There have been gripping photos spreading around social media this week of priests standing between riot police and protesters in the heart of Kiev.
The Huffington Post has the story behind the pictures here. As the violence has escalated, the president threatened to ban public prayer services, going so far as to send a warning letter to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but this didn’t deter them. They, along with the Orthodox Church, loyal to the Kiev Patriarchate, hold daily open-air services in Liberty Square, a focus of the recent protests.
Protests have been spreading across the Ukraine since November, over the country’s relationship with the European Union. President Yanukovych had promised to sign a landmark partnership deal with the EU, then refused at the last minute, in favor of a closer partnership with Russia.
For a full background on the rising protest movement, read the BBC’s take.