| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Ukrainian refugees dream of home in Orthodox Easter celebrations

Ukrainian refugees flocked to churches throughout Central Europe on Sunday for Orthodox Easter, expressing gratitude for surviving a Russian invasion while hoping to reunite with family members left behind.

Children brought Easter baskets adorned with Ukrainian flags and had blue and yellow ribbons in their hair at Warsaw’s Orthodox Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene in the city center, where priests reported holiday services were busier than in previous years.

Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, more than 5 million Ukrainians have fled, with the vast majority seeking refuge in the European Union via border crossings in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania.

Many of the refugees have decided to wait out the conflict with friends and family in Poland, which had the region’s biggest pre-war Ukrainian community of roughly 1.5 million people.

On Sunday, when Ukrainians celebrated Orthodox Easter, there was no sign of an end to a conflict that had killed thousands, dislocated millions, and left towns to rubble.

  • Reuters