Ukrainian court sentences high-ranking member of Russian Orthodox Church

12 May, 06:05 PM
Metropolitan Iosaf (Guben) (Photo:СПЖ)

Metropolitan Iosaf (Guben) (Photo:СПЖ)

A Ukrainian court has sentenced a high-ranking cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church for the first time in independent Ukrainian history – the former metropolitan of the Kirovohrad diocese, Iosaf (Petro Huben), the Office of the Prosecutor General and the SBU security service reported on Telegram on May 12.

The cleric’s secretary also was also found guilty by the court. According to prosecutors, both suspects publicly approved the seizure of Ukrainian territory and incited inter-religious enmity in the region in favor of Russia.

According to their instructions, parishioners were given pro-Russia propaganda printed in Russian printing houses. Pro-Russian materials were also found during searches of the diocese’s premises.

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The metropolitan and his secretary were charged with violating the equality of citizens depending on their religious beliefs. Both defendants pled guilty and cooperated with the investigation.

Taking this into account, the court sentenced them to three years of imprisonment with a two-year probation period, as well as banning them from heading religious administrations and dioceses for one year.

Metropolitan Iosaf was charged in December 2022. According to the SBU, he was a member of the inner circle of Moscow Patriarch Kirill, who supports Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, and coordinated the spread of pro-Kremlin views in Kirovohrad Oblast.

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