Yessentuki (the Stavropol territory), July 6, 2014
On July 4, 2014, Archbishop Theophylact of Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk met with refugees from the eastern regions of the Ukraine and volunteers, assisting the refugees.
The meeting took place at the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in the city of Yessentuki, one of the centers for rendering humanitarian aid, created in the Pyatigorsk Diocese in summer 2014, when the exodus of refugees increased from a handful of people to dozens and hundreds, reports the Pyatigorsk and Cherkessk Diocese’s website.
“For us you are not mere guests, but friends and relatives,” stressed the hierarch, addressing to the refugees. People from Mariupol, Sloviansk, Yasynuvata were present at the meeting.
From spring till early July dozens of families arrived to the Caucasus from the Ukraine on their own; hundreds of refugees, mainly women and children, were transported in organized way. Centers of temporary accommodation have been arranged, but the people are also living independently.
In the Pyatigorsk Diocese an appeal way made to those who wish to shelter the refugees. Over the course of ten days the database was increased by more than 50 addresses.
“We assist those who have nowhere to return and would like to obtain permanent residence here with job placement,” noted Archbishop Theophylact.
According to Irina Shonina, who is responsible for distribution and collection of aid in the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul, there is no shortage of people wishing to help. “First of all, the refugees today need personal hygiene supplies, but they are also in need of clothes and footwear, all necessary things for everyday life”.
The hierarch has thanked everybody for aid to the refugees, noting that all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church are praying for establishment of peace and cessation of bloodshed in the Ukraine.