On 24 February 2023, a special church service was held at the Holmen Parish and Naval Church on the occasion of the anniversary of large-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine.
The event, jointly organized by the Folketing and the Ukrainian Embassy in Denmark, was attended by HRH Crown Prince Frederik and HRH Crown Princess Mary.
The service was also attended by members of the Danish government, the Folketing, the country’s top military leadership, members of the diplomatic corps accredited in Copenhagen, representatives of non-governmental organizations and the Ukrainian community in Denmark. In addition, the Bishop and Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager Hansen, Speaker of the Parliament of Greenland Kim Kielsen and Speaker of the Parliament of the Faroe Islands Bjørt Samuelsen took part in the event.
The speeches of Speaker of the Folketing Søren Gade, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen and Ambassador of Ukraine Mykhailo Vydoinyk were changed with psalms, choral hymns, prayers and sermons by priests, including Provost of the Holmen Church Birgitte Kvist Poulsen, the military parish priest Peter Thyssen and priest of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Chaplain of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Sergiy Berezhnoy.
In his speech, the Ambassador of Ukraine noted that the Ukrainian military understands that they protect Ukraine not only by their own efforts. They feel the support of the entire multi-million Ukrainian people, as well as our foreign friends. He noted the special role of Denmark – “a small country with a very big heart”.
“No words are enough to fully express the gratitude of the Ukrainians to our Danish friends. Thank you for your generosity and kindness. Thank you for being with us!”, said the Ambassador of Ukraine.
The Prime Minister of Denmark in turn noted that when Danes look at the Ukrainians, they do not see broken people. “We see strength you show us. You are not only fighting for your own country, but for all of Europe. Not just for your freedom, but for our freedom. That is why we cannot let you down. Therefore, we will not let you down”, said Mette Frederiksen.
The Speaker of the Folketing emphasized: “On behalf of the 12 political parties in the Danish Parliament, I am pleased to say that you have our full support, our full respect, our deepest sympathy. We believe that you will prevail in your endeavour. Today, the proudest words a man in the free world can say to his fellowmen are «Slava Ukraini».”
Photo Credit: Det danske kongehus, Ritzau, DR