OCU adherents beat brutally UOC believers guarding the temple in Mashcha

January 4, 2020.

On the night of January 2 to 3, 2020, at 2:20, two dozen young men from among the OCU supporters with bats attacked four UOC believers, who were on duty near St. John the Theologian temple in the village of Mashcha, Kostopol District, Rivne Region. This was reported by the UOJ correspondent.

According to eyewitnesses, aggressive activists, armed with metal bars and wooden bats, first turned off the light on the street near the temple and then started to massacre the guys who were staying in a metal trailer near the temple.

According to residents of the neighboring houses, the blows on the windows and the metal walls of the trailer were so strong that they woke everyone in the area – both adults and children. Having a fright of their life, none of them decided to go outside.

The guys were trapped – the trailer doors jammed. At the same time, while the militant activists of the OCU were throwing stones at the trailer and beating the young guards with bats, two policemen, who also were on duty at the temple, hid in a police car and from there watched the incident.

Law enforcers, who were additionally called from Kostopol district police station, arrived at the scene of a fierce fight only after 40 minutes – by this time all the attackers had been able to escape.

At 3:20, Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy, Head of the Department for Interfaith Conflict Resolution at the Sarny and Rivne Dioceses of the UOC, arrived at the temple and demanded that the experts be called to the scene to take fingerprints and identify the persons who committed the brutal massacre of the UOC believers.

“There are traces of blood on the trailer from the outside – it could only be left there by the ‘thugs for hire’ who got injured while hitting the windows,” said Father Viktor. “However, law enforcement officers told me that an expert can only be delivered during the day. Also, when asked why the police did not intervene in this brutal massacre, they answered that they themselves were scared and chose to stay in the car.”

The injured guys were taken to the Kostopol polyclinic by the wife of the rector of the church, Anna Ilnitskaya. According to her, the doctors were actively interested in what kind of patriarchy they were from, while the urgent doctor not only did not consider it necessary to x-ray the injured believers but was too lazy to describe all the injuries inflicted.

“I immediately went from the church to the hospital and insisted on a thorough examination, to have an x-ray and write the appropriate documents for the medical examination of the injured guys,” said Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy.

Local residents, who had congregated in the church area after the battle, said that before coming to the temple to assault the young men, the OCU activists, armed with bats, had a good portion of alcohol in the bar. Also, according to them, supporters of the OCU regularly treat with strong drinks law enforcement officers on duty at the temple. The residents of Mashcha identified some of the titushki that attacked the believers – among them were both local guys and hired thugs from other settlements.

Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy also said that on December 28, 2019, he had a conversation with the main activist of the OCU in Mashcha, Yuri Kotovich, who said that if the UOC did not remove the security from the church, he would arrange a showdown. Moreover, Kotovich even notified the head of the Kostopol district state administration about his intentions.

“You know, the forces of evil always rage before the great Christian holidays – history proves it,” the clergyman added. “According to my observations, most frequently it occurs before the Resurrection and the Nativity of Christ when the former representatives of the Communist Party, and now of the OCU, seem to go insane, plan various provocations at our shrines, and commit massacres against believers of the UOC.”

To attract the attention of the authorities to the events that have been going on for almost a year around the St. John the Theologian temple in the village of Mashcha, believers of the UOC are planning to visit the Rivne Regional State Administration and the regional police on January 3, demanding intervention and, most importantly, punishment for those who committed violence over four young guys – the church guards.

Visual testimony:

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