11 buildings in the Lower Lavra back under state control - Ostapenko
Acting Director-General Maksym Ostapenko announced this in a comment to Ukrinform.
"The reserve transferred 79 objects to the monastery. However, a significant portion of them are pavements, caves, underground structures, fortress walls, supporting walls, and architectural forms. Only 40-42 facilities are actual buildings: residential, technical, and religious ones. Out of these 40 facilities, we have returned 11 to the control of the reserve and completely oversee them. About 30 facilities are yet to be returned," he explained.
Ostapenko emphasized that they are taking control of premises that were used for manufacturing, trading, restaurants, or cafes – which were not stipulated in the agreement between the UOC-MP [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate] and the reserve. These premises are currently being used by unknown individuals and clearly do not align with the goals of the reserve and the monastery.
"Objects where monks reside, or services are conducted will certainly not be touched. We don't have legal grounds for that until the court's decision takes effect," the acting Director-General added.
He noted that representatives of the UOC-MP are continuing to stay in the Lavra, using the ongoing legal procedures. However, after the final court decisions, the monks must either prove that they have no ties with the aggressor state, establish a new format of relations with the state, and seek to extend the usage of Lavra premises based on a new transparent agreement – or vacate those premises.
On August 10, the Kyiv Economic Court ordered the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra of the UOC-MP (male monastery) to remove obstacles in the use of property owned by the National Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Reserve by returning it.
Meanwhile, on August 9, the Kyiv Economic Court deemed the termination of the agreement on free usage of premises in the Lower Lavra, which was concluded between the UOC-MP monastery and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Reserve, as lawful.