He said that the priests were killed for helping self-defense forces. According to him, the bodies of two sons of one of the priests were found in the grave as well. On July 8 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church announced that a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was kidnapped in Donetsk, Kiev Patriarchate Archpriest Yuri Ivanov.
In late May, an Orthodox priest Vladimir Maretsky who was detained by the Ukrainian military, was released and reported that he was beaten, in order for him to confess in his assistance to self-defenders.
Before that, the head of the Odessa diocese Metropolitan Agafangel confirmed the threats from the radicals.
In early April, the priest of Russian Orthodox Church Oleg Mokryak and the head of the Union of Orthodox Citizens of Ukraine Valery Kaurov were persecuted by Ukrainian Security Service, which found in their words calls for separatism.
Secretary of the Odessa diocese, Archpriest Andrei Novikov left his hometown and moved to Moscow after "the same investigator, who recently came for Archpriest Oleg Mokryak with Ukrainian Security Service, called him."
"I'm sure if this government keeps its position, it will handle the physical liquidation of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine," said Novikov to the newspaper Vzgliad.