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The Arch Bishop of Canterbury and his delegation in the bomb shelter underneath their hotel/Church Times
The Arch Bishop of Canterbury and his delegation in the bomb shelter underneath their hotel/Church Times
World News

Archbishop of Canterbury forced to shelter amid Russian attack on Kyiv

by Lydia Davies

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, spent nearly three hours in an air-raid shelter on Wednesday morning during a missile attack on Ukraine.

The Russian attack, which happened during Archbishop Welby’s five day trip to Ukraine, left at least four people killed and dozens injured.

“It is heart-breaking to hear of the loss of life in Kyiv this morning in this appalling attack by Russia. I am praying for all those affected and their families,” Archbishop Welby said on Wednesday afternoon.

Justin Welby/X

The Archbishop's delegation was awakened by alerts on an official mobile-phone app signalling incoming airstrikes.

Responding to the warning, they sought refuge in an air-raid shelter, a converted underground car park beneath their hotel in central Kyiv.

While they were safe within the shelter, Archbishop Welby emphasised the harsh reality faced by the people of Ukraine, urging continued attention and support amid the ongoing crisis.

Many Ukrainians lacked access to effective shelters, forcing them to endure the attacks within their homes. Wednesday's alert, lasting nearly three hours, marked one of the most prolonged periods of danger in recent weeks.

Following the attack, Archbishop Welby proceeded with his scheduled engagements, including a meeting with Chris Palusky, the Ukraine multi-country response director of the Christian aid agency World Vision.

“Stand with Ukraine, [said Welby], pray for them, learn from them and say loud and clear that, amid all that is going on in other places, the world will not forget Ukraine”.


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