12:55 10.05.2014

Ukrainian Orthodox Church confirms priest murdered in Donetsk region

2 min read

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy has confirmed that a priest was killed in the Donetsk region but could not elaborate on the circumstances.

"The confirmation [of the priest's murder] exists. But it is unclear for now at which block post this happened, different information exists… No details exist for now," head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church synod information and enlightenment department, Archpriest Heorhiy Kovalenko told Interfax on Friday.

According to Kovalenko, getting information is complicated by the fact that the priest killed was outside staff for several years and did not maintain contact with eparchial leadership.

"He virtually does not have any communication with the eparchy, he is outside staff for several years. Everything the eparchy knows is what happened [the murder] and the rest is rumors," Kovalenko said. The name of the deceased is Father Pavlo, he said.

Priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy Pavlo Zhuchenko was killed near a block post in the Donetsk region, local on-line mass media outlets and Orthodox activists have said.

The priest lived next to the block post, tried to urge opponents of the Kyiv authorities to surrender arms and was killed as a result of this, editor-in-chief of the Island on-line mass media outlet Serhiy Harmash twitted.

The priest had three children.

"Monsters shot eight bullets at the priest from automatic firearm," the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office press office said. According to the information of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office, the crime was committed at a block post at the exit from the town of Druzhkivka on May 8. The law enforcement authorities have started an investigation of the incident.

"Terrorists being coordinated by an outside aggressor" are responsible for the murder, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office said.

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