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The church saved us – you are children of war: Lviv is recovering from the most destructive rocket attack by the Russians on the city and region

Today’s bombing hit near UCU in L’viv. Some of the buildings were damaged, but there were no injuries. All the more reason why UCU needs our support. Click here to donate.

The original article can be found on the UCU website here.

During the night of July 6, the Russian occupiers carried out a terrifying and cynical rocket strike on Lviv and the Lviv Oblast. The enemy attacked the Lviv Oblast with “Kalibr” missiles from the Black Sea. This is the most destructive attack on the civilian population in the Lviv Oblast since the beginning of the full-scale war.

According to the head of the Lviv Regional State Administration, Maxym Kozytsky, the “West” Air Command of the Ukrainian Air Force defused 7 missiles over the Lviv Oblast. Russia is deliberately targeting residential buildings. The following have been damaged: over 30 houses, more than 250 apartments, 10 dormitories, boarding school, two universities, and a sanatorium school.

Photo: BBC News

In Lviv, a two-day mourning has been declared in memory of those who died as a result of a rocket attack on the city.

Photo: BBC News

The rocket strike hit buildings within 200 meters of the Ukrainian Catholic University campus. Four university buildings were damaged, but no one within the university campus itself was harmed. The Ukrainian Catholic University is ready to provide temporary accommodation to those who were forced to leave their homes, those who lost everything due to the rocket attack.

Damaged glass at the Sheptytsky Centre

During the night, people took shelter in the St. Sophia Wisdom of God University Chapel to protect themselves from rocket attacks. Those who lost their homes found their first refuge in the university. Father Nazariy Mysyakovsky shared a moment when, after the air raid siren ceased, a father and his children came out of the chapel shelter onto the street and walked towards the campus area. The child said, “Daddy, the Church saved us.” The father replied, “You are children of war. A real war.”

UCU graduates

President of the Ukrainian Catholic University, Archbishop Borys Gudziak, who was staying and working near the epicenter of the explosion just three days ago, wrote: “Russia’s attack on innocent civilians is unconscionable. We ask all people to pray, stay informed, and help in any way they can. Having spent two weeks with bishops, clergy, politicians, students, soldiers, mothers, and children, I can say that Ukrainians are resilient, but the danger is real, the trauma is deep, and the entire free world must respond and support these brave defenders of freedom and justice.”

Volunteers, including workers and students from the volunteer headquarters of the Ukrainian Catholic University, helped the injured people during the night, bringing water, respirators, and assisting the rescue teams in clearing debris.

Broken front door at the Sheptytsky Centre

Since the targeted building was located near the Ukrainian Catholic University campus, it housed university graduates and parishioners of the university chapel. We have gathered their initial testimonies after the Russian rocket strike.

Ihor Kysylevych, a graduate of the Philosophy-Theology Faculty of the Ukrainian Catholic University and a former employee of the university’s information department, and a father of five children, said: “UCU is very dear to me as my alma mater. My wife and I even bought a house very close to UCU; we live in a building across the road from the campus. Everything changed in a matter of seconds last night. Life feels completely different now. Honestly, my wife and I didn’t expect the war to be so close. We thought Lviv was a safe city for us and our children. But the war is really close. We responded to the alarm, but since we have five children, including a baby, we couldn’t go to the shelter. We used the two-wall rule and waited in the corridor. Then one quite powerful explosion occurred, followed by another, even more severe one. The windows in our apartment were blown out… Due to the shockwave, our exit door jammed, and we couldn’t immediately leave the apartment. We smelled gas; it was dangerous. We knew there would be another impact, so we ran out of the apartment in whatever we were wearing and instinctively ran to seek shelter in the Church of St. Sophia on the campus. On the way to the church, there was a third impact. We fell to the ground, and I physically felt the shockwave, although we were already quite far away. After the alert ended, we went to the park to breathe fresh air. In the park, we met Rector Taras Dobko, Volodymyr Turchynovsky, Natalia Klymovska. People came out in the middle of the night to see how their students, how the campus was… We had a brief conversation. They provided me with such moral and psychological support, and I am very grateful to them. Thank God that my family is alive, we are all safe. All that remains is to pray for the victims.”

Artem, a graduate of the Ukrainian Catholic University who live in the building hit by the rocket, shared his experience: “We woke up to intense shaking of our building, as if experiencing an earthquake. We realized it was something else, as the news feed was filling up with reports of Lviv being hit by rocket attacks. After about 4-5 minutes, we saw a flash in the window. We knew that a shockwave would follow soon, so we covered ourselves with a blanket. After that, we jumped off the bed and ran into the corridor. There was an understanding that we needed to turn off the gas, gather important documents, and go to the shelter. On the way, we entered a neighbor’s apartment because there was an elderly woman living there. We wanted to help her or at least make sure she was alive. However, her corridor was completely destroyed. It felt like there was no longer an apartment there. After calling her for a few seconds, we decided to search for her in the shelter. Fortunately, she was alive and had managed to get there in time. There were many cases where people were trapped in their apartments. Our neighbors tried to break down the doors to get out of their apartments. This building [that was targeted by the Russians] was entirely civilian, with the majority of residents being elderly people who wouldn’t be able to cope in such a situation on their own. We thank the Emergency Situations personnel who quickly arrived at the scene and started working. It is heartening that we received numerous offers of assistance. After the strikes, many of our friends from the Ukrainian Catholic University community came to help others clean up broken glass and clear the rubble. They offered us various options for temporary housing, and with each passing hour, such assistance is increasing. It is very heartwarming.”

You can support us and those affected by the rocket attack in Lviv:
– to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine:
– to support UCU:
– to support UCU via UCEF (charitable tax receipts available to Canadians):