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Some LDS missionaries coming home from Ukraine; missionaries in Venezuela are safe

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 2:14 p.m. MDT

Russian soldiers guard a pier where two Ukrainian naval ships are moored, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. Since last weekend, Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea, where Russian speakers are in the majority. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers.
 (Andrew Lubimov, Associated Press) Russian soldiers guard a pier where two Ukrainian naval ships are moored, in Sevastopol, Ukraine, on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. Since last weekend, Russian troops have taken control of much of the peninsula in the Black Sea, where Russian speakers are in the majority. Ukraine's new prime minister said Wednesday that embattled Crimea must remain part of Ukraine, but may be granted more local powers. (Andrew Lubimov, Associated Press)

SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church is sending some missionaries home early from Ukraine because of unrest in the Crimean Peninsula.

"Given the evolving situation in Ukraine, 22 missionaries serving in that country will end their missions early and return home over the next few days," said a statement released on LDS.org late Thursday.

The missionaries involved were due to end their missions in March or April.

On Saturday, the church announced it had removed 23 missionaries in the Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk Mission from the Crimean Peninsula. Those missionaries are being spread among the four missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the country.

Also, "missionaries who have been in missionary training centers preparing to enter Ukraine are being temporarily reassigned to other missions or will remain at the MTCs on a short-term basis," the new statement says

The church has more than 11,000 members in Ukraine.

Thursday night's release included a short statement about missionaries serving in Venezuela:

"All missionaries serving in Venezuela are safe. Church leaders are in regular contact with mission presidents serving throughout Venezuela, and are closely monitoring the situation to ensure their safety and well-being."

The church has four missions and nearly 158,000 members in Venezuela.

Email: twalch@deseretnews.com

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