The message from Patriarch Alexei II contained a highly inflamed view of the war: "Cities and towns are burning, civilians are dying, and innocent children, women and old people are suffering. Millions of people have been left without a roof over their heads and deprived of proper conditions of life." The Russian prelate also charged that "not one of the accusations that provoked the war has proved true to date."
In his letter, which indicated clear sympathies for Iraq, Patriarch Alexei said that the UN "enjoys credit in the region, as the actions of the Iraqi government before the war showed." He did not explain why the Iraqi government refused to comply with UN disarmament demands.
The Patriarch asked Annan for "timely interference" by the UN "to stop bloodshed and re-establish the violated world order."