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"Pious people call me from Moscow": Security Service of Ukraine discloses evidence on abbot of Kyiv monastery

Saturday, 1 April 2023, 13:17
Pious people call me from Moscow: Security Service of Ukraine discloses evidence on abbot of Kyiv monastery

The Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) says it has gathered substantiated evidence that Metropolitan Pavlo (born Petro Lebid), the former Abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves), was involved in inciting religious hatred and justifying and denying Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine.

Source: Security Service of Ukraine

Details: The SSU posted an excerpt from Pavlo’s phone conversations and sermons.


The SSU has also released a video of Lebid being served with a notice of suspicion.

The investigators say they have established that in his public speeches, Lebid repeatedly insulted the religious feelings of Ukrainians, humiliated the views of believers of other denominations and attempted to create hostile attitudes towards them, and made statements justifying or denying the actions of the aggressor country. A forensic linguistic examination initiated by the Security Service confirmed this.

Quote from SSU Chief Vasyl Maliuk: "The law, and responsibility for breaking it, are the same for everyone, and the cassock is not necessarily a guarantee of pure intentions. Today, the enemy is trying to use the church to promote its propaganda and fracture Ukrainian society. But we will not give them a single chance [to do this]! The SSU systematically blocks all attempts by the Russian secret services to use their agents to harm the interests and security of Ukraine." 


  • On 1 April, it became known that the Security Service was conducting searches at the home of Metropolitan Pavlo. He was served with a notice of suspicion under two articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine: Art. 161 (infringement of the equal rights of citizens depending on their race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds) and Art. 436.2 (justification, recognition as legitimate or denial of the Russian Federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine or glorification of its participants).
  • Lebid was taken to the court so that a restrictive measure could be selected. The churchman insisted that he "has never been on the side of aggression".

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