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Russian diplomat demands UN, OSCE give legal assessment of extremist acts in Ukraine

December 21, 2015, 4:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"olice are conniving. It further splits Ukrainian society. It is blatant violation of the right to the freedom of worship and the freedom of religion", said Konstantin Dolgov
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© Michael Pochuev/TASS

MOSCOW, December 20. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of law Konstantin Dolgov has demanded the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and other international organization give a legal assessment to the activities of extremist organizations in Ukraine.

"Radicals keep on seizing churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. The latest episode took place near Rovno. Police are conniving. It further splits Ukrainian society. It is blatant violation of the right to the freedom of worship and the freedom of religion. These outrageous acts have nothing to do with faith. An urgent and resolute reaction is needed from the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Council of Europe and international human rights organizations. The Kiev authorities must stop extremists," he wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday.

On December 18, radicals made an attempt to transfer an Orthodox church of the Moscow Patriarchate in the village of Ptycha in the Rovno region to the Kiev Patriarchate despite a court refusal to do that. Activists of the extremist organization Right Sector [which is outlawed in Russia] and Kiev Patriarchate activists blocked worshipers inside the church, which was encircled by the police.

Representatives of the Rovno eparchy of the Moscow Patriarchate pledged they would demand the court ruling on returning the church to the Moscow Patriarchate be fulfilled. On December 2, Kiev’s court of appeals turned down the Kiev Patriarchate’s claims to this church.

Confrontation between the Moscow and Kiev Patriarchates in the Rovno region began about a year ago when some half of Ptycha residents demanded the church be handed over to the Kiev Patriarchate. A month ago, a number of Kiev Patriarchate activists stages a hunger strike in support of this initiative.

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