NICOSIA — Heartbreaking in another Orthodox country, the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, has ended Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the beleaguered city of Mariupol home to some 150,000 ethnic Greeks.
Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a staunch Putin supporter, blessed the conflict, essentially backing the deadly invasion that killed thousands of civilians, including children.
Chrysostomos, however, told state broadcaster CyBC that “there is no excuse to go and destroy another country”, and that the invasion is not of a Christian type and is a senseless war.
“Going to flatten another country for no reason makes no sense,” Chrysostomos added. “I am saddened because people are being killed,” he said, adding that there was “no logic” in Putin’s actions, which show “he is not behaving like a Christian “.
The archbishop also cast doubt on Putin’s mental state, saying, “I don’t know if this person is fine, the way he behaves,” joining other critics in questioning whether the president Russian is there.
Earlier, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Cypriot Parliament in a series of video speeches he gave to foreign legislatures and said that Cyprus should stop granting dual citizenship and passports to the Russians.
Cyprus, a second home for many Russians and for Russian tourists, reluctantly accepted European Union sanctions during the war, but said it could break from the bloc and allow Russian airlines if too many tourists were going to Turkey instead.