Searched And arrested For suspected pro-Russian propaganda. Saturday morning the home of Metropolitan Pavela member of the Moscow Orthodox Church and vicar of the Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kiev, was sifted by the men of the SBU, the Ukrainian secret service. The Prosecutor General’s Office of Ukraine asked for the home detentionaccusing him of havingoffended religious feelings of the Ukrainians and justified the attack of the Russian Federation”. “The law and responsibility for breaking it are the same for everyone, and priestly robes are not always a guarantee of pure intentions. Today the enemy is trying to use the church environment for promote its propaganda and divide Ukrainian society,” said the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk. The intelligence also released snippets of the personal conversations of the metropolitan who would confirm the accusations made against him: in one of the tapes, the abbot reportedly rejoices at theoccupation of Khersoncalling the fighting “a war between America and Russia down to the last Ukrainian”.
The hearing that will have to decide on the house arrest has been postponed to Monday: in the courtroom the religious – who accused a slight illness – declared that he was against the invasion, but never mentioned Russia. “I have done nothing to be accused. This is a political case. I have never been on the side of aggression. I am against aggression. Now I am in Ukraine, this is my land,” he told the judge. The Ukrainian authorities had ordered monks loyal to the Patriarch of Moscow Kirill – organic to the regime of Vladimir Putin – to leave the monastery by 29 March. At the same time, the Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oleksandr Tkachenko, had offered them to stay, but only on the condition of moving to the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine. Irony was unleashed on social media about Pavel for the designer scarf which he wore when speaking to the faithful and journalists before the interrogation: “Nothing strange, just”Pasha Mercedes” (nickname given to the cleric due to his taste for luxury) with a Louis Vuitton scarf,” writes the independent Belarusian news site Nexta on Twitter.