Ukraine’s Security Service said a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine in the Kupiansk district of Kharkiv Oblast called on the local religious community to support the invaders during the occupation. He also justified the crimes of the aggressor in the war against Ukraine in his “sermons.” Finally, he also supported Russian soldiers with information, and food, and tried to recruit locals to serve in the Russian army. During Ukraine’s counteroffensive and the liberation of the Kupiansk district, he fled to Russia together with a local woman who helped him.
In addition, the priest personally contacted the occupation administration of the Kupiansk district. He sent a “thank you” letter to the so-called “head of the military-civil administration of the Kharkiv Oblast”. In the letter, he thanked the Russian military for “welfare and help,” the SBU said, adding the photo of the letter.
The Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine recently proclaimed it officially parted with its Moscow headquarters to become an independent church branch under the official name “Ukrainian Orthodox Church.” At the same time, numerous of its priests have supported the Russian invasion in contrast to the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine based in Kyiv.