Ukrainian Radicals and Police Officers Beat Up a Moscow Patriarchate Priest and His Congregation in the Ternopol Region

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


On Sunday, February 3rd 2019, supporters of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) staged a brawl with parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) at the Svyato-Preobrazhensky temple of the village of Gnezdichne in the Ternopol region. This was reported by the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

It is reported that the abbot of the religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church archpriest Stefan Balan especially suffered at the hands of a man wearing red-black stripes on his sleeves and the police.

“We warned the administration and the police that a conflict situation is being planned. We wrote a statement saying that religious affairs shouldn’t be interfered with. They gathered all their deputies together on Friday, but nothing was decided. Perhaps they were afraid, I do not know. Thus there was a fight”

said Father Stefan

It was noted that representatives of the religious community of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church stood on the church steps. Later the head of regional council came to the scene.

“The head of the village council spoke, and it should be noted that he was on their side. And these people were so aggressive-minded, and, without having understood what he said, they started to insult him. Well he became agitated, threw down his keys, and left”

noted the priest

According to him, the official wanted to transfer these keys to the supporters of the OCU, however he left the territory of the temple. After the police decided to intervene, having sided with the provokers.

“The police started to take everything in to their hands and went on the attack. Special police forces arrived and started to beat us. Everything is well seen in the video. I was beaten and the believers were pushed. And then some men in camouflage uniforms with red-black stripes came and started to scatter all of us. They grabbed me by my head and broke my finger. After this we called an ambulance. The medics recorded the damage on all the body – head, chest, and hands”

said the head

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