News from Ukraine: Kremlin-backed religious procession barred from marching in Kyiv (updated)

13:22 Jul. 26, 2016

Kremlin-backed religious procession barred from marching in Kyiv (updated)

Kremlin-backed religious procession banned in Kyiv (UNIAN Photo)

Real grenades were found along the procession route 

UPDATE: The bomb squad defused one of the explosive devices, discovered alongside the route of the procession.  

STORY: On July 26, Ukraine's law enforcement officers barred the religious procession organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow's Patriarchate) from passing along Kyiv's streets, Ukraine's Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said.

Read also Ukrainian Orthodox church awaiting decision on its autocephaly

"In the morning, we discovered dummy mines and real grenades alongside the planned route of the procession, which left no doubt that threats and provocations are real. Safety of citizens is above religious rituals", Avakov wrote on Facebook.

Advisor to Interior Minister Anton Herashchenko wrote on Facebook: "Grenades were discovered at a 3-5 metre distance from the curb, if they had exploded they would have posed a real threat to the religious procession participants. Bomb-disposal experts work on the site, using a robot-sapper".

On early July 26, Ukrainian officials "received two anonymous reports that an explosive device was planted along the religious procession route," and police officers started conducting an inspection.

On July 25, Ukraine's Internal Ministry urged law enforcement agencies to report on provocateurs identified during the religious procession, organized by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow's Patriarchate). 

The procession started on July 3 at the Sviatohirsk Cave Monastery, eastern Ukraine. 

The alternative one, organized by the Ukrainian Patriarchate, started on July 9 at the Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra, in western Ukraine. Both will meet in Kyiv to celebrate the Day of Christianization of Rus on July 28.

However, Ukrainian activists and veterans who fought on the frontline in Donbas are collecting signatures to ban the religious procession (supported by Moscow's Patriarchate) as they are sure that Russian provocateurs come alongside believers.

On July 25, Ukrainian activists pelted the procession with eggs, garlic and bottles in Kyiv's outskirts.

Ukraine's police officers plan to strengthen security measures. 

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Ukrainian activists protest against the religious procession backed by Moscow's Patriarchate (UNIAN Photo) 

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