Man detained after setting military church in Russia’s Tyumen on fire — Novaya Gazeta Europe

Man detained after setting military church in Russia’s Tyumen on fire

A 43-year-old man has been detained after setting a military church in the city of Tyumen in Russia’s Urals on fire on Monday evening, the Tyumen region’s Investigative Committee said on Tuesday.

The man threw several Molotov cocktails at the Dmitry Donskoy Сhurch before fleeing on a bike, the Investigative Committee said, adding that criminal cases had been opened against him for vandalism and intentional destruction of or damage to property.

Footage circulated on the Telegram messaging app appeared to show the incident, with Tyumen news outlet saying that the fire had been extinguished before the emergency services arrived.

The Kremlin-affiliated Mash Telegram channel said that the man had been told to set fire to the church by “phone scammers” from Ukraine, while the Baza channel reported that he had carried out the arson attempt to “return stolen money” from scammers.

Mash Telegram channel later reported that the man apparently told police that he attacked the church because he considered Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, to be “too wealthy”.

The Dmitry Donskoy Church was opened in 2007 at the request of a group of mothers of soldiers who died during the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. According to the church’s website, it holds daily prayers for Russia’s protection “from enemy invasions, discord, and strife”.

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