Hierarchs of Moscow Patriarchate to face real prison terms following SBU actions - expert opinion

09.08.2023, 17:20
Hierarchs of Moscow Patriarchate to face real prison terms following SBU actions - expert opinion - фото 1
Pro-Russian hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) are being sentenced to actual prison terms as a result of actions taken by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Political analyst and former MP Oleksandr Chernenko writes about this, as reported by "DS" (Dilova Stolytsia).

"Just recently, a well-known high-ranking member of the UOC-MP, Metropolitan Ionafan of Tulchyn, received a 5-year prison sentence. Ionafan is one of the 'clients' of the SBU. He distributed leaflets to parishioners urging them to hand over our lands to Russia. During security operations conducted in UOC-MP churches across the country for a considerable period of time, Ionafan came into the sights of Malyuk's subordinates. In total, there are 64 clergy members (including 15 bishops!) mentioned in criminal cases by the SBU. Moreover, courts have already issued 14 verdicts," emphasizes the political analyst.

The expert highlights that for decades, Russia utilized the UOC-MP to establish its network of agents.

"What is happening now is that the SBU has neutralized this network and continues to dismantle it. This is an extremely significant contribution to strengthening the defensive capabilities of our rear," underscores the former MP.

In reference to the recent release on bail of Lavra's Deputy Head, Pavlo (Lebid), Chernenko expressed that the individual under suspicion should exercise caution in deriving excessive satisfaction from this development. He asserted, "The 'Pasha Mercedes' case is firmly grounded in legal principles. Therefore, the implicated party should not take undue delight in their interim release due to legal loopholes, as a definitive verdict looms on the horizon. On a legislative front, avenues enabling individuals of such criminal nature to secure bail ought to be sealed. Furthermore, the financial authorities must diligently trace the source of nearly a million dollars contributed towards the 'Mercedes' matter. The anecdotes gathered at the Lavra are truly farcical," Chernenko concluded.

As previously disclosed, relying on evidence provided by the Security Service of Ukraine, another bishop within the UOC-MP, specifically the leader of the Tulchyn Diocese, Ionafan Yeletsky, who openly endorsed Russian military aggression against Ukraine, has been found guilty. The sentence pronounced is a 5-year imprisonment term."