Accessibility links

Breaking News

Head Of Ukrainian Church Dies

Metropolitan Volodymyr
Metropolitan Volodymyr

The head of the largest branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Volodymyr, has died of cancer in Kyiv at the age of 78.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said at a memorial service in Kyiv on July 5 that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has lost its leader and "Ukraine has lost a great Ukrainian citizen."

Volodymyr, known as the metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine, had led the Ukrainian Orthodox Church since 1992.

He was considered a supporter of the Ukrainian opposition in its struggle against then-President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Moscow Patriarch Kirill is Ukraine's largest religious body and does not recognize the smaller Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Kyiv patriarch, which established itself in a schism after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also sent his condolences.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax