Bishop Mykyta of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyya of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of Moscow Patriarchate (MP) sued LB.ua for spreading information that Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officers caught him in the moment of intimacy with a 17-year-old chorister.
Nykyta announced the lawsuit during a press conference in the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra on 15 December, Religiyna Pravda reports.
The bishop claims that in the morning, during the searches, he heard an "incomprehensible sound" and ran out to see what happened, but "did not manage" because someone was allegedly breaking the glass with a shoulder stock.
At the same time, according to Nykyta, the boy ran out, too.
"We were forced to hold our hands above our heads, and then it started... I heard the SBU representatives taking pictures on the phone. When I asked who gave them the right to take pictures of me, I was told that no one was taking pictures," journalists of Religiyna Pravda quoted Nykyta.
On 25 November, investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine came to the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy of the UOC (MP) with counterintelligence measures.
According to LB.ua sources, the search was conducted in the consistory (the diocese administration). In particular, in the cell of Metropolitan Meletiy of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna, where he permanently resides.
According to the sources, during the search, the SBU officers caught the physical intimacy moment of the secretary of the Chernivtsi Diocese of the UOC-MP Archimandrite Nykyta with a 17-year-old boy who sings in a local choir. The photos provided by the sources show that the boy chorister is standing in his underwear.
On 23 November, the Synod of the UOC elected Archimandrite Nykyta as diocesan bishop of the Ivano-Frankivsk Eparchy to replace Metropolitan Seraphim of Ivano-Frankivsk and Kolomyya, who fled to Russia.
As a result of searches in the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna diocese, law enforcement officers found documents confirming the possession of Russian citizenship by the leadership of the diocesan structures. They also found correspondence of the diocesan leaders with their Moscow curators, in which they receive "manuals" on the "peculiarities" of holding church liturgies after a full-scale invasion.
After the searches, the secretary of the diocese of the Chernivtsi branch of the UOC-MP, Archimandrite Nykyta, became a bishop.
On 3 December, it also became known that a laptop with child pornography was found during searches in the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna Eparchy. According to preliminary data, the videos were not downloaded from the Internet but filmed.