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    Zelensky slams ROCinU’s procession in Kyiv over defiance of health safety measures

    President Volodymyr Zelensky criticized the masterminds behind the procession of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine (the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate”), as well as the Kyiv authorities, for failing to ensure compliance with health safety rules during the event.

    He stated this in an interview with Ukrainian TV channels, commenting on the massive procession set up by the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine celebrating the 1033rd anniversary of the baptism of Rus in the center of Kyiv on July 27, BBC News Ukraine reports.

    “Yesterday we had a procession, with some 55,000 people attending. I understand that this is a holiday. But I saw no communication from the Kyiv community, from the Kyiv authorities… Everyone seems to be afraid to communicate. They understand that this is a big holiday and they don’t want to tell people directly to be careful,” the president said.

    The ROCinU claimed more than 300,000 participants in the event.

    According to the head of state, the organizers and local authorities, amid the coronavirus pandemic concerns, were supposed to provide attendants with PPE, accommodation, access to drinking water, and more.

    “Some 55,000 came to Kyiv. People in most of the elderly age, so you’ve got to be aware, they were supposed to wear masks, to say the least. I didn’t see any face masks there,” Zelensky noted. “Is it so difficult? They’re coming in buses, in organized groups, they’re being brought here.”

    “It seems to me that, if such a procession is organized, it is not just a festivity, it should be a festivity after which people don’t cry,” the president stressed.

    He added that the government in this case could only ban such mass events.

    “But we can’t ban everything, which would be wrong,” he said, noting that “decentralization is a huge responsibility.”

    Volodymyr Zelensky also spoke about the danger of a new wave of disease.

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