Two options for Russia supporters in the UOC-MP: cooperate with the investigation or face prison with hopes of exchange – expert opinion
In this regard, he provided a comment to Glavkom (a news outlet).
"The court has delivered the first verdict to a high-ranking metropolitan of the UOC-MP. But the most interesting part is that the metropolitan himself fully admitted guilt and decided to cooperate with the investigation.
We are referring to a long-time close associate of Patriarch Kirill, former head of the UOC-MP Eparchy of Kirovohrad, Metropolitan Iosaf. He was exposed by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) in December for pro-Russian agitation, but he chose to cooperate with the investigation and fully confessed to his guilt. Taking these circumstances into account, he received three years of imprisonment (with a probationary period of two years) for inciting religious enmity.
I understand that some would like to see swift and forceful measures taken against the UOC-MP and lifelong sentences for pro-Russian agitators. But here, a traditional dilemma arises: 'Do you want to win the game or quit?'
In Russia, there exists a strong longing for interfaith violence in Ukraine. Nevertheless, the meticulous efforts of our special services within the church milieu yield far greater advantages. I firmly believe that Metropolitan Iosaf's choice to collaborate with the investigation will act as a signal to other metropolitans of the UOC-MP. The process is already in motion! I have received reports from my sources about instances where representatives of the UOC-MP leadership are already disclosing crimes perpetrated by other church hierarchs.
Now, as a result of the pressure exerted by the SBU, those within the UOC-MP who held sympathies towards Russia have come to understand that they are left with only two choices: cooperating with the investigation and providing detailed evidence, or facing a substantial prison sentence in the hope of being exchanged in Russia.
With an understanding of the church environment, I am certain that the majority will choose the first option. As for the instigators and direct agents among the clergy, their choice is even narrower: a long prison term for treason, up to life," summarized Oleksiy Holubytskyi.