On April 18, the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy held a round table meeting on “Chaplaincy in the context of Hybrid Conflict”. This event was attended by Said Ismagilov, the Mufti of Religious Administration of Muslims of Ukraine Ummah, Metropolitan Ioann (Yaremenko), Chairman of Military Clergy Synodal Directorate, Andrii Zelynskyi, Deputy Head of Military Chaplains Department at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Oleksandr Petrenko, Chaplain of Evangelical Christian Baptists Churches All-Ukrainian Union, Oleksandr Kovtach, Head of Military Chaplains Cooperation Department at Moral and Psychological Support Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Oleksandr Izdebskyi, Head of Military Chaplains Service at the National Guards of Ukraine, Dmytro Tukalo, Chief of Chaplains Division at the State Border Service of Ukraine, Olha Vakuliuk-Lukashuk, psychologist at Women's Power of Ukraine NGO, Nataliia Didyk, psychologist and director of Women's Power of Ukraine NGO.
The special guests of the round table were Colonel Timothy Millard, the Chaplain-in-Chief of the US Army in Ukraine, Major Terry Bell, the US Army Chaplain, Cheryl Michel, the First Medical Advisor on Military Rehabilitation and Veteran Affairs, and sergeant major David Clarke.
In his report, Sheikh Said Ismagilov spoke about those Muslims, defending Ukraine in the ranks of the Armed Forces and volunteer battalions, about the creation and formation of the of Military Chaplaincy Office of Ukrainian Muslims, professional and personal requirements for imams-chaplains posts, how Muslims-chaplains provided co-religionists, who performed their duties at the front line, with spiritual support.
The Mufti predicted the importance of the chaplain service would not diminish even after the victory. He also recalled the mission the imams-chaplains of the Muslim Military Chaplaincy of Ukraine were carrying out, headed by Imam Chaplain Murad Putilin. He also noted the very warm and trust-based climate, arisen due to cooperation between chaplains of various religions; stressing that respect between Muslim and Christian chaplains in war would positively affect the interfaith dialogue in Ukraine.
The Military Chaplaincy Office of Muslims of Ukraine will continue to provide spiritual support to those Muslims, who are performing their civiс duty, and to the families of the fallen defenders, as well as take care of the wounded front-line soldiers in hospitals.
Let us remind, at the International scientific-practical conference called “Military Chaplaincy in Ukraine: the first stage results of institutionalization (2014-2015)" Mufti RAMU Ummah Said Ismagilov emphasized:
“Muslims as citizens of Ukraine fulfill their duty to the homeland not only during the war, but also in peacetime. <...> Ukraine is a religious, spiritual country, and I think that the priests’ spiritual support will be always necessary.”