Kyiv’s Pecheri Monastery is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has publicly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the church has condemned the search of the monastery as an attempt at intimidation.
The Security Service of Ukraine has announced that this search is a systematic part of the fight against the destructive activities of Russian special services in Ukraine. The purpose of the search is to prevent the monastery from being used as the center of the so-called Russian world, the service revealed, adding that suspicions of using the monastery to hide sabotage and intelligence groups and foreign nationals and store weapons are also being investigated.
The Security Service of Ukraine did not reveal the result of the search.
The Security Service of Ukraine, the police and the National Guard today searched two more monasteries and the headquarters of the diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate in western Ukraine.
The raids are expected to further worsen relations between the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox churches.
The Security Service of Ukraine announced last Friday that it had charged a high-ranking cleric from the Vinnytsia region with trying to distribute leaflets justifying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In May, the synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate adopted a decision on complete autonomy and independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.