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UOC-MP cleric in Vinnytsya Region jailed for two years for justifying Russian aggression

He will only spend two years in prison because of his cooperation with the investigation.

UOC-MP cleric in Vinnytsya Region jailed for two years for justifying Russian aggression
Photo: Security Service of Ukraine

The rector of one of the churches of the Vinnytsya Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) was sentenced to two years in prison for justifying Russian aggression, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has said.

On his Telegram channel, he called Russia's armed aggression a "civil war" in Ukraine and praised the terrorists Zakharchenko, Givi and Motorola.

He also shared publications and comments of the Russian Orthodox Church press service, which justified the seizure of part of the territory of our country and glorified the Russian occupiers.

The cleric regularly posted his own comments, in which he tried to discredit the Ukrainian military and insulted the religious feelings of believers of different faiths. To disguise his criminal actions, the archpriest wrote on social media under a fictitious pseudonym.

In addition, the cleric spread pro-Kremlin narratives during sermons and personal communication with representatives of the religious community.

SBU officers tracked down and detained the offender after he tried to hide from justice at different addresses in several regions of Ukraine.

The examinations initiated by the Security Service confirmed the facts of his information and subversive activities in favour of Russia.

Based on the evidence collected, the court found the detainee guilty under two articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

· Part 2 of Article 109 (actions aimed at the violent change or overthrow of the constitutional order or the seizure of state power);

· Part 2 of Article 436-2 (justification, recognition as lawful, denial of armed aggression against Ukraine, glorification of its participants).

Taking into account his full cooperation with the investigation, he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, the Security Service of Ukraine has opened at least seven criminal proceedings against clergy of the pro-Russian UOC. Most of the criminal proceedings were opened over collaboration with Russia.

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