Zelenskyy imposes personal sanctions against religious organizations affiliated with UOC MP

2 December 2022, 06:44 PM
Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:www.president.gov.ua)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy (Photo:www.president.gov.ua)

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed personal sanctions against representatives of religious organizations affiliated with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP), according to a Dec. 1 presidential decree.

The decree follows a decision made by the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC), which stipulates that it is meant to “support the proposals submitted by Ukraine’s SBU security service regarding the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions).”

On Dec. 1, Zelenskyy said that the NSDC had instructed the State Service for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience to conduct an examination of the statute on the UOC’s management to find out a possible connection with the Moscow Patriarchate and to take appropriate measures if necessary.

Video of day

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

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.

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.

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.”

The patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Vladimir Gundyayev, has made public statements in support of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and is known to have been a KGB agent during the Soviet Union. A number of UOC MP priests have been revealed to have collaborated with Russian invasion forces, as well.

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