ATO veteran: Church is the only institution to hold dialogue in Donbass

ATO veteran, participant of the “People of Peace” forum Viacheslav Shevchuk. Photo: Photo: a screenshot/ Ukraine

A career soldier, Vyacheslav Shevchuk, believes that today the Church is the only unbiased structure.

The Church is the only institution that today can hold a dialogue in the Donbass, said Viacheslav Shevchuk, an ATO veteran, a native of Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, during a press conference of the participants of the International Forum "People of Peace" initiated by the UOC, which took place on September 24, 2020, at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The press conference was broadcast live by the “112 Ukraine” TV channel.

“I am very glad that the initiative of the actions that we are doing was the Church because it is the only institution that today, in my opinion, is not engaged in anything,” said the participant in the “People of Peace” forum. “Today, on the other side (the uncontrolled territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions, – Ed.) There is no state, but the only structure, the only institution that can engage in a dialogue is the Church. It can speak here; it can speak there. We need to find people who should understand and hear what we are talking about here."

Viacheslav Shevchuk, a career soldier who served in the ATO from 2014 to 2016, voiced his own vision of what can stop the war in the Donbass. He noted that for seven years now “people have only been talking about how to end this war,” although the formula, in his opinion, is very simple.

“For me, the issue of war is not new, I am a career soldier, I know the conflicts that took place in Transnistria and Yugoslavia. Money is always made on war. Always. People simply die, and on their deaths, someone makes money. This has been the case in all wars, and our war is no exception. The most successful enterprise in the Luhansk region, which remains today, is called ATO or, as it was renamed, JFC (Joint Forces Operation – Trans.). It is almost impossible to get a job anywhere – the economy is stagnant. Everything is destroyed. People go to serve, go to work for the police or just go to work as officials. The rest is all dead. How to stop this war? In my opinion, the formula is very simple - to defeat a war on which money is made, it is necessary to raise the economy, people who participate in the conflict must start making money. Only in this way can we stop the war. Otherwise, it will never end,” the ATO veteran said.

As reported, on September 21, 2020, as part of the peacemaking initiatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to end the armed conflict and restore peaceful life in the Donbass, the International Forum "People Peace" was held at the Sviatogorsk Lavra. During a press conference in Kyiv, the forum participants addressed the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky.

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