The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) will continue to investigate the activities of enemy agents who operate under the cover of church activities.
Source: Vasyl Maliuk, Acting Head of the SSU, in an interview for 1+1, Ukrainian TV channel
Quote: "We need to clean out the entire environment of enemy ‘moles’ in cassocks. We don't have a biased attitude, but if a person wears a cassock and carries a censer, this is not a mitigating circumstance if he commits a crime, or an aggravating one either.
For example, a spotter in a cassock who was recently exchanged. He had been adjusting fire on peaceful neighbourhoods. The court sentenced him to 12 years. We exchanged him and he has already gone to the enemy, confirming that he belonged to their special services. What does he have in common with God, I wonder?"
Details: According to Maliuk, there are now more than 50 criminal proceedings, 19 suspicions and 5 court sentences against churchmen.
When asked what took the SSU so long to expose the "FSB branch" within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, the head of the SSU replied enigmatically, "All in good time."
- On 1 December, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy reported that the National Security and Defence Council had instructed the Cabinet to propose that Parliament ban the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). He also initiated a review of the legality of the UOC-MP’s presence at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves).
- On 1 December, Zelenskyy put into effect personal sanctions against representatives of religious organisations that are affiliated with centres of influence in the Russian Federation.
- The SSU later released a list of ten sanctioned individuals linked to the UOC-MP.
- Over the last few weeks, the SSU has searched a number of UOC-MP establishments in Zhytomyr, Rivne, Zakarpattia, Kyiv, Kherson, Kharkiv and other oblasts.
- The Synod of the UOC-MP has asked Zelenskyy to lift the ban on sanctioned dioceses and demanded that the Kvartal 95 production studio and 1+1 TV channel should publicly apologise for mocking religion.