SBU charges Russia’s Patriarch Kirill with violating Ukraine's territorial integrity and justifying aggression

SBU charges Russian Patriarch Kirill with spreading propaganda and supporting invasion
SBU charges Russian Patriarch Kirill with spreading propaganda and supporting invasion

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, also known as Vladimir Gundyayev, has been served with a notice of suspicion under articles on violating Ukraine's territorial integrity and justifying Russia's armed aggression, Ukraine’s SBU security service said on Nov. 4.

The SBU and the Prosecutor General's Office have collected the relevant evidence against Gundyayev, proving that he is a member of the inner circle of the Kremlin's top military and political leadership and was one of the first to publicly support the full-scale Russian invasion.

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With Russian Orthodox Church congregations in Russia and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church — Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) representatives in Ukraine under his control, Gundyayev extensively disseminated Russian propaganda and Kremlin narratives in his online sermons and video commentaries.

Read also: Ukraine’s parliament votes to ban the Moscow Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for its ties to the Kremlin

In March 2022, the UOC-MP website published an "article" about the liturgy in which the clergyman blessed the commander of the Russian National Guard, Viktor Zolotov, for the war against Ukraine.

Also, at the end of February 2023, the ROC’s official YouTube channel posted a video with Gundyayev justifying the Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine.

He repeatedly gave comments to Russian TV propagandists supporting the Kremlin's aggressive policy and calling on believers to unite in the war against Ukraine.

The investigation initiated by the SBU confirmed the facts of his criminal activity. Gundyayev was indicted under the following articles of the Criminal Code of Ukraine:

Part 3 of Article 110 (Violating the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine);

Part 3 of Article 436-2 (justification, recognition as legitimate, denial of Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, glorification of its participants);

Part 5 of Article 27 and Part 2 of Article 437 (planning, preparation, unleashing and waging of an aggressive war).

"Comprehensive measures are being taken to bring the perpetrator to justice for crimes against our state," the SBU wrote.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine