Bloodshed in Ukraine should be stopped, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said.
"Only devil can celebrate victory when brothers fight against each other in the Sich, inflicting damage, weakening people's vital forces," the Patriarch said in his address to believers of the Russian Orthodox Church posted on Tuesday by the Moscow Patriarchate official website.
"Civil wars have happened in our history more than once. They resulted in weakening Kiev Rus and fall of disconnected principalities under Batu Khan's pressure, the terrific Time of Troubles in the Russian state in the 17th century, to monstrous bloodshed and establishing of atheistic regimen for a long time in early 20th century," the Primate said.
Besides, the document says that civil war always result in "a threat of subordination to external forces," loss of people's sovereignty that is expressed in capability to set up their lives on the foundation of those moral, spiritual and cultural values "that our predecessors adopted together with blessing in Kiev baptistery of Russia's baptism."
"I turn to everyone who is empowered to take a decision: stop bloodshed immediately, start real negotiations to set up peace and justice. There can't be winners in civil wars, there can't be political victories that cost more than people's lives," Patriarch Kirill stressed.
He urges the Church to intensify its prayers "as our pious predecessors managed to pray in terrific times of trouble."
"All our churches should start reading a special prayer for peace and overcoming the civil war, today I bless to use this text," the Primate said.