Head of Ukrainian Orthodox Church condemns Putin's act of "aggression" in Crimea

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The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Filaret, has condemned President Putin’s stance towards Ukraine and the sending of troops by Moscow to Crimea.

“The whole world is today in opposition to Putin’s regime. Because he doesn’t act fairly. Ukraine is an independent state. Crimea belongs to Ukraine and he put his troops onto a foreign territory. This is called aggression,” Patriarch Filaret said.

The Patriarch was in Kyiv with other religious leaders to pay tribute to those who were killed in the clashes that led to the eventual overthrowal of President Yanukovich.

Locals in Kyiv also responded to Russian President Putin’s refusal to recognise their new government.

Kyiv resident, Alexei Matuskov, said: “Our country was ready to join a union of dictators, with Lukashenko (president of Belarus), Nazarbaev (president of Kazakhstan) and Putin (president of Russia). I think that what the Ukranians were able to do was a great feat that we were able to escape that yoke. And Putin is very angry now because his plan has failed.”