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Priest from Moscow-linked church who praised terrorists is detained Security Service of Ukraine

Tuesday, 21 November 2023, 10:33
Priest from Moscow-linked church who praised terrorists is detained  Security Service of Ukraine
PHOTO: UKRAINSKA PRAVDA SOURCE

Law enforcement officers have detained a priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) suspected of pro-Russian activities, who had been hiding from the investigation.

Source: Security Service of Ukraine (SSU); Vinnytsia Oblast Prosecutor's Office; Ukrainska Pravda source in law enforcement agencies

Details: The SSU exposed the criminal actions of the rector of a church in the UOC-MP’s Vinnytsia Diocese who had denied Russia's armed aggression and justified the temporary occupation of part of Ukraine. 

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Ukrainska Pravda has information that the priest in question is Dmytro Tikhov, 53. 

According to the SSU, the churchman parroted the Kremlin's narratives about a "civil war" in our state on his Telegram channel and praised Givi and Motorola, former fighters in Alexander Zakharchenko’s terrorist organisation in the "Donetsk People’s Republic".

 
PHOTO: UKRAINSKA PRAVDA SOURCE 

The cleric also distributed personal comments in which he attempted to discredit the Ukrainian military and insulted the religious sensibilities of representatives of different faiths. 

He used internet propaganda from the Russian Federation, including the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church, to put together his destructive content. 

The archpriest also spread anti-Ukrainian propaganda during his sermons and in conversations with his parishioners. 

Mobile phones and computers containing evidence of subversive activities in favour of the Russian Federation were found during searches at the cleric's home. 

Expert analysis by the SSU has confirmed that he committed criminal activities against the Ukrainian state. 

Based on the evidence collected, SSU investigators have served the cleric with a notice of suspicion under two articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

  • Article 436-2.2 (justification, legitimisation and denial of the Russian Federation’s armed aggression against Ukraine and glorification of its participants);
  • Article 109.2 (actions aimed at forcibly changing or overthrowing the constitutional order or seizing state power). 

The suspect is reported to have been a fugitive from justice in several oblasts of Ukraine, but the SSU acted quickly to establish his location and detain him.

He has been remanded in custody as a pre-trial restriction. The investigation continues so that all the circumstances of his crimes can be established.

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