Today, 6 December 2023, a service of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was held in the Ukrainian language in St Nicholas Cathedral in Kremenets, Ternopil Region.
According to Vasyl Ilchyshyn, acting director of the Kremenets-Pochayiv State Historical and Architectural Reserve, "It was today, 6 December 1832, that St Nicholas Cathedral was annexed by the Muscovites, and it is today, 6 December 2023, that the first Ukrainian service is held on the feast of St Nicholas and a prayer is said for Ukrainian soldiers on the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine."
What is known about the transfer of the Pochayiv Lavra:
- The complex of the Pochayiv Monastery in Ternopil Region includes 18 buildings, six of them are on the balance sheet of the Kremenets-Pochayiv State Historical and Architectural Reserve. They were leased in 2003 during Viktor Yanukovych's premiership under President Leonid Kuchma for 49 years. The lease is valid until 2052.
- In February 2023, the head of the Ternopil Regional Council, Mykhaylo Holovko, announced the first meeting of a working group studying the legality of using the complex of the Pochayiv Holy Dormition Lavra of the UOC-MP.
- The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy has set up a commission to check the use of the Pochayiv Monastery facilities by the UOC-MP.
- The Synod of the OCU decided to establish its own parish in the Pochayiv Monastery, which is leased from the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate.
- In the spring of this year, the SBU served a notice of suspicion to a 48-year-old novice of the Pochayiv Assumption Monastery of the UOC (MP) for denying Russian aggression. He was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.
- On the morning of 30 November, the Security Service of Ukraine came to the Pochayiv Lavra with searches. Law enforcers said that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate questioned the existence of Ukraine and insulted Jews.