The photo is being circulated across social media claiming that thousands of Ukrainians came out on the march “to protect the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.” The postings add that Kyivites are allegedly protesting en masse against the eviction of UOC (MP) monks from the Lavra premises and opposing the government move “to deprive the Orthodox of their faith.”
This is not true. In fact, the photos in question show people gathered for the Liturgy on the day of remembrance of the Cathedral of All Saints of Pechersk, reports Vox Ukraine.
A Reverse Google Image Search engine revealed that the photo of people being shared online was actually taken on March 12, 2023. That day, the faithful gathered for the Divine Liturgy in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on the day of commemoration of the Cathedral of All Saints of Pechersk. We also found a video of this event on the UOC (MP) page.
In fact, the authorities do not oppress Orthodox believers in Ukraine, and monks are not being expelled from the Lavra. On March 10, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve published a letter terminating the contract with the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the UOC for the free use of the premises. The reason for terminating the deal is the violation of the terms of the use of state property by the UOC (MP).