Sloviansk (the Ukraine), May 27, 2014
On Monday, May 26, a woman was killed as a result of a mortar explosion during the shelling of the Artema micro-district (area) of Sloviansk by the “Ukrainian” National Guard militants. The woman was standing near the Church of the “Sovereign” (or “Reigning”) Icon of the Mother of God. The church was damaged: five windows are broken and one side of the front is damaged by the mortar splinters, the church fencing is destroyed, reports the official website of the Horlivka and Sloviansk Diocese.
The mortar fell just 10 meters from the church. Fortunately, there were no people in the church at that moment.
The shelling started at about 19:30. Five mortars were fired towards the Artema micro-district, which damaged apartment houses and a hall of a residence where there were students. Another mortar explosion damaged a multistoried residential house 200 meters from the church, there is information on two victims killed in this house: one man and one woman. There is no further information regarding the victims. According to the church Rector, Priest Tikhon Fomenko, the shelling is still continuing.
The Artema micro-district is the most populous in Sloviansk with around 40,000 residents. The Church of the “Sovereign” Icon of the Mother of God is the city’s center of spiritual life. The youngest church of Sloviansk was built by its residents just three years ago through combined effort. Up to 100 city residents regularly attend services here, and many young mothers with children are among them. When there is no service, parents often walk with their children near the church. This district of the city was shelled for the first time, but now five mortars have hit the area causing death of several civilian residents and large-scale destruction.
“We are asking all brothers and sisters to pray for the city and for keeping its residents alive!” reads the diocese’s message.