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About 1,500 Orthodox Christians demonstrated outside the Ukrainian parliament's headquarters in Kyiv on Thursday, protesting a plan to introduce radio frequency identification passports (RFID passports or e-passports) and identity cards.
The demonstrators were holding banners reading "No to the electronic register for the Orthodox," "We are against e-passports," "We are against the electronic concentration camp," "We don't want electronic slavery," "The ID card is a mark of the devil, the e-passport is a pass to hell."
Some of the protesters told reporters the demonstration represented the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which allied with the Moscow-based Russian Orthodox Church.
Earlier, Interior Minister Anatoliy Mohyliov said everything was ready to start printing e-passports this autumn.
The government has allocated the Interior Ministry Hr 60 million for buying equipment for printing the first batch of e-passports. Altogether Hr 120 million is to be spent on the program.
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