Archbishop of Canterbury took cover in bomb shelter over fears of Russian bombs ... trends now
The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned the Ukraine-Russia conflict could drag on for years as he branded it a 'great disgrace that a European country has air-raid warnings nearly 80 years after WWII.'
The Most Rev Justin Welby, 66, made the comments during his trip to Kyiv this week, as he was forced to take cover in a bomb shelter amid fears of a Russian missile strike.
The holy man is meeting with displaced Ukrainians, refugees and religious leaders in the war-torn country as part of his visit, as he calls for Brits to donate what they can this winter.
He told the Times that he believes it is a 'very reasonable fear' that the war could drag on for years, much like the Israel-Palestine conflict, adding that the West 'need to realise they will have to show long-term resilience' and offer 'very long term support.'
The Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured in Ukraine) has warned the Ukraine-Russia conflict could drag on for years as he branded it a 'great disgrace that a European country has air-raid warnings nearly 80 years after WWII'
Forces of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic fire a self-propelled mortar 2S4 'Tulip' not far from Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, December 1, 2022
Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme this morning, he also said Ukraine must not be pressured into making a peace deal with 'evil' Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.
Pressed on whether he meant, in some cases, that war is the right course, he said: 'Peace is always better than war. But there are times when justice demands that there is the defeat of what we call, the Archbishop of York and I called when it started, an evil invasion. And don't regret saying that.
'Ukraine is the victim here, we can't slip back to a 1938 Czechoslovakia, sort of people far away of whom we know little situation. There has to be real resilience.'
Rev Welby said he does not think the West has 'taken on board' that the conflict in Ukraine could go on 'for a very long time'.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I don't think that the West in general has taken on board and has been led to take on board that this could go on for a very long time.
Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme this morning, he also said Ukraine must not be pressured into making a peace deal with 'evil' Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (Pictured: Archbishop Welby in central Kyiv with the Golden Gate in the background on Wednesday)
Rev Welby said he does not think the West has 'taken on board' that the conflict in Ukraine could go on 'for a very long time' (Pictured: An elderly woman reacts as she looks at damage caused by overnight Russian shelling on Thursday)
Rev Welby said the people he has met, including religious leaders from all faiths, showed an 'overwhelming sense of determination' to keep Ukraine free from Russia (Pictured: Vladimir Putin)
'We don't want it to - we hope and pray it doesn't, but that's not within our gift. And this is hugely important, that this takeover does not succeed. It's extremely complex, much too complex to unpack the whole thing in a brief interview, but it must not succeed.
'The West needs, the people of the West need, to realise that the cost of this war, in inflation, in all kinds of difficulties - and there's much suffering in our own country, in the UK, through that - the costs of this are not short term, we need to be really tough about this.'
He was also quizzed over whether it was morally right to kill Russian conscripts who have been forced to wage war.
He responded: 'It's not a good thing to kill anyone under any circumstances but self defence has been, since the time of St Augustin, a recognised right of states and is recognised in all the world's major faiths as morally justified.
'Now the cost of self defence is this awful, dreadful tragedy of young life being lost but the judgement for that must fall on those who started the war, not on Ukraine.'
He said the people he has met, including religious leaders from all faiths, showed an 'overwhelming sense of determination' to keep Ukraine free from Russia.
Biden said the meeting would have to be with NATO allies and that Putin needs to be ready to talk about how to end his invasion of Ukraine.
President Joe Biden said he was open to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin
The president, speaking at a joint news conference at the White House with French President Emmanuel Macron, said he would choose his words carefully when he was asked about meeting with the Russian president.
'I have no immediate plans to contact Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin is -- I'm going to choose my words very carefully, he said, pausing before he continued.
'I'm prepared, if he's willing to talk, (to) find out what he's willing to do,' Biden said.
'I'm prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if, in fact, there is an interest in him deciding he's looking for a way to end the war. He hasn't done that yet. If that's the case, with my NATO friends, I'll be happy to sit down with Putin to see what he wants, has in mind. He hasn't done that yet,' he added.
Biden said the only way to end the war in the Ukraine was for Putin to withdraw his forces.
'The idea that Putin is ever going to defeat Ukraine is beyond comprehension,' the president added.
In their state visit on Thursday, Biden and Macron both reiteriated their strong support for Ukraine.
In a joint statement issued after their Oval Office talks, the two leaders said they were committed to holding Russia to account 'for widely documented atrocities and war crimes, committed both by its regular armed forces and by its proxies' in Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that Russia is planning more missile strikes on his country's energy infrastructure, with the country branding recent attacks leaving it without power as 'genocide.'
The country's top lawyer Andriy Kostin made the comment yesterday as Mr Zelensky told how six million homes has been being hit by power cuts following a barrage of Kremlin missile strikes.
Families in Ukraine are facing a bleak winter without light and heat amid plunging temperatures, with Mr Kostin saying attacks on the energy grid targeted 'the full Ukrainian nation'.