(QHA) -

A group of militants, identifying themselves as "Russian Orthodox Cossacks" barged into a local church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in Crimea in Perevalnoe village, during Sunday Divine Liturgy and beat members of the faithful on June 1.

Among the victims were pregnant woman and a young girl with cerebal palsy, car of the parish priest was also attacked.

The gang members said they were seizing the building for the Moscow Patriarchate.

Police came after three hours and stood on a side of the attackers saying that Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate is anti-Russian.

To recall, Crimea was annexed by Russian Federation in March, following regional referendum.

Kyiv authorities, U.S and EU countries, however, do not recognize the annexation.

Note: The Orthodox Church is the largest denomination in Ukraine, but is split between those tied to Moscow and those linked to a new patriarchate set up in Kiev in 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

QHA