Ukraine Limits Activities Of Russia-Linked Religious Groups

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The Russia-Ukraine conflict is going nowhere anytime soon.  No negotiations or talks have been fruitful so far since the conflict started in Feb 2022.  In the latest news, the Ukraine limits the activities of Russia-Linked religious groups. The priests and religious organizations will have to register with the Ukrainian government. The Russia-linked groups will be banned from holding public events and publishing religious materials without prior approval.

The Ukrainian churches are breaking away from the Moscow-affiliated Orthodox Church due to the ongoing conflict. Authorities conducted raids on a church associated with alleged Russia-linked religious groups. The security services are investigating whether the Moscow branch of the church has granted permission to operate on Ukrainian soil (the Pechersk Lavra complex in Kyiv). Some of the churches left Moscow in 2019 after hundreds of years of Russian Affiliations when Russia invaded Crimea.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his video interview, “The National Security and Defence Council has instructed the government to propose to (parliament) a bill on proscribing activities in Ukraine by religious organizations affiliated with centers of influence in Russia.” He also added, “We have to create conditions so that no actors dependent on the aggressor state (Russia) can manipulate Ukrainians and weaken Ukraine from within.”

The Ukrainian Intelligence Services known as SBU searched more than 300 buildings in Pechersk Lavra to check for people and any suspicious activities. They found suspicious Russians, cash, and Russian propaganda material.

The Russian-affiliated Churches in Ukraine have their headquarters at Pechersk Lavra. This Ukrainian Cultural Heritage site includes beautiful cathedrals and churches, and UNESCO has listed it as a World Heritage site.

The Russian Church official condemned any such raid and denied any such news.

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