German Pastor Awarded for Helping Euromaidan Protesters
In the Ukrainian capital, one German pastor has been awarded for the support and help he provided to peaceful demonstrators during the Euromaidan protests. Ralf Haska has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for his work with protesters and people from regions affected by the war in eastern Ukraine
From 2009 through 2015, he headed the Saint Catherine Lutheran Church in Kyiv. During the Euromaidan protests in January 2014, he was among the first ones to stand between the protesters and Berkut special police officers to prevent bloodshed.
Since 2015, the pastor has been sending humanitarian aid to Donbas. This month, he plans to visit the towns of Novoaydar and Pokrovsk to bring medicine and clothes.
“I’m going there for just a few hours. I will bring the things they’re asking for. I’m always in contact with them. I ask what they need, what their children need. And then I try to buy it in Germany and bring it here. But the medicine is bought here, in Ukraine,” Haska said.
The Order was granted by the German Ambassador to Ukraine Anka Feldhusen. This is the only German Order that can be granted to civilians.
“We have only one Order for civilians, there are also orders for the military. They can have different classes. But it’s very important for people. For us, this Order really means that the person invested a lot of their time and effort in helping others — in international or public activities,” Feldhusen said.
The Order was established in 1951. As of today, more than 200,000 people have been awarded.