12 buildings of the Lower Lavra returned under the reserve's control
This update comes from Maksym Ostapenko, the Acting Director of the National Reserve "Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra," in a recent statement to Ukrinform.
It is worth mentioning that 79 properties were previously transferred to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC). Among them, around 40 are fully-fledged structures, including residential facilities. Presently, 12 of these structures have been fully reinstated under the supervision and administration of the reserve. Certain properties are still in the possession of the monastery's monks.
Ostapenko underscored that until the conclusion of ongoing legal proceedings between the reserve and representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the monks will continue to utilize both the religious and residential premises as they have done in the past.
"The structures not explicitly covered by the agreement, such as commercial and hotel establishments, as well as the seminary-academy, are expected to be vacated. However, the monks will maintain unfettered access to the spaces they traditionally occupy, which include the caves, refectories, cells, and places of worship," explained the Acting Director of the reserve.
Simultaneously, he expressed his belief that the majority of UOC monks adhere to pro-Ukrainian sentiments. Over time, "liberated from their obligations, particularly those connected to Patriarch Kirill, they are likely to adopt a pro-Ukrainian stance and find a suitable way to continue their service at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.