The recent tragic events in Ukraine have filled my heart with enormous grief and sorrow.
It was not long ago, while visiting the ancient city of Kiev—the cradle of Slavic statehood—and the glorious and heroic Crimea, that I was filled with joy at seeing how Ukrainians of such different ethnic backgrounds, religious convictions, and social and political views all nonetheless maintain peaceful and harmonious relations with one another.
Now, Ukraine is experiencing upheavals that can only be compared to the calamitous events of the revolution. And history shows that no revolution has brought happiness to any of the sides that take part in it.
I pray for the repose of the souls of all those who have lost their lives in these events, for the quick recovery of the injured, and for a cessation of violence.
I call upon all citizens of Ukraine, regardless of their political views, not to forget that they are all the sons and daughters of a common homeland and not to allow that common homeland to slip into a fratricidal civil war.
For the sake of the integrity of the Ukrainian State and the unity of its people, no one should in any way or under any circumstances yield to the temptation for revenge or retaliation. May all of us remember the words of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearer, Emperor Nicholas II: “evil cannot vanquish evil, only love can.”
H.I.H. Grand Duchess Maria of Russia
February 8/21, 2014