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Ukrainian Patriarch Calls For Unity Against Russian 'Aggressor'


Thousands of followers of the Ukrainian Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, led by Ukrainian Patriarch Filaret, perform a traditional cross-bearing procession to mark the Day of the Christianization of the Kievan Rus in Kyiv on July 28, 2017.

KYIV -- Thousands of followers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyivan Patriarchate, led by Ukrainian Patriarch Filaret, performed a traditional cross-bearing procession in Kyiv on July 28 to mark the Day of the Christianization of Kievan Rus.

The procession started from St. Volodymyr's Cathedral in downtown Kyiv and ended near the monument to St. Prince Volodymyr of Kyiv, where prayers were performed.

Patriarch Filaret said while leading the prayer that by honoring Prince Volodymyr, "we have to unite as a single Ukrainian nation, single country in order to win."

He said Ukrainians soon will "be not only commemorating Prince Volodymyr, but also celebrating our victory over the aggressor," Patriarch Filaret said, referring to Moscow's support for pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine.

On July 27, a cross-bearing procession was held in Kyiv by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is under supervision of the Russian Orthodox church and promotes Ukraine's close ties with Russia.

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