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Orthodox priest detained upon entering Kyiv

Monday, 19 December 2022, 14:25
Orthodox priest detained upon entering Kyiv

A clergyman with anti-Ukrainian views was detained as he entered Kyiv after border guards conducted a search of a bus on its way from Kharkiv to Kyiv.

Source: State Border Guard Service of Ukraine

Details: The priest was arrested on the eve of St Nicholas’ Day. The passenger stated that he was travelling to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves in Kyiv). A Ukrainian citizen born in 1976, he turned out to be a priest of the Kharkiv diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.


Ukrainian border guards found a lot of Russian phone numbers, messages with pro-Russian sentiments and compromising propagandistic materials from the aggressor country on the priest’s mobile phone.


Quote: "In his text messages, the detainee uses disparaging terms for Ukrainians such as ‘Banderites’ and ‘provincials’, refers to ‘Mother Russia’, and describes himself as a martyr. You can imagine what a priest like this preaches to his congregation. Here are a few quotes from his messages:

‘…I heard that you went to Mother Russia with your whole family….if that’s true then I’m happy for you!’

 ‘…I don’t want to go to all these meetings and look at those angry Banderite faces.’

‘…Some provincial told me they’ll calm down once we’ve been thrown off the bell towers.’ [The priest used a phrase heard mostly in Ukraine's west, meaning 'a shepherd from a meadow up the mountain' – ed.]

‘…Soon the Banderites will eat us all up or turn us in.’

The [last part of the] last message turned out to be true. The author of these messages has been handed over to the law enforcement authorities to be prosecuted accordingly."


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