Security Service of Ukraine accuses Russia of trying to provoke a conflict between Ukrainian churches

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) believes that Russia is trying to provoke conflict between Ukrainian Orthodox churches, as stated at a briefing by Deputy Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Kononenko.

“The representatives of Russian special services considered the prospect of developing confrontation within the Ukrainian Orthodoxy. The Russia’s future efforts would aim at provoking an escalation of conflict there in the near future. The Russians plan to exploit the controlled church and religious organizations, and the theme of patriotic organizations,” said Kononenko, as quoted by 112 Ukraine news outlet.

He added that the SBU has already recorded that Russians are already establishing the required contacts and are willing to transfer the funds to carry out such orders.

Kononenko specified that Russian security services will target religious organizations belonging to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) for such provocations.

According to him, the Russian secret services are planning seizures of the churches in Ukraine in order to hype the conflict between the believers of the UOC-MP.

In late January in Kyiv, the conflict around the chapel of the UOC-MP, built in the protective zone of Desyatinka, suddenly intensified. At the start of 2018,   UOC-MP priests in Zaporizhia who refused to perform a funeral service for a child baptized in the Kyiv Patriarchate found themselves at the center of a controversy.

  SBU, Ukrainian Orthodoxy, UOC, Ukraine, Russia