During searches of the diocese of Chernivtsi and Bukovina of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, a 17-year-old boy was found in his underwear in the room of the secretary of the diocese, Archimandrite Nikita Storojuc, sources from the Security Service of Ukraine announced, according to the service in Russian by the BBC.
The first information on this subject was published by the daily newspaper LB.ua, which also posted a photo of the young man. A BBC News Ukraine source from the SBU confirmed these facts, including the young man’s age, but did not provide further details.
Archimandrite Nikita later posted a video message on the diocese’s Telegram channel, in which he claims that the SBU agents themselves stripped and photographed everyone who was in the consistory (diocesan administration) at the time of the search.
- “At 7 am, SBU representatives broke down the door, shouting and threatening, took every employee of the diocese out of their rooms, forced them to undress and put their hands on the wall. I expected to be shot. But they only photographed us from behind,
- These are the gifts that every Ukrainian Orthodox Christian can receive if he believes in God and does not want to give up the Orthodox faith, the faith of his parents and great-grandfathers,” according to the message in Russian published by him on Telegram.
According to LB.ua sources, the search was carried out in the consistory (diocese administration), targeting in particular the head of the diocese, Metropolitan Meletie of Chernivtsi and Bucovina, who is the most likely candidate for the position of head of the Caves Lavra monastery in Kyiv instead of Pavel .
The cited sources state that SBU officers found a 17-year-old boy who sings in the local choir in the room of the secretary of the Diocese of Chernivtsi, Archimandrite Nikita.
“As a result of investigative actions, police officers discovered documents confirming the presence of Russian citizenship in the management of diocesan structures. Also, the correspondence of diocesan leaders with their curators in Moscow was exposed, in which they receive “methodology” regarding the “peculiarities” of conducting church liturgies after large-scale invasions,” the SBU statement said.
According to the investigation, the representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church were given the task of disinforming about the socio-political situation in Ukraine and the situation on the front. In particular, the priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were asked to deny the armed aggression of Russia, to speak about the alleged oppression of the “Moscow Church”, etc.
We remind you that, in November, the SBU carried out a series of counterespionage activities within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, on November 22, searches took place at the Kiev Caves Lavra Monastery, the Holy Trinity Koretsky Monastery and in the Sarnensko-Polyska premises.