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On 10 December 2019, Metropolitan Nikodim of Zhitomir and Novograd-Volynsky and Archbishop Leonid of Vladikavkaz and Alania, deputy chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), currently on a visit to Bulgaria, took part in the celebration of the 142th anniversary of the liberation of Pleven from the Ottoman rule. Metropolitan Ignatij of Pleven officiated at the Litiya for the soldiers at the chapel of St. George the Victorious. Concelebrating were Metropolitan Gavriil of Loveč, Metropolitan Grigorij of Vratsa, Metropolitan Nikodim, Archbishop Leonid, Archimandrite Vassian (Zmeyev), representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Bulgaria; deacon Valery Bobylev of the Vladikavkaz diocese, and clerics of the Pleven metropolis.

Attending requiem service were Mayor Georg Spartanski of Pleven; H.E. Anatoly Makarov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Bulgaria; staff of the Russian Embassy, representatives of non-governmental organizations and many residents of the city.

After the service, Archbishop Leonid greeted all those present, congratulated them on the anniversary of the liberation of Pleven and wished them peace and prosperity.