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Senior Security Service of Ukraine officer suspended over interference in parish transfer

The Security Service of Ukraine has dissociated itself from the letters he signed.

Senior Security Service of Ukraine officer suspended over interference in parish transfer

The acting head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Vasyl Malyuk, has suspended the deputy head of the SBU directorate in Kyiv and Kyiv Region, Yuriy Palahnyuk, over his interference in the transfer of religious communities from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the SBU has announced.

As reported earlier, the SBU's Kyiv directorate sent a letter signed by Palahnyuk to the Darnytsya district state administration, in which it described the transfer of parishes between the mentioned churches as a "threat to national security". According to the letter, mass meetings are prohibited during martial law. It ordered the local authorities to conduct explanatory work in society to prevent heads of territorial communites and representatives of local authorities from taking part in the meetings of religious communities.

This, the letter said, "can be used by representatives of the UOC to challenge actions in court" and by the Russian special services "to claim that the UOC is being harassed, stir up inter-confessional discord and use the protest potential to destabilise the socio-political situation in the state".

It also became known that Palahnyuk asked the Kyiv regional state administration's culture department to provide copies of the minutes and statutory documents of the religious community called the Parish in Honour of the Protection of Holy Virgin of the UOC Boryspil diocese in the village of Trebukhiv, Brovary District, Kyiv Region, which has expressed its desire to join the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The SBU noted: "These letters are sent on his own initiative and in no way represent the position of the Service."

It added that the decision to suspend Yuriy Palahnyuk was made by the acting head of the SBU.

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