SBU chief says Russian Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate church in Ukraine is spying threat

27 October 2022, 04:46 PM
Priests of Russian church have been helping Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Photo:SBU)

Priests of Russian church have been helping Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Photo:SBU)

The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine is "a perfect ground for the functioning of an enemy HUMINT network,” the acting head of the Security Service, Vasyl Malyuk, told Interfax-News agency in an interview published on Oct. 27.  

He was answering a question about the possible influence of the Russian special services on the church.

"If we take the period since the beginning of the war, we have opened 23 criminal proceedings against such characters, there are already 33 suspects – from classical agents for gathering deep information to ordinary adjusters of fire in cassocks," Malyuk said.

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In particular, he recalled the detention of a Moscow Patriarchate priest in Vinnytsia Oblast, who "constantly communicated with the FSB," and was a classmate of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Vladimir Gundyaev (Patriarch Kirill).

"Yes, there are threats,” SBU chief said.

“But I would be wrong if I said that this is a threat that the SBU cannot influence and document in a timely manner. Therefore, we’re performing thorough work in this domain.”

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