Wednesday, April 17, 2024

    SBU presses new charges against UOIC-MP cleric in Vinnytsia for justifying Russian aggression

    The Security Service of Ukraine continues to expose new facts of subversive activities by the head of one of the dioceses of the UOC MP in Vinnytsia region, says the agency’s report.

    The SBU does not name the suspect, but in the context of past reports, it is likely to be Metropolitan of the UOC MP Ionafan (Yelecki)

    “It was established that the head of the diocese prepared propaganda leaflets in which he justified the Russian armed aggression and the temporary occupation of the eastern and southern regions of Ukraine,” the SBU said in a statement.

    In addition, in his “sermons” he called for the seizure of state power and violation of the borders of Ukraine.

    He kept the pro-Kremlin print materials in the auxiliary premises of the church. He planned to organize their distribution to local residents through the diocese office, the investigation believes.

    An independent examination initiated by the SBU confirmed that the cleric had acted against the state security of Ukraine.

    Thus, the investigators of the Security Service charged the cleric under:

    Part 3 of article 436-2 (justification, recognition as legitimate, denial of the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine),

    Part 2 of Art. 109 (distribution of materials calling for a violent overthrow of constitutional order),

    Part 1 of Art. 110 (circulating appeals to alter the borders of Ukraine) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

    Earlier, according to the materials of the Ukrainian security agency, Metropolitan Ionafan (Yelecki) was served with suspicion for part 2 of Art. 161 (violation of the equality of citizens depending on their racial, national, regional affiliation, religious beliefs, disability and on other grounds) of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

    Currently, a pre-trial investigation is underway to establish all the circumstances of the alleged offenses. Measures to document illegal actions were carried out by the SBU Office in Vinnytsia region under the procedural guidance of the regional prosecutor’s office.

    It should be recalled that on the morning of November 7, the Security Service of Ukraine pressed charges against Metropolitan (UOC MP) Ionafan (Yelecki) of Tulchyn and Bratslav under Part 2 of Art. 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the equality of citizens depending on their racial, national, regional affiliation, religious beliefs, disability and on other grounds). According to the conclusions of the investigation, the metropolitan deliberately acted toward inciting religious enmity and insulting the feelings of citizens in connection with their religious beliefs. On the same day, the UOC MP assured that Metropolitan Ionafan, the SBU suspect, is sure of his own innocence.

    On October 11, it became known that the Security Service exposed Metropolitan Ionafan (Yelecki), the head of one of the UOC-MP dioceses in Vinnytsia, who justified Russian aggression and incited inter-denominational enmity among believers. During authorized raids of residences and religious buildings, law enforcement officers seized computer equipment and mobile terminals, pro-Russian print press and propaganda literature. The ROC itself stated that Metropolitan Ionafan, accused by the SBU, continued to commemorate Russian Patriarch Kirill. The mass media reported that Metropolitan Ionafan, who was searched by the SBU, was preparing to escape from contry. Also, the Moscow Patriarchate included Ionafan in its list at the Synod and essentially disposes of the bishops and archimandrites of the UOC MP as its own clergy. The media reported that certain pressure is being exerted on the detectives working on the Ionafan case.

    On October 20, the clergy of the Tulchyn Diocese of the UOC MP declared their full confidence in Metropolitan Ionafan (Yelecki) of Tulchyn and Bratslav whose home had been raided by the SBU, which found evidence of his cooperation with the aggressor power Russia. The clerics supported the statement of Metropolitan Ionafan, in which he denies his involvement in cooperation with Russia. Clergymen of the UOC MP called on parishioners not to believe the “speculations spread by mass media about the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its pastors.”

    On October 31, 2022, the SBU reported the raids in two dioceses of the UOC MP and investigative actions targeting bishops of the UOC MP in Kirovohrad region. This is about Metropolitan Ioasaf (Guben) of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod and Metropolitan Bogolyep (Honcharenko) of Oleksandriya and Svitlovodsk. According to the agency, individual representatives of the community are involved in the spread of ideas that encroach on the territorial integrity of Ukraine and incite religious enmity.