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Sverdlovsk Oblast governor proposes negotiations after hundreds clash over cathedral construction in Yekaterinburg

Sverdlovsk Oblast governor Yevgeny Kuivashev offered to hold negotiations in his residence between residents of the region who clashed Monday night over the planned construction of St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Yekaterinburg.

“Now, my primary task as a governor is to create peace, calm, and understanding. Street fights are not a way to solve problems,” he wrote on Instagram.

Kuivashev invited five representatives from each side to visit his office at 4:00 PM local time on May 14. “We’ll have a chat and talk through everything. We’ll listen to each other. We’ll try to find a way out of this complicated situation together for the sake of the future of our beloved Yekaterinburg,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Eparchy of Yekaterinburg announced plans for a prayer meeting at 7:00 PM on May 14 in the square where the cathedral’s construction is set to begin. Opponents of the cathedral, who would like to preserve the park already present in the square, intend to hold another protest at the same place and time. The prayer meeting was later delayed to May 16 after local authorities refused to approve the event.

It’s a complicated situation. It’s easy to understand both the believers who have been waiting from year to year for the question of building St. Catherine’s Cathedral in the city to be resolved. And [it’s easy to understand] the protesters who find it important to save every slice of greenery and trees in downtown Yekaterinburg.

Yevgeny Kuivashev