Criminal case for fraud in favour of OCU opened against head of Rovno RSA

Rovno region governor Alexei Muliarenko

The case is initiated on the illegal registration of a new version of the statutes of 43 UOC communities.

On May 16, 2019, the Main Investigation Department of the National Police of Ukraine, based on a statement by Archpriest Vasily Lavreniuk of the UOC, the rector of the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Church seized by OCU activists in the village of Rozvazh, Rovno region, opened a criminal case against Alexei Muliarenko, head of the Rovno RSA. Criminal proceedings initiated on the fact of issuing illegal orders by the Governor of the Rovno region to transfer the UOC communities to the jurisdiction of the new church structure.

“Chairman of the Rovno RSA Alexei Muliarenko, wishing to create for supporters of a new religious organization (OCU) in Ukraine unlawful privileges in the form of creating conditions for taking possession of property belonging to other religious organizations, decided to register new versions of statutes of 43 religious communities affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” reads an extract from the Unified Register of Pre-Trial Investigations dated May 16, 2019.

On March 10, 2019, a meeting of the territorial community was held in the club of the village of Rozvazh, at which the church issue was discussed. According to the UOC believers, the farmer Petro Yagodka fully oversaw the church issue in the village.

On April 14, 2019, during the Sunday service, OCU supporters seized the Sts. Cosmas and Damian Church in the village of Rozvazh of the Ostrog district, Rovno region. “The UOC parishioners were grabbed by the arms, hair, their clothes were torn, the children fell, they walked over the children ... no matter what,” parishioner Valentina described the incident. “Their “father”, Lukashik, cut off the lock on a small house on the temple grounds with a crowbar, hanged the second lock without permission, and then began waving with it. People said that either the police took the crowbar later or he himself gave it away, I did not see it because I ran away.”

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