Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Sunday, 10 August 2008 15:36 UK

UK Russians rue Ossetians' suffering

Refugees
Civilians flee the fighting in South Ossetia

Russians gathered at the Russian Orthodox church in central London said a special prayer for peace in South Ossetia at their Sunday service.

The suffering of the people of the Georgian region was foremost in their mind as they expressed their regret that the two nations, who have always lived in peace, were at war.

SERGEI, FROM MOSCOW
Russian man

I feel pity about the war, people are dying there.

We are really close as nations and have always called each other brother nations. I hope this will end soon.

I still think Russia needed to interfere. Georgia started this and Russia needed to help the people. Many refugees have had to go to Russia and now want to go back.

NATALIA VEDENEEVA, FROM CENTRAL RUSSIA
Russian woman

The situation is really unacceptable. All of us pray peace will come as soon as possible.

It's really upsetting that people are dying.

It's difficult to say who is right or wrong. Russia is defending its own citizens and it did try to persuade Georgia to stop. Russia was forced to start military action.

The people are suffering from the bad manners of the politicians. The Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili has no common sense. It is beyond comprehension that he wants to resolve things this way.

VLAD, FROM SIBERIA

It's all politics, they are just trying to divide the world again.

Russia is trying to get strong again, it is using this war to show how powerful it is.

Russia says it goes to defend its people but it's not about independence for some little country, it is about dividing the world again.

War is always wrong, people just want to live in peace.

REV FATHER MICHAEL GOGOLEFF, DEAN, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN IRELAND
Russian Orthodox priest

I'm very sad that two orthodox nations are fighting each other. The problem now is how to find peace.

Too many people are dying, too many people are destitute and too many people are hurt. It makes me sad to see what is happening.

I don't express a political view or a military view but as a priest I feel deeply concerned by the suffering of the people.

Georgia and Russia have a brotherhood and the people have always lived in peace and helped each other.

MARGARITA KOUDRY, FROM ST PETERSBURG

I'm very upset about the situation, this is all about politics.

People are dying, I don't know what the idea behind all this is.

It is better to keep the peace and to separate the territories peacefully without people dying.

Russia is defending its own people but it is difficult to decide who is right and who is wrong, but people are dying and that is wrong.

SVETLANA McCABE, FROM ST PETERSBURG
Woman outside church

It's all about the politicians and it is absolutely terrible. Russians all take it personally and are worried about their relatives.

My brother is a policeman and he is worried he will be told to go there now.

It's not right because people are dying, there must be a peaceful way. Any religious person will say that.

The Right Reverend ELISEY, BISHOP OF SOUROZH
Bishop
The situation is the pain of our hearts in our parish. In our community we have Russians, English and Georgians and we believe in one spiritual community.

We are sorrowful in our hearts. We prayed a special prayer for the war to stop and for politicians to stop the war.

We send our message of support to Ossetians suffering the aggression. We know not everyone has managed to leave and go to North Ossetia, some people are under destroyed buildings.

We know Ossetians are suffering now, we send them our hope for peace.




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