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Kyiv’s main monastery searched as part of “counterintelligence measures”

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) is conducting searches in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, also known as the Kyiv Monastery of the Caves. According to its statement, the searches, which are being carried out with the help of Ukraine's National Guard and the National Police, are counterintelligence measures within the “SBU's systematic work to counter the Russian special services' incendiary activities in Ukraine.”

The SBU claims it is conducting searches to “prevent the use of Lavra as a cell of the ‘Russian world’” and to protect the population from provocations and terrorist acts. The agency is also checking for evidence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) premises being used to harbor subversive and reconnaissance groups, foreign nationals and to store weapons. SBU officers are looking for prohibited items in the Lavra, and its visitors are being checked for involvement in illegal activities.

Earlier, the SBU initiated a criminal case on the justification of Russia's military aggression due to a song about the “awakening of Mother Russia” being sung at the monastery. The case was opened after UOC priest Yemelyan posted a video of monastery visitors singing the song on November 12.

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