22 Nov 2022 12:32

Ukrainian Security Service looking for saboteurs, weapons at Kiev Pechersk Laura Monastery

MOSCOW. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian Security Service (SBU), along with the national police and National Guard, has been conducting "counterintelligence procedures" at the Kiev Pechersk Laura Monastery since Tuesday morning, Ukrainian media reported with reference to the SBU.

The procedures are aimed at preventing "the use of the monastery as a 'Russian world' cell, looking into reports that the monastery's premises might be used to hide reconnaissance and sabotage groups, foreign citizens, weapons, etc.," the reports said.

Ukrainian security officers are examining the monastery's territory and premises, looking for banned objects, and checking the monks for their possible involvement in unlawful activities to the detriment of Ukraine's sovereignty, media said.

It emerged later that similar "counterintelligence procedures" were conducted at the Korets Convent, the Volyn Icon of the Mother of God Convent, and premises of the Sarny-Polesie Eparchy administration in the Rovno region in northwestern Ukraine.

Law enforcement agencies in Kiev had earlier opened a criminal inquiry following reports that a song glorifying Russia had been sung in one of the monastery's churches. The monastery administration suspended the priest who was present in the church during the performance from conducting religious services.