Russian Priest Attacks Ukrainian Priest With Crucifix During Soldier's Funeral

A priest of the Moscow Patriarchate used a crucifix to attack a priest of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) who was delivering a eulogy at the funeral of a fallen Ukrainian soldier on July 22 in a town in central Ukraine.

The funeral was being held for Oleksandr Ziniv, a member of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, in Tomashpil, a rural community in Vinnytsia Oblast. Local officials said Ziniv died aged 42 while on a combat mission near the city of Mykolaiv on July 17.

During his eulogy, the OCU priest, Father Anatoly Dudko, urged people to abandon the Moscow Patriarchate denomination, which is associated with the Russian Federation, and repeatedly disavowed referring to Oleksandr by his Russian name, Alexander.

Several attendees were heard asking him to end the diatribe before Father Mykhailo Vasylyuk, a Russian priest, approaches the podium and, using a crucifix, strikes Dudko several times before other people pull him away.

Police were investigating the attack, according to a local news report. Credit: Serhiy Timkov via Storyful