The sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra complicated – or Kyiv Monastery of the Caves – is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that falls underneath the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Russian Orthodox Church, whose head Patriarch Kirill has strongly supported Moscow’s army actions in Ukraine, condemned Tuesday’s raid as an “act of intimidation”.
The Safety Service of Ukraine (SBU) stated in an announcement: “These measures are being taken … as a part of the systemic work of the SBU to counter the damaging actions of Russian particular companies in Ukraine.”
It stated the search was geared toward stopping the usage of the cave monastery as “the centre of the Russian world” and carried out to look into suspicions “about the usage of the premises … for sheltering sabotage and reconnaissance teams, overseas residents, weapons storage”.
The “Russian world” idea is on the centre of President Vladimir Putin’s new overseas coverage doctrine that goals to guard Russia’s language, tradition and faith. It has been utilized by conservative ideologues to justify intervention overseas.
The SBU didn’t say what the results of Tuesday’s raid was.
The SBU, police and Nationwide Guard additionally searched on Tuesday two different monasteries and the headquarters of the Moscow Patriachate’s diocese in western Ukraine, the SBU’s department within the Rivne area stated in an announcement posted on Fb.
The raid will additional bitter already very tense relations between Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians.
“Like many different instances of persecution of believers in Ukraine since 2014, this act of intimidation of believers is sort of sure to go unnoticed by those that name themselves the worldwide human rights group,” stated Vladimir Legoida, a spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church.
Final Friday the SBU stated it had charged a senior clergyman from the western Vinnytsia area with making an attempt to distribute leaflets justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In Might, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate ended its ties with the Russian Church over the latter’s help for what Moscow calls its “particular army operation”.
Ukraine says the full-scale invasion started an unprovoked warfare of aggression.
A 2020 survey by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Centre discovered that 34% of Ukrainians recognized as members of the primary Orthodox Church of Ukraine, whereas 14% had been members of Ukraine’s Moscow Patriarchate Church.
In 2019, Ukraine was given permission by the religious chief of Orthodox Christians worldwide to type a church impartial of Moscow, largely ending centuries of non secular ties between the 2 nations.
(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Enhancing by Timothy Heritage, Alex Richardson and Gareth Jones)