SSU conducts searches of leadership of moscow patriarchate’s Ukrainian orthodox church in Kirovohrad region

The SSU has conducted searches of the leadership and representatives of Kirovohrad Diocese of moscow patriarchate’s Ukrainian orthodox church (UOC-MP). According to the investigation, certain representatives of this diocese are involved in spreading ideas that encroach on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inciting religious hatred.

The searches were carried out in Kirovohrad and Oleksandria dioceses as well as at the suspects’ homes.

Among other things, investigators found correspondence of Kirovohrad and Novomyrhorod metropolitan with patriarch kiril of moscow and seized a large amount of russian-produced anti-Ukrainian materials. According to preliminary findings, the texts of the seized items indicate committing criminal offences under the Criminal Code of Ukraine, in particular:

  • encroachment on Ukraine’s territorial integrity and inviolability (Article 110);
  • violation of citizens’ equality depending on their race, nationality, region, religious beliefs, disability and other grounds (Article 161).

The pre-trial investigation established that the anti-Ukrainian materials had been actively distributed among clergymen and believers to form attitudes and positions favorable for the aggressor state. For example, they justified the annexation of Crimea.

The author of one the books seized during searches is Andriy Novikov, former secretary of the UOC-MP Odesa Diocese, who left for russia in 2014 because of his pro-russian position.

Novikov currently runs his own Telegram channel, where promotes narratives in support of russian occupation troops, discredits the Armed Forces of Ukraine and expresses hatred of the Ukrainian nation.

All seized items were sent for examination. The SSU continues to investigate this criminal proceeding and is working to bring to justice all those involved in encroachment on Ukraine’s independence, territorial integrity and state sovereignty.

Since the start of the war, the SSU has opened 23 criminal proceedings on subversive activities of individual representatives of the UOC-MP. Within these cases, there are already 33 suspects - from classic information gathering agents to forward observers adjusting enemy strikes.