SBU detains priest of Kremlin-linked church over spreading pro-Russian propaganda

A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has been detained for allegedly spreading pro-Russian propaganda during sermons, Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) reported on Nov. 21.

The priest also used his own Telegram channel to spread Russian propaganda narratives about the invasion of Ukraine, as well as criticize the Ukrainian army, according to the SBU.

The SBU also reported that he praised Russian-backed warlords in Donetsk, who were allegedly assassinated before the full-scale invasion, via his Telegram channel.

The priest served the Vinnytsia Diocese but was hiding “in several regions of Ukraine,” until he was eventually found and detained.

He is suspected of justifying Russian armed aggression against Ukraine and performing actions aimed at the violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order.

Ukraine has two main Orthodox churches: the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Kyiv Patriarchate).

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is subordinate to the Russian Orthodox Church and has been accused of aligning with the Russian government during the war, which the church’s leadership has denied.

Read also: Priest of Moscow-linked church sentenced to 15 years for spying for Russia

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