Ukrainian Servicemen Were Awarded by the Ministry of Defence for Attacking a Church in Odessa

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Two soldiers who prevented the carrying out of an orthodox church service in the Saints Cyril and Methodius temple in Odessa in the summer of this year received awards from the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

This was reported by the activist Aleksandr Zhirnosenko, who published on his Facebook page the corresponding documentary confirmation signed by the leadership of the Ministry of Defence.

“The military personnel who didn’t let the Moscow priests enter the territory of the Odessa military academy were awarded with badges ‘For exemplary service’, in accordance with the appeal of the People’s Deputy Igor Lutsenko,” said the Ukrainian nationalist.

According to the leadership of the Ministry of Defence, the military personnel showed dedication and firmness during service. As a reminder, this concerns an incident on August 14th where parishioners and priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] weren’t allowed to enter the Saints Cyril and Methodius temple at the military university, where believers came to celebrate the holiday of Apple Feast of the Saviour.

As a result, the prayer service had to take place outside the temple, although representatives of the so-called Kiev Patriarchate freely entered the academy’s territory. In addition, on the day of the scandalous incident the Odessa branch of the nationalist Svoboda party declared an appeal concerning the specified temple to the president of Ukraine Poroshenko and the Minister of Defence Poltorak. The right-wing radicals, in particular, complained that orthodox priests “are engaged in undisguised anti-state propaganda in favor of the aggressor state” among parishioners – officers, ensigns, sergeants, and cadets of the military academy. “Svoboda” members also insist that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church [Moscow Patriarchate – ed] has no legal grounds to operate on the territory of the military academy.

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