Ukraine’s SBU security service has announced that it is filing criminal charges against a prominent pro-Russian blogger suspected of inciting violence at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra religious complex in Kyiv.
Though the SBU did not disclose the name of the blogger, based on photographs released by the service, it is believed to be Victoria Kochanovska, an advocate for the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Ukraine.
The SBU said in a statement on Aug. 17 that it had amassed evidence of the propagandist’s public denial of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, and accused her of fomenting religious hatred.
The implicated individual actively participated in provocative demonstrations at Lavra in late March and early April, the SBU said.
“During that time, she disseminated her own video streams on social media, inciting individuals to resist the lawful actions of law enforcement and insulting the religious sentiments of Ukrainians,” the SBU stated.
Furthermore, on her Facebook page, she denied the facts of Russian armed aggression and referred to the war against Ukraine as an “internal civil conflict.”
The blogger also posted on social media about the “inevitability” of a takeover of the entire territory of Ukraine by Russia and attempted to discredit the Ukrainian armed forces. All of this was fueled by Russian propaganda, the SBU said.
The blogger has been charged with justifying, recognizing as legitimate, and denial of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine.
If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of eight years in prison.
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