The Metropolitan of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate is accused of justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine and insulting the feelings of believers.
It has been established that Pavel Lebed in his public speeches repeatedly insulted the religious feelings of Ukrainians, humiliated the views of believers of other faiths and tried to form hostile attitudes towards them, and also made statements justifying or denying the actions of the aggressor country. This was also confirmed by a forensic linguistic examination initiated by the Security Service.
Metropolitan Pavel, known in Ukraine under the nickname ‘Pasha Mercedes’, is the rector of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra in Kyiv.
The SSU has published fragments of the conversation of Metropolitan Pavel in which he speaks positively about the Russian invasion.
During the past week, there was a confrontation between the monks of the Lavra and the security forces of Ukraine. The monks were ordered to leave the Lavra because the lease agreement with the UOC was terminated. The monks refused to leave the monastery, citing the fact that they had nowhere to go.
The Caves Monastery was founded in 1051 under Yaroslav the Wise. Kiev-Pechora Lavra, one of the first monastic cloisters, is the most important shrine of Orthodox believers. Historically, the Lavra is under the jurisdiction of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Soon after the split of the UOC in 2014 and the granting of autocephaly to the OCU, many disputes arose regarding the Kiev-Pechora Lavra, and the outbreak of war further aggravated the situation.
Currently, Metropolitan Pavel has been placed under house arrest for a period of 2 months. It is likely that other charges will be brought against him, up to charges of high treason.