Ukrainian police to tighten security to better protect churches, other religious buildings
Ukrainian national police deputy chief Oleksandr Fatsevych has ordered a large police presence to keep public order around religious buildings ahead of the festival of Protection of the Holy Virgin.
"It is necessary to bring police guards closer to all houses of worship, to guide all the teams of the response units of the patrol police and special police services, and to pay attention to all houses of worship, without exception, regardless of what religion they belong to," Fatsevych said during an action meeting held in the premises of the ministerial Situation Center on Thursday.
Such measures are aimed to prevent possible breach of public order and ensure the security of people celebrating the Defender of Ukraine Day or participating in various religious services dedicated to the festival of Protection of the Holy Virgin. The measures are thought to prevent possible clashes or conflicts on religious grounds, particularly, those involving a seizure or blocking of any buildings or property belonging to churches, police said.
On October 14, the Kyiv police will work in a beefed-up security regime, Ukrainian First Deputy Interior Minister Serhiy Yarovy said.
"On the occasion of the Defender of Ukraine Day and owing to the beginning of the process of granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, police and the National Guard of Ukraine will significantly enhance security measures. In particular, approximately 6,200 law enforcement troops, including 3,500 National Guard soldiers will be deployed to protect public order in the capital on October 14," the liaison department of the Kyiv police said in a statement.
Police will also patrol more intensively streets and public gathering places in Kyiv, it said.