According to the report, some local representatives of the Moscow Patriarchate were involved in “incitement of religious hatred” and calls for “encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” Individuals involved are expected to be charged with the corresponding offences.
The searches uncovered compromising correspondence with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, along with large quantities of Russian propaganda materials. Patriarch Kirill is an outspoken supporter of Moscow’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
“Anti-Ukrainian materials were actively distributed among the clergy and their flock, in order to propagate narratives, beneficial to Russia,” SBU said.
“In particular, they justified the occupation of Crimea. One of the seized books was written by Andrei Novikov, the former secretary of the Odesa diocese of the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, who left for Russia in 2014 due to his pro-Russian views. Currently, Novikov runs his own Telegram channel, where he promotes narratives that support Russia’s invasion, discredit the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and spread hatred for the Ukrainian nation.”
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