Rivne, Ukraine, November 27, 2018
The diocesan administration building of the Rivne Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was vandalized last night, with provocative slogans being painted on the walls, reports the diocesan website.
The Rivne Diocese is among those that have officially expressed their support for the canonical Ukrainian Church and its primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine during the ongoing ecclesiastical crisis.
Unknown perpetrators painted “FSB agents the blood of our sailors is on your hands” in reference to the recent naval incident between Ukraine and Russia. They also poured paint near the entrance to the building.
Three Ukrainian naval vessels were seized by Russian sailors in a confrontation off the Crimean Peninsula yesterday morning, with a number of Ukrainian sailors reportedly being injured. Each country blames the other.
The painted slogan is curious given that no Ukrainian sailors died in the confrontation.
An investigative team was called to the scene and a criminal case has been opened.
Ukrainian nationalists routinely confuse the difference between the Russian state and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is an autonomous body within the Russian Orthodox Church. Three churches in Lvov were vandalized earlier this month with accusations, again, of being FSB agents.
Another church in Lvov was vandalized in late October in similar fashion, being pasted with images of Joseph Stalin with the inscription, “The true canonical name of the Moscow Orthodox Church is ‘Stalin’s Patriarchate.’”
Three ancient icons and an altar cross were also stolen from a church in Rivne earlier this month.
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