Moscow Patriarchate priests beat up Ukrainian soldier in Khmelnytskyi (video)
The incident in Khmelnytskyi (Photo:Screenshot from the video)
Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate priests attacked a soldier who came to a church in the western Ukrainian city of Khmelnytskyi, Viktor Burlyk, a member of the regional council reported on Facebook on April 2.
Video shows a soldier, Artur Ananiev, who volunteered to go to the front as part of the 19th Infantry Battalion since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion.
According to Burlyk, the soldier entered the UOC-MP church to ask the congrecation the question "how many more people have to die before you stop going to Moscow Patriarchate (churches)?"
The footage shows that the clergy began to force the soldier out of the church.
He suffered a concussion and a head injury.
Law enforcement officers arrived at the scene of the conflict and detained the soldier under Article 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses — disorderly conduct, said Burlyk.
Vsim.ua journalists contacted the Khmelnytskyi Oblast Patrol Police Department for comment.
Spokeswoman Viktoria Tymoshchuk told the publication that at 10:20 a.m.at the Holy Intercession Cathedral of the UOC during a service, a 26-year-old man started a conflict with a priest.
"During the prayer liturgy, the man threw a book of the Gospel from the table to the floor and started a verbal conflict with the priest who was reading the prayer liturgy," law enforcement said.
“Witnesses called the police. Currently, the issue of bringing the citizen to administrative responsibility under Article 173 of the Code of Administrative Offenses is being decided.”
The National Police Department of Khmelnytskyi Oblast added that investigators also opened criminal proceedings against the priest under Part 2 of Article 296 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine — hooliganism — over the beating of a serviceman, which was recorded on video.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate responded to the incident, stating that "after the calls of a local council member, a man dressed in military uniform staged a provocation during the divine liturgy."
"The man attacked a clergyman of the Intercession Cathedral, disrupted the service, and poured water on and damaged the holy Gospel in the presence of more than 100 parishioners," the UOC-MP press service said.
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