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One dead as Ukrainian army opens fire on church in Sloviansk

June 19, 2014, 15:01 UTC+3 19 19/6
It is the fifth case of the Ukrainian forces' shelling of churches in Sloviansk
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MOSCOW, June 19./ITAR-TASS/.Fire was opened on an old church in Sloviansk on Thursday. One man was killed, the local diocese said.

"Artillery fire was opened on the city from the height of Karachun at six o'clock in the morning. It lasted for half an hour. This time, the Resurrection Church was a target. The watchman was killed when he went to open the gates and a fragment of a shell hit him right on the head. He was rushed to a hospital, but he died. We pray for deceased Alexander," the Gorlovka and Sloviansk diocese website quoted archpriest Nikolai Fomenko as saying.

The entire southern front side of the church was damaged, but the building was not destroyed. One shell flew half a metre close to the dome. The second exploded on the road near the territory of the church, and the third hit a central gas line near a lake. The main gas line was blocked, the priest said.

The Resurrection Church in Sloviansk was built in the 18th century. St. John of Kronshtadt once stayed and served at the site. There is a centre of Slavic culture at the church located at a historic site the territory of the old estate Villas of Maria, a historic and architectural monument.

It is the fifth case of the Ukrainian forces' shelling of churches in Sloviansk. On May 26, when the district of Artyom was under fire opened by the National Guards, a woman was killed in a mortar shell explosion near the Church of the Enthroned Icon of the Mother of God. The building was seriously damaged. Fragments of shells broke glass in windows, damaged one side of the building and destroyed the fence. On Holy Trinity Day, June 8, a church in the central part of the city was under fire. On the night to June 16, a church in the village of Cherevkovka was a target of shelling. The gatehouse and the refectory were completely destroyed. On the same day, the Ukrainian army opened fire on the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sloviansk.

Petor Poroshenko stated on June 18 about the start of “a peaceful plan” “to establish order in the region.” On the same day parliament-appointed acting Defense Minister Mikhailo Koval noted that “a peaceful settlement plan will be translated into life right in a few days.” Prime Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Alexander Borodai named all these words about ceasefire as “absolutely absurd.”

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