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SBU warns of provocations on eve of Unification Council and creation of Unified Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church (video)

The SBU documented intentions to organize provocations in Kyiv and the regions on the eve of Unification Council and the creation of the Unified Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, SBU Deputy Head Viktor Kononenko reported at the briefing.

Special service operatives established that in November 2018 a Kyiv resident who repeatedly participated in actions of various political structures was contacted by a person who called himself Yurii. Yurii said he was an active member of the so-called “Anti-Maidan” now hiding in Moscow, and offered to hold protest rallies in Ukraine. The Kyiv resident was invited to arrive on November 26 to Minsk for the meeting; when in Minsk, the meeting location had been changed to Moscow.

In Moscow, Yurii offered the man to hold anti-Tomos propaganda actions (Tomos - document issued by the highest church hierarchy of the Orthodox Church) and actions against the creation of the Unified Local Orthodox Church in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. In order to realize these illegal intentions, Yurii gave USD 5,000. “The provided instructions included a requirement to acquire a new phone and a SIM card, for setting up a secure mobile link with Yurii,” emphasized Viktor Kononenko. It was also necessary to contact the coordinator of the planned action, who is a member of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra clergy. To start the interaction, he had to say the password, “we are from Alexander Ivanovich”.

After returning, Ukrainian citizen appealed to the SBU, informing the Service about the received proposal. “He was alerted by the overpriced order price and by persona of Yurii who, judging by his behavior and the use of conspiracy, looked more like an officer of Russian Special Services rather than a former member of Anty-Maidan,” noted the SBU Deputy Head.

Under the SBU control , the organiser of the provocation contacted Yurii, who said that the coordinator of the illegal action in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra is a priest named Pavlo. “Further, we established that the said person is actually Metropolitan Pavlo, the Governor of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra,” said Victor Kononenko. Yurii also sent slogans for posters to be used during the protest action.

Special service operatives have documented that on December 8, in accordance with the instructions provided by the Russian side, a meeting was held with Metropolitan Pavlo, who, after voicing the password, invited the organizers of the action to his office and held a conversation with them. “It should be noted that, probably, after the searches, Metropolitan Pavlo behaved very cautiously,” said the SBU Deputy Head.

On December 10, the ordering party announced the dates of provocations - December 13-14, at 12:00, on the territory of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, during the religious service.

Having obtained this information and having carried out reconnaissance on the ground, SBU decided to stop the operative work and publish the results. “After all, the main version we are considering today is the commission of a crime against the people who were planned to be involved in the action,” stressed Viktor Kononenko. According to him, the ordering party planned to specially recruit individuals for execution of resonant criminal acts, which would have resulted in killings and injuries to ordinary citizens. This, on the one hand, should have become a confirmation of the earlier “horror stories” about the alleged persecution of those attending Ukraine Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) by radicals and seizure of the holy place, while jeopardizing the Unification Council, on the other hand. Another reason for the decision on disclosure of data was the SBU receiving operative information on holding of a meeting of the so-called “DNR” leadership, headed by representatives of Russia’s special services (on December 6, at the former building of the Ukrainian Security Service in Donetsk region (Donetsk)). Meeting participants discussed the issue of Ukraine’s receiving Tomos and possible counter-measures. Participants of the meeting decided to organize the religious processions of Ukraine Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchy) in Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Mykolaiv on the day of the Unification Council. During the processions, violent clashes with law enforcement officers would have been provoked, with the mandatory creation of a “bloody picture” for the Russian media. To increase the number of victims, it was planned to attract the elderly, the disabled and the sick. At the conclusion of the briefing, Victor Kononenko, on behalf of the SBU Collegium, SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak, urged all believers against provocations and against becoming “cannon fodder” in order to satisfy the imperial ambitions of “foreign puppeteers”. “I appeal to representatives of all, without exception, of public and political associations, asking them to refrain from conducting any actions during this period and from provision of grounds for any confrontation that can be used by the aggressor to weaken or discredit our state,” said the SBU Deputy Head.


SBU Press Centre


For the Attention of the SBU Head





Zhydkov Dmytro Mykhailovych
Shevchenko Daniil Borysovych
Yatsenko Viktor Viacheslavovych

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