Ukraine’s top-ranking Catholic prelate in the United States has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of genocide and has said Ukrainians, who are willing to die to protect their freedom, will not back down from Russia’s “imperialist” agenda.
Speaking to Crux, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, said Ukrainians “are convinced that Putin and the Russian army have genocidal intent.”
In his opinion, Gudziak said it is impossible to negotiate with Putin, asking, “How do you negotiate with someone who’s genocidal? What amount of people do you allow him to kill?”
“In the 18th century, in the 19th century, in the 20th century, we’ve been occupied and suppressed by Russian imperialism, and we know what it smells like, we know what it looks like, we know when it’s coming, and we see that Ukrainians are the only country, the only nation, that is willing to die for these freedoms in defense before Russian imperialism,” he said.
Gudziak, 61, was born in Syracuse, New York, and is the son of immigrants from Ukraine. He graduated from the University of Syracuse and holds a doctorate in Slavic and cultural history from Harvard. He spent two decades in Ukraine, where he oversaw the Lviv Theological Academy. Prior to his post in Philadelphia, he led the Paris-based Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Volodymyr the Great, which includes France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.