to specify so as not to offend and rather condemn in general, although it is well known whom I am condemning. It is not necessary that I put a name and surname.

The Pope’s words led to a response in Russia, with the Russian ambassador to the Holy See, Alexander Avdeev, expressing his indignation.

The Russian foreign ministry also took offense, with spokesperson Maria Zakharova saying, “We are one family with Buryats, Chechens and other representatives of our multinational and multi-confessional country.”

The Pope has tried on other occasions to suggest a distance between the cruelty of the war and the Russian peoples themselves.

Returning from Bahrain in November, he said to journalists on the plane:

What strikes me – that’s why I use the word ‘tormented’ for Ukraine – is the cruelty, which is not of the Russian people, perhaps… because the Russian people are a great people. It is of the mercenaries, of the soldiers who go off to war as an adventure, mercenaries… I prefer to think of it this way because I have high esteem for the Russian people, for Russian humanism. Just think of Dostoevsky, who to this day inspires us, inspires Christians to think of Christianity.

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