Ukrainian nationalists hold demonstration against Russian Orthodox Church in central Kyiv
The Kyiv branch of the nationalist Svoboda all-Ukrainian Union held a demonstration near
the Ukrainian House in Kyiv on Wednesday against what it called "clerical occupation" of
Ukraine by the Russian Orthodox Church.
The demonstrators held national and party flags and banners saying, 'Down With Moscow
Colonizing Priest,' 'Ukrainian Orthodoxy Against Moscow Obscurantism,' 'For Unified Local
Orthodox Church with Center In Kyiv' and others. The participants in the protest were also
As part of the demonstration, the organizers held a photo exhibition on the porch of the
Ukrainian House, entitled 'Moscow Priests' Seven Deadly Sins'. The photos, illustrating
what the Ukrainian nationalists condemn Russian Orthodox Church leaders for, i.e. wrath,
greed, envy, pride, etc., depict a yacht presumably belonging to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow
and All Russia, his watch reportedly costing 35,000 euro, some people wearing cassocks
and holding bats in their hands, and other 'compromising' material.
"The exhibition's purpose is to show the hypocrisy of Russian Orthodox Church members,
who in fact propagate not Christian values but the Russian world's imperialistic doctrine,"
Andriy Illenko, the head of Svoboda's branch in Kyiv, told journalists.
The organizers first planned to hold their protest at the intersection of Triokhsviatytelska
Street and Kostiolna Street, but had to gather near the Ukrainian House instead to comply with a court ruling.