SBU intelligence service says the raid was to analyze suspicions of Russia utilizing the advanced for sabotage and to retailer weapons.
Ukraine’s safety service and police have raided a 1,000-year-old Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv to counter suspected “subversive actions by Russian particular providers”.
The sprawling Kyiv Pechersk Lavra advanced – or Kyiv Monastery of the Caves – is a Ukrainian cultural treasure and its cathedral, church buildings and different buildings are a UNESCO-listed World Heritage web site.
Overlooking the precise financial institution of the Dnieper River, additionally it is the headquarters of the Russian-backed wing of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and falls underneath the Moscow Patriarchate.
The Ukrainian counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism service mentioned the search was a part of its “systematic work to counter the subversive actions of the Russian particular providers in Ukraine”.
The assertion from the intelligence service, generally known as the SBU for its initials in Ukrainian, mentioned the operation was aimed toward stopping the usage of the monastery as “the centre of the Russian world” and carried out to look into suspicions “about the usage of the premises … for sheltering sabotage and reconnaissance teams, international residents, [and] weapons storage”. It mentioned one other web site was additionally being searched within the Rivne area, 240 kilometres (150 miles) west of the capital.
The “Russian world” idea is on the centre of President Vladimir Putin’s new international coverage doctrine, which goals to guard Russia’s language, tradition and faith. It has been utilized by conservative ideologues to justify intervention overseas.
The SBU didn’t elaborate on the end result of the operation.
Battle deepens cut up
In Russia, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Ukrainian authorities of “waging a struggle on the Russian Orthodox Church”.
He described the search “as one other hyperlink within the chain of those aggressive actions towards Russian Orthodoxy”.
Moscow-based church authorities have repeatedly voiced help for the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who heads the Russian Orthodox Church, has described the struggle as a “metaphysical struggle” between Moscow and the West. He condemned Tuesday’s search as “an act of intimidation”.
The raid will additional pressure already tense relations between Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Christians.
“Like many different instances of persecution of believers in Ukraine since 2014, this act of intimidation of believers is sort of sure to go unnoticed by those that name themselves the worldwide human rights neighborhood,” mentioned Vladimir Legoyda, a spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church.
The SBU operation follows a November 12 service on the Pechersk Lavra advanced the place a Ukrainian Orthodox priest was filmed speaking in regards to the “awakening” of Russia.
The SBU mentioned it was “wanting into the main points of the incident that occurred in one of many temples of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra – the place songs praising the ‘Russian world’ had been sung”.
Final Friday, the SBU mentioned it had charged a senior clergyman from the western Vinnytsia area with trying to distribute leaflets justifying Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
In Might, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate ended its ties with the Russian Church over the latter’s help for what Moscow calls a “particular army operation”.
Ukraine says the full-scale invasion was an unprovoked struggle of aggression.
A 2020 survey by the Kyiv-based Razumkov Centre discovered that 34 p.c of Ukrainians recognized as members of the primary Orthodox Church of Ukraine, whereas 14 p.c had been members of Ukraine’s Moscow Patriarchate Church.
In 2019, Ukraine was given permission by the religious chief of Orthodox Christians worldwide to kind a church unbiased of Moscow, largely ending centuries of spiritual ties between the 2 nations.