Updated on 12/14/2022 at 9:46 pm
- Ukrainian secret service SBU found “propaganda writings” during raids on Orthodox churches and monasteries.
- According to the SBU, Russian passports, propaganda literature and permits were seized during the raids.
- The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate since the 17th century as a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Ukraine’s domestic secret service, the SBU, has shut down further tests due to possible links Russia “Propaganda writings” are found in Orthodox churches and monasteries. The SBU said on Wednesday that he seized “Russian passports, propaganda literature and permits” issued by Russian occupation authorities during searches of religious sites across the country. He wants to use measures to prevent abuse of religious communities as the center of the “Russian world”.
The domestic intelligence had already announced these operations
Additionally, he wanted to “protect people from provocation and acts of terrorism”. Internal intelligence earlier announced “counterintelligence operations” at a dozen religious sites in several Ukrainian regions, including Lviv in the west, Kherson in the south and Zhytomyr in the northwest.
Pro-Russian writings deny the existence of the Ukrainian people
of intelligence It published photos of confiscated Russian passports, Russian military insignia and pro-Russian writing. According to the SBU, Russian representatives deny “the existence of the Ukrainian people, their language and culture.” They also questioned the Ukrainian government. Other photos released show khaki uniforms and priests in long black robes inspecting religious sites.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church officially split from Moscow in May
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate since the 17th century as a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Parts of it broke with Moscow as early as 2019 as a result of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support for pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region in the country’s east. In May, after the Russian attack on Ukraine, he completely broke with Moscow.
In early December, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced restrictions on the activities of religious organizations and groups with ties to Russia. It was intended to prevent “subversive activities of the Russian secret service in the field of religion”. A bill for that should be submitted to Parliament and passed.
At the end of November, the SBU had already seized “pro-Russian literature” and money in several Orthodox monasteries during raids due to possible links to Russia, and was investigating several people. In total, he searched more than 350 church buildings during that time, including the Lavra Pechersk Cave Monastery in the capital Kyiv, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In an interview, Pope Francis shared the Kremlin’s narrative that NATO was complicit in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Among other things, the head of the Catholic Church accused the security alliance of “barking at Russia’s door.” Experts, on the other hand, point to Russia’s aspirations to become a great power. (Preview: AFP/Vincenzo Pinto)
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