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MOSCOW, July 30. /TASS/. The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), Russia's nongovernmental organization aiming to protect Christians in different countries, urges the Ukrainian authorities to launch an immediate probe into the murders of a nun and a priest in Kiev, its statement said on Thursday.
The IOPS Council appeals to the Ukrainian authorities "to investigate all circumstances and facts of heinous crimes and punish the murderers."
"The blood of these church officers and many other innocent victims is on the conscience of those who encourage in Ukraine the raging of nationalist forces and ideas, who stir up a fratricidal war, seize churches, oppress and intimidate clergymen, believers and civilians," it said.
The Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society said it would continue protecting Christians and contributing to the establishment of peace in Ukraine.
A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Roman Nikolayev who was a target for an assassination attempt on July 25, died in hospital on Wednesday.
In the evening on July 25, two unknown persons shot twice in the priest’s head at the entrance lobby of his apartment building.
In another development, sister Alevtina, a nun of Kiev’s Holy Ascension convent that belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church affiliated with Moscow Patriarchate was founded assassinated on Wednesday.
"The assassinated nun was found in her apartment in the Dartnitsa district," the press secretary of the Kiev prosecutorial office, Nadezhda Maksimets told Vedomosti newspaper on Wednesday. "The setting in the apartment had traces of interference but burglary is not considered at the moment," she said.
Preliminary findings suggest the nun was strangled, Maksimets said, adding that the woman had been found by her relatives who called the police then.
Bishop Clement, the head of information department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate said the woman had been found dead with traces of violence in the apartment that she had donated to her relatives prior to taking the veil at the convent.
He said Alevtina joined the convent sisterhood several years ago when she was already advanced in age.
"I know that she is disabled and she was severely ill for quite some time shortly before her death," Bishop Clement said.