Kiev monastery arsonists already sentenced

Kiev, January 29, 2018

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Members of the Ukrainian nationalist and terrorist organization C14 who set a fire at Kiev’s Monastery “of the Tithes” on Thursday have already been handed a sentence by local courts, reports the monastery’s website.

Two intoxicated men were detained early in the morning on Thursday, and five canisters of a flammable mixture were found nearby. The men had started a fire at the monastery’s Vladimiro-Olginskaya Church, managing to damage the door of the church. Members of the same group vandalized the church later again that same day.

The Information Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has posted a video in which the monastery dean, Archimandrite Clement, explains that two men, aged 35-40 years old, had climbed the roof of the church, doused it with fire, and set it on fire.

“It is only by a miracle that a larger fire did not erupt; the fire went out itself. We believe that this happened thanks to the protection of the Mother of God—of her wonderworking icon, which is always here and always protects us,” Fr. Clement stated.

“Despite the savagery and brutality of the crime committed by these people, we are praying for them and ask the court to mitigate the degree of punishment… We also call all to peace, and not to succumb in any case to the provocations of instigators, and those who have guaranteed them immunity, trying to shed the blood of innocent women and children by others’ hands,” the monastery’s website states.

Just two days after the incident, the local court handed down a decision, giving the arsonists the option of choosing two months’ imprisonment or a fine of 2.2 million hryvnia ($77,000). According to the law, the men could have been sentenced to up to 15 years of imprisonment.

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