Publication

Well-known journalist Yury Lukanov has looked into the explosion in a Zaporizhya

Church on 28 July 2010 and the subsequent investigation, arrests and prosecution of three young men. The study is to be welcomed given serious grounds for concern over the almost two years that have elapsed.

The home-made bomb exploded in the Svyato-Pokrovsk Church in Zaporizhya, wounding 6 people, one of whom, an 80-year-old nun died later in hospital. There was apparently also damage to church property estimated at 400 thousand UAH.

The bomb exploded during the first visit to Ukraine of the Moscow Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, Kirill, a visit treated with unprecedented pomp and ceremony by the new regime under President Yanukovych.

A meeting was televised the very next day between Yanukovych and the then Minister of the Interior and Prosecutor General. The President demanded that the Prosecutor General immediately solve the case “establish the nature of this crime, what the bandits wanted to say by it”.

The Prosecutor General promised to solve the crime within seven days, and the media reported that the former head of the SBU [Security Service] had issued the same instruction.

On 6 August the then Minister of the Interior, Anatoly Mohylyov also reported to the President during a direct broadcast that the crime had been solved and that three people were in custody. He asserted that their guilt had been proven by the testimony of witnesses and material evidence.

The case was passed to the court in October. The prosecution claims that Anton Kharytonov was dismissed from his post as sexton at the Svyato-Pokrovsk Church over unlawful conducting of rituals and theft of money. Anton believed that he had been unfairly dismissed. His elder brother

 

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