The priest did not fight for LNR, claims the ROC
The Press Service of St. Petersburg Russian Orthodox Metropolis assures that their priest Artemiy Yehurnov has never fought under arms for terrorists of the People’s Republic of Luhansk and has not left the boundaries of the Diocese of St. Petersburg on the date of sharing the photographs in social networks.
The whole point is that the priest has quite an unusual hobby for an Orthodox priest –he is fond of airsoft. During the traininghe took pictures of himself and then, without ulterior motive, uploadedthe photographs to the network. The priest apparently had no idea that the pictures mightprovoke a reaction.
"On January 15, he visited an airsoft club with children where he took a photo published on the priest’s page in a social network. Geotagging appeared under the photo by mistake. Press Service of St. Petersburg Metropolis asks Russian and Ukrainian media and bloggers to withdraw materials or refute the information about Fr Artemiy Yehurnov on conflict in Ukraine, because they mislead readers, multiplying hatred and division,”as cited by UNIAN religion.
Previously a number of Internet publications publishedthe photo in which the Russian Orthodox Church priest, dressed in camouflage uniforms, was posing with objects resembling fighting weapons. And one of the pictures depicting the Orthodox priest was geotagged“ Ukraine. Luhansk. Chapayiv Street.”
Airsoft is a military sports team game, the participants of which are using as gaming equipment a so-called soft air gun that looks very similar to military automatic weapons.