On August 11, 2019, in the village of Galuzintsy of the Derazhnia district, Khmelnitsky region, a group of radicals attacked an Orthodox priest and representatives of the local police while trying to seize the church.
As the source of the UOJ said, on August 10, Orthodox believers in the village of Galuzintsy found out that radicals from the regional center, as well as some residents of the village, were preparing the seizure of the Orthodox St. Michael’s Church.
The formal reason for the seizure was the unlawful re-registration of the church from the UOC to the OCU. The fact is that on February 11, 2019, a meeting of the religious community of the temple in the amount of 80 people, held by the rector Alexander Goncharuk, decided to stay in the canonical Church.
At the same time, the territorial community, which held its meetings in the club on February 23 and 27, 2019, decided to move to the OCU. The source of the UOJ claims that the main instigators of this “transfer” were two Catholic women who have nothing to do with the Orthodox Church.
One of them – Dydova Miroslava Vladislavovna – works as the deputy chief of the district town of Derazhnia, the other one – Sivak Oksana Vasilyevna worked as the deputy of Ulyana Suprun in the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
At Candlemas on February 15, 2019, representatives of the territorial community attempted to disrupt the service and seize the temple. However, believers managed to defend the church.
Later, the church community challenged the results of the meeting of the territorial community of the village on the transfer to the OCU in court. Meanwhile, waiting for a court verdict, it was decided to seal the temple.
But, as it became known later, the Holy Archangel Michael Church was unlawfully re-registered to the OCU, which was the reason for the attempt to seize it on August 11.
According to the source of the UOJ, at 7 o’clock in the morning, Orthodox believers gathered in the temple for prayer. During the reading of the akathist, closer to 9 a.m., representatives of the OCU began to gather near the temple. Later, five people came from the radical organization “Phoenix” from Khmelnitsky, who immediately came into conflict with believers.
According to the interlocutor of the UOJ, “Phoenix” is a paramilitary, nationalist organization, which is funded by some local politicians.
The “Phoenix” members are mainly athletes, among whom there is also the bronze medalist of the European Boxing Championship Pavel Gula. At the moment, Pavel Gula is doing military service in the 8th Special Forces Regiment on the territory of Khmelnitsky, and, therefore, how he appeared in Galuzintsy is not known.
The head of “Phoenix”, Viktor Burlyk, who, according to the UOJ source, refused to be drafted into the army and did not join the ATO, was also present in Galuzintsy. It was Burlyk who instigated the conflict.