Friday, June 14, 2024

    SBU raid targets leadership of UOC MP’s Kirovohrad diocese

    Security Service (SBU) operatives searched the homes of the leadership and other clerics of the Kirovohrad Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

    The SBU reported this on one of the social networks.

    According to the security agency, individual representatives of the said community are involved in the spread of narratives that encroach on the territorial integrity of Ukraine and incite religious enmity.

    Raids were conducted in the Kirovohrad and Oleksandria dioceses, as well as at the homes of those targeted in the investigation.

    Among other things, they discovered the correspondence that the Metropolitan of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod had with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, also seizing a large amount of anti-Ukrainian propaganda pieces produced in Russia. According to preliminary estimates, they contain signs of the criminal offenses provided for by the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

    In particular, it is about Art. 110 – encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine; Art. 161 – violation of the equal rights of citizens depending on their racial, national, regional belonging, religious beliefs, disability, and on other grounds.

    During the pre-trial probe, it was established that anti-Ukrainian propaganda was actively distributed among clergymen and believers in order to form among them positions favorable to the aggressor ower. In particular, the annexation of Crimea was justified.

    The author of one of the discovered books is Andriy Novikov, former secretary of the Odesa diocese of the UOC MP, who left for the Russian Federation in 2014 because of his pro-Russian position. Currently, Novikov runs his own Telegram channel, where he promotes narratives in support of the Russian occupation forces, discrediting the Armed Forces and hatred toward the Ukrainian nation.

    At the initiative of the SBU, all seized materials were sent for examination. The Security Service continues to investigate this criminal case and is working to bring to justice all those guilty of encroaching on the independence, territorial integrity, and state sovereignty of Ukraine.

    It should be recalled that since the onset of war, the SBU has launched 23 criminal proceedings regarding the subversive activities of individual representatives of the UOC MP. Thirty-three suspects are being probed – from classic intelligence gathering assets to artillery fire spotters.