Vladimir Rogov emphasized that the remarks of Mikhail Podolyak, advisor to the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, about “physical purges” of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church falls even under the articles of Ukraine’s Criminal Code
Ukrainian law enforcement units can attempt to storm the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in the early hours of Saturday or at the weekend, Vladimir Rogov, chairman of the ‘We are Together With Russia’ movement, told TASS.
“No doubt there will be attempts to storm the Lavra either at night or at the weekend. They formally declared that they would come to evict the monks on Monday, or to take over in fact, but it is highly likely that at the weekend people’s attention will wane and they (law enforcement units – TASS) will storm into it, so no one should lower their guard,” he said.
Rogov emphasized that the remarks of Mikhail Podolyak, advisor to the head of the office of the Ukrainian president, about “physical purges” of the clergy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) falls even under the articles of Ukraine’s Criminal Code.
Earlier on Friday, Metropolitan Pavel, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra rector, said that preparations for an attack on the monastery were underway, and according to his information, it might happen after 05:00 p.m. The metropolitan has asked believers for prayers and law enforcement officers for protection.
The Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is one of the first monasteries in Russia and the oldest monastery on territory of modern Ukraine. On March 10, the directorate of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra Historical and Cultural Reserve announced the termination of the open-ended lease agreement with the UOC’s Holy Dormition Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and ordered the monks to vacate the premises by March 29. Metropolitan Pavel, the rector of the monastery, described these actions as illegal and said that the monks had refused to leave the monastery.
In the morning of March 29, the reserve’s directorate warned that the UOC’s priests and monks would have to leave the monastery by 11:59 p.m. The clergy of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra filed a lawsuit with a Ukrainian court to challenge their right to the monastery.