Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has described the sawing down of a cross in central Kyiv as barbarism and demanded a strict response of law enforcers to such actions.
At a meeting with the clergy and religious organizations on Wednesday, the president stressed that the state authorities guarantee unbiased treatment and trust in all churches and religious organizations.
"Society trusts the church, and yet we can't say that the consciousness of all people could make us feel calm for the morals of society. I mean, particularly various incidents, which are resonant sometimes. For example, when a cross was cut down in the center of Kyiv, and thus the religious feelings of millions of people were offended," Yanukovych said.
According to the head of state, this is an alarming signal and a dangerous sign, which requires an immediate proper response.
"I demand that this act of barbarism receive the toughest response from the police," Yanukovych said.
As reported, on August 17, 2012 Femen activists sawed down a cross in central Kyiv near the International Center for Culture and Arts (Zhovtnevy Palace). The group said they were expressing their support for Russia's Pussy Riot band.
Kyiv police opened a criminal case on under an article on hooliganism, but failed to detain anyone.
On August 18, 2012 activists of various oppositional political forces and public organizations installed a new cross to replace the one that was cut down.
On September 5, 2012 it was reported that the leader of Femen, Inna Shevchenko, had left Ukraine for France.