“Right Sector” demands that President clarify his attitude to UOC
Representatives of the Ternopol branch of the "Right Sector" tried to find out Zelensky’s position on the "most important issue" – the presence of the UOC in the region.
On November 1, 2019, representatives of the Right Sector had a talk with the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky, who arrived that day in Ternopol on a working visit to introduce the new head of the region. Ternopol activists wanted to "discuss and hear the position" of the head of State on a number of issues, including the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – "the Russian Church in Ukraine as a factor leading to defeat". The corresponding video was published on the organization’s Facebook page.
“There are main issues that concern us most,” one of the activists turned to Zelensky. “The first and most important is the question of the presence and activities of such an organization as the Moscow Patriarchate in the Ternopol region.”
The representative of the "Right Sector" emphasized that this is a "question of geopolitical importance", which causes many conflicts and problems in the Ternopol region associated with the transfers to the OCU.
“We are interested in exactly your position and those processes that may occur,” he said.
In response, Vladimir Zelensky noted that the region got new leaders and a specific official who would deal with all these issues. He “will show the strategy, and we’ll decide”.
“It seems to me not quite right for me to do this. But I think that in such matters we should all be careful in our statements. I agree with you: this is a strategic issue, very sensitive, as they say in English,” the President said, expressing the opinion that in order to solve such issues one should hear the positions of all parties.
As reported earlier, the UOC believers in the village of Stenka, Ternopol region, appealed to President Vladimir Zelensky with a request to protect them from church raiders and representatives of local authorities who support them. The UOC community has been under pressure for more than one year: for example, in March 2015, representatives of the “Right Sector” discredited the believers. The provocateurs, backed by a priest of the UGCC, actively fomented an inter-church conflict, inciting violence against the rector of the local church, in an ultimatum form, forced the UOC believers to change their religious affiliation and distributed anti-church leaflets, which was actively promoted.