Ukrainian procession for peace blocked in Kiev

Kiev, July 26, 2016.

The All-Ukraine cross procession for peace in Ukraine,
which began in the east of the country from the
Svyatogorsk Monastery on July 3 and in the west of the
country from the Pochayev Monastery on July 9, has been
halted by Ukrainian authorities in Kiev.

The two processions planned to meet in Kiev at St.
Vladimir Hill and proceed together to the Kiev Monastery
of the Caves, where they intend to celebrate the Day of
Baptism of Rus’ tomorrow, July 27. The procession,
however, which was organized by the autonomous Ukrainian
Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, has met with
protest and aggression by Ukrainian nationalists, who view
the procession for peace in the Ukraine as a Kremlin
provocation.

Yesterday, as the procession was nearing Kiev at the town
of Borispol,
Interfax Religion
reported that 100-150 Ukrainian
nationalists set up a roadblock to prevent the procession
from crossing the town. The roadblock consisted mostly of
men holding the red and black flags of the OUN-UPA
(Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists-Ukrainian
Insurgent Army—connected with pro-Nazi Ukrainian
Nationalist Stepan Bandera of World War II notoriety). The
town of Borispol had decided not to let the procession
walk across its boundaries, citing possible civic unrest
and danger.

Today, the Ukrainian Ministry of the Interior offered to
provide buses for the procession out of fear of attack
from nationalist protestors.
Interfax has reported that yesterday the
Ukrainian National Police’s dog handlers discovered
two fake explosive devices and two caches of ball grenades
with smoke flares at a road crossing that lay on the path
of the cross procession for peace in Kiev’s
Kiev-Svyatoshin District. Bomb disposal experts and
anti-mine robots are working to remove the threat.

Now the Ukrainian police and National Guard have blocked
the procession on the streets of Kiev, citing bomb
threats. Whether the threats are real or simply a
provocation designed to prevent the procession from
reaching its goal remains to be seen.

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