"I saw Russian special services with my own eyes," - the head of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs about the Svyatogorsk Lavra
She said this in an interview with Radio Svoboda (Liberty).
According to Laputina, despite the fact that in Ukraine the Church is separated from the state, Russia "even at the doctrinal level positions the Church as an element of soft power that changes the behavior of the population of the state where it is located, in the interests of Russia."
"One can tell a lot about the Svyatogorsk Lavra, but I visited it when I was in the occupied Donetsk region. And I saw Russian special services there with my own eyes. Let's just say special forces," Laputina said.
According to her, the Ukrainian military reported this to the anti-terrorist operation's headquarters, but she does not know what decisions the command made.
"I do not know what decisions were made. But it did happen. Carrying Russian weapons, radio stations, having negotiations with units that were located near the border with Ukraine from the Russian side. This is what we saw with our own eyes," the minister said.
She added that court judgments have been ruled regarding some citizens who "are related to the relevant religious direction and committed actions to the detriment of the security of Ukraine," to bring them to criminal responsibility.
Svyatogorsk Lavra is located in the Ukrainian-controlled part of the Donetsk region.