Kremlin-backed march: Scandalous religious procession reaches final destination at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (updates)
Politics10:09 Jul. 27, 2016
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Scandalous religious procession reaches final destination at Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (updates)

The march, organized by Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), was peaceful, National police report

Approximately twenty thousand members of the religious procession organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) have gathered in Kyiv city center. They are celebrating the Day of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus and also the 1000th anniversary of ancient Kyivan Rus monasticism on Holy Mount Athos. 

The procession attended the Saint Volodymyr Monument, dedicated to the Prince of Kyiv Volodymyr the Great, and held prayer service. From there the people marched through Kyiv streets to the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves (Kyiv Pechersk Lavra), a historic Orthodox Christian monastery.

Read also: Kremlin-backed religious procession barred from marching in Kyiv

16:12 A webcam at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra shows the procession, located at the Monastery. 

Source: lavra.ua

16:00 UNIAN informs, the march is over as all members of the procession have arrived at the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The walk lasted about two hours. The people are expected to start the all-night vigil at 17:00 (EEST)

15:50 1+1 Channel reported, police removed the roadblocks and checkpoints that had been installed in the city center because of the religious march. Cars and public transport are now allowed to move though the streets. 

15:00 Ukrainian news agencies inform, the column consists of about 20,000 people. Approximately a hundred requested medical help during the march. 

14:45 The procession has reached the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The believers are greeted by Archbishop Pavel. 

14:38 Several young men are holding Ukrainian flags at a local metro station on the way to the Monastery. They are encircled by the police. The column is walking past them. 

14:25 Two people were hospitalized due to dehydration and hypertension, Ukrainian news agency Ukrayinska Pravda reports. 

13:45 The prayer service is over, the procession starts to march towards the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. The situation is calm.

13:30 More than 10,000 people already gathered at the Saint Volodymyr Hill

12:23 The liturgy is scheduled to begin at 13:00 (EEST). After that, the procession will march towards the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra. 

12.11 Kyiv police say, approximately 4,5 thousand people have gathered at the Saint Volodymyr Hill. Overall, about nine thousand arrived in Kyiv from all over Ukraine.

12.01 Ukrainian 1+1 Channel is streaming the procession

11:47 National police chief Khatia Dekanoidze also arrived at the site. "A priest asked for a photo with her", the tweet reads. 

11:32 Ukrainians upload photos of the procession online. "Some are chanting, the others are begging for money", the post reads. 

10:13 Approximately 1,5 thousand people have gathered at the Saint Volodymyr Hill. 25 buses arrived at the place with believers from Zaporizhia and Dnipro region. 

09:40 Three men arrived in the European square in protest against the procession. They are holding a banner which reads "The Fifth Column". One of them is carrying Ukrainian flag.

The procession is acting calmly so far, march members are neither shouting any slogans nor chanting. Around six thousand law enforcers have been deployed in the city to keep order. Several surrounding streets have been blocked by the officers.

Read also: Ukrainian Orthodox church awaiting decision on its autocephaly (video, infographics)

The religious march has caused agitation among Kyiv residents. They believe the procession members might be planning to organize unrests and destabilize the capital. Some of the activists earlier said they would not let the believers go through Kyiv. 

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