Ukraine Places Priest Under House Arrest For Allegedly Justifying Russian Aggression Days After He Cursed Zelensky
Metropolitan Pavel, an abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra cave monastery speaks in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 30, 2023. Pro-Moscow priests refuse to leave the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra cave monastery at the request of the Ukrainian authorities/Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine's president, and Maia Sandu, Moldova's president, left, during a news conference at the president's residence, known as Mariinsky Palace, in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Friday, March 31, 2023
Oleksii Chumachenko/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/ Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Ukrainian court placed a leading Orthodox priest under house arrest Saturday, accusing him of justifying Russian aggression days after he allegedly cursed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Metropolitan Pavel, the abbot of Ukraine’s revered Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery, denied that he ever supported Russia’s aggression and charged that Ukraine’s action against him was politically motivated, the Associated Press reported. Earlier this week, the priest allegedly threatened that Zelensky would face damnation. The court ruled against Pavel, placed an ankle monitor on him despite his protest, and sentenced him to two months under house arrest.

“I am accepting this,” he said before authorities placed the bracelet on him. “Christ was crucified on the cross, so why shouldn’t I accept this?”

The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery is a part of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC), which Zelensky has suspected of having links to Russia. Historically, the UOC has ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is currently led by Patriarch Kirill, who has stood by Russian President Vladimir Putin and defended his invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian authorities have raided UOC holy sites, claiming to find rubles, Russian passports, and messages from Patriarch Kirill, according to the AP. Monks at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery were ordered to leave by March 29, but are refusing to do so. The Ukrainian government claimed the monks violated their lease by making alterations to the site, but the monks deny those accusations and believe they are a pretext for the Ukrainian government to kick them out.

UOC supporters gathered outside the monastery on Saturday to sing hymns and protest Zelensky’s actions against the church.

“Look at me. I’m in priest’s clothes, with a Ukrainian flag and a cross around my neck. Could you say that I’m pro-Russian?” a 21-year-old seminary student said. “The priests are currently singing a Ukrainian hymn, and they’re being called pro-Russian. Can you believe it?”


The U.N. High Commission for Human Rights said last week that it was concerned that Ukraine’s “state actions against the UOC” could be “discriminatory,” Newsweek reported. The U.N. urged the country to give a “fair trial” to anyone charged with a crime.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Ukraine Places Priest Under House Arrest For Allegedly Justifying Russian Aggression Days After He Cursed Zelensky