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Ukrainian Nationalist Groups Protest Russian Patriarch's Visit

Protesters from a nationalist party lay out a flag of Ukraine to protest against a visit by Patriarch Kirill in Kyiv on July 27.
KYIV -- Nationalist groups gathered near the "Ukrainian House" in Kyiv to protest Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill's visit to Ukraine, RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service reports.

The some 80 protesters gathered representing the nationalist Svoboda (Liberty) party, the Congress of Ukrainian Nationalists, Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian National Self Defense, and the Ukrainian People's Party.

They staged a performance called "Glamorous Tour of a Moscow KGB Agent" that was officially banned by the Kyiv authorities on July 26.

The protesters also displayed Ukrainian flags, their party banners, and placards saying "Reverend Kirill muddies the waters for the Ukrainian nation" and "No to the Moscow priest-colonizer!"

About 30 policemen watched the protest but did not intervene. No violence was reported.

Other protests during Kirill's eight-day trip had been disrupted or otherwise disallowed.

Kirill, who started his visit to Ukraine on July 20, attended a religious service on Kyiv's Volodymyr Hill on July 27 to celebrate the day of Russia's conversion to Christianity.