Thursday, June 20, 2024

    President: We won’t allow Russia to destroy Ukrainian shrines

    President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasizes that the authorities will not allow Russia to destroy or loot Ukrainian Lavras.

    This is stated in Zelensky’s latest address to the nation.

    “This week there is also a movement to strengthen our spiritual independence. Society sees this. And I see the approval of Ukrainians for these steps, which are quite legitimate. And we will continue this movement. We will not allow the terrorist state to have any opportunity to manipulate the spirituality of our people, to destroy Ukrainian shrines – our Lavras – or to steal any valuables from them.,” Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.

    On March 11, the Minister of Culture and Information Policy, Oleksandr Tkachenko, warned representatives of the UOC (MP) of criminal liability in case any museum exhibits were moved from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to another location, including relics of saints.

    On March 10, the management of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve announced the termination of the free-of-charge lease contract with the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Men’s Monastery of the UOC (in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate) from March 29 of this year. In response, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) stated that they cannot move from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, claiming there are “no legal grounds” to this end.

    According to the Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko, the contract with the UOC (MP) was terminated due to a violation of the terms of use of state property. Thirty-six new buildings, illegally erected at the Lavra premises, were discovered by the state audit.

    The Russian Orthodox Church has already reacted to the eviction notice, calling it “the height of lawlessness” and “persecution” of the “canonical Church.”