On Thursday, 30 November, the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) commenced searches at the Pochaiv Lavra (monastery) in Ternopil Oblast.
Source: Ukrainska Pravda source in law enforcement agencies; official statement from the SSU press service
Details: According to the source, SSU officers searched the Pochaiv Lavra, which belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), on Thursday morning.
The source explained that the reason for the visit is thought to be the spread of Russian ideology by representatives of the Lavra.
Updated at 12:00: Following this, the Security Service of Ukraine officially announced that it was conducting searches at the Pochaiv Lavra of the UOC-MP as part of criminal proceedings regarding the involvement of the Lavra’s leadership in inciting ethnic hatred.
The investigation found that a publication insulting the national honour and dignity of Jewish people and inciting religious hatred towards representatives of all churches other than the UOC-MP had been posted on the monastery's website by representatives of the Pochaiv Lavra.
UOC-MP clergy had also questioned Ukraine's existence as a sovereign state separate from Russia in this publication.
The Security Service-initiated investigation confirmed that the online publication contained statements inciting ethnic hatred.
An investigation is ongoing to establish all the circumstances of the crime within the framework of criminal proceedings under Article 161 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (violation of the equality of citizens on the basis of their racial, ethnic or religious affiliation, religious beliefs, disability and other characteristics).