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Ukrainian Authorities Impound Roman Catholic Church Building

DNIPROPETROVSK, Ukraine -- The municipal authorities in Ukraine's eastern city of Dnipropetrovsk have impounded the Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

Catholic parish leader Valeriy Hmyrko told RFE/RL that the Luhansk Oblast Economic Court decided this week to impound the church building, of which the parishioners are the legal owners.

The court provided no explanation for that ruling.

The church was built in 1887-90 with funds raised by the city's Roman Catholic community.

In 1998 the church building was privatized by Dugsberry, a private U.S.-registered company linked to former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, who is currently in prison in the United States for graft and embezzlement.

Ukraine's Supreme Economic Court ruled last year to return the building to the parish community.