Militants in the occupied Crimea disrupted the prayer service in the church of the Crimean diocese of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Bilohirsky district. Ukrainian Ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova reported this on her Facebook page.
"The Russian Federation continues to destroy the Orthodox community in the temporarily occupied Crimea. Earlier, the Russian-controlled "security forces of the center for combating extremism" broke into Orthodox Church of Ukraine temple in Balky village of Bilohirsky district and made Abbot Archimandrite Damian stop the morning prayer service. They claimed that did not pray in accordance with Russian law, and began to draw up a protocol, " Denisova wrote.
She reminded that the persecution of members of religious organizations in annexed Crimea was a gross violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 9 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, according to which everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The Ombudsman also called on the international community to increase diplomatic and sanctions pressure on the Russian Federation and to condemn actions that violate the rights of the community of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in Crimea.
The day before, it became known that Russia had begun large-scale military exercises, in particular in the occupied territories of Crimea and Abkhazia.