Russia’s Federal Service for Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring) has added Dmitry Bayev, former deacon of the Orthodox parish of St. John the Baptist Church in Kirov, to its list of “terrorists and extremists.” Previously, Bayev had spoken out in support of Ukraine.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Bayev published posts on his social media page in support of Ukraine – specifically, the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU). He wrote that the Ukrainian army “sent 17,500 orcs to the afterlife,” and called the Russian military “occupiers.”
In March, Bayev became the subject of a criminal investigation on charges of allegedly spreading “fakes” about the Russian army. He refused to remove any content from his profile, and media watchdog Roskomnadzor blocked his page at the request of the Russia’s Prosecutor General's Office.
“The purpose of the posts is that at least one person will have time to come out of the propaganda’s intoxication [before my page is blocked] or at least question it and begin to understand the real state of affairs, put their head in order, and make the right conclusions,” Bayev told Idel.Reali in an April interview.
On February 25, he resigned from the church and left Russia along with his family. On March 11, he was banned from serving as a priest, and in September he was “expelled from the priesthood.”