Ukraine’s SBU charges Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra’s priest, his ‘accomplices’ for glorifying ‘Russian World’

1 December 2022, 06:36 PM
The priest is suspected of true Russian aggression (Photo:SBU)

The priest is suspected of true Russian aggression (Photo:SBU)

Ukraine’s SBU Security Service has served a priest of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery, as well as “accomplices” who participated in a religious service, with charge papers for glorifying the aggressor country and the “Russian World.”

The agency said on the Telegram messenger on Dec. 1 that an expert investigation had confirmed the illegality of the suspects’ actions.

They are being charged under Part 2 of Art. 28 and Part 1 of Art. 436−2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (justification, recognition as legitimate, denial of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine, glorification of its participants, committed by a group of persons).

Video of day

“Those who, in the conditions of a full-scale war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, are waiting for the ‘awakening of Mother Russia’ must understand that this harms the security and interests of Ukraine and our citizens,” SBU Chief Vasyl Malyuk said.

“And we won’t tolerate such (things).”

Ukraine’s SBU conducted a counter-intelligence operation at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP) on Nov. 22 after controversial footage of a religious service glorifying the “Russian world” appeared on social media.

In addition to the Lavra, SBU agents also searched the Koretsky Holy Trinity Monastery and the premises of the UOC’s Sarny-Polissia eparchy in Rivne Oblast.

On Nov. 12, a video of people praying for Russia in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was shared on the Internet, prompting Ukrainian law enforcers to open criminal proceedings.

On Nov. 15, the head of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Metropolitan Pavlo, admitted that while praying in the church, those present were singing a song about Russia, but he claimed it wasn’t connected to the church’s liturgical services.

Another UOC representative, Archimandrite Polikarp, said the priest overseeing services that day was busy and did not hear what “this group of activists was singing.” After that, the priest was banned from serving religions services.

The SBU said that all of its actions had been carried out as part of a special operation “to counter the subversive activities of the Russian special services in Ukraine.”

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