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Russia calls to probe into attack on Moscow Patriarchate’s church in Kiev — diplomat

January 16, 21:25 UTC+3

Kiev’s Peter Mogila church was attacked by unidentified men in the small hours on January 16

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MOSCOW, January 16. /TASS/. Moscow calls for a thorough and unbiased investigation of the attack on a Ukrainian Orthodox church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kiev and punishment of those responsible, Russian foreign ministry’s envoy for human rights, democracy and the supremacy of law, Konstantin Dolgov, told TASS on Monday.

Kiev’s Peter Mogila church was attacked by unidentified men in the small hours on Monday. The attackers bombarded the church with Molotov cocktails.

"These reports give grounds for the most serious concern. Regrettably, it was not the first instance of blatant vandalism and intentional banditry against canonical Ukrainian Orthodox churches," he said. "No doubt, it was yet another attempt in a series of forcible takeover of property of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate we have recently witnessed."

"It is a flagrant violation of the legal rights of Orthodox believers in Ukraine. These are unlawful actions," he said. "It is unclear what law enforcers did in this situation but in the past they connived at such actions either directly or indirectly, or watched them indifferently."

"It is important to clarify this information, to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation, to expose and punish those responsible," the Russian diplomat stressed.

"The Ukrainian authorities must do that under their international liabilities to ensure unimpeded realization of the right to freedom of religion, to prevent further whipping up of emotions in society, destabilizing the situation as far as religion is concerned," he stressed.

He said the situation requires a most thorough investigation. "It is not ruled out that the more than passive reaction of the Western capitals has played its negative role. The outgoing Obama administration has done nothing to compel the Kiev authorities to stop such illegal actions," the Russian diplomat noted. "The passive position of international human rights organizations is only encouraging extremists."

Such actions, in his words, must be resolutely condemned as they are "fraught with unpredictable consequences."

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