6 Jul 2023 10:07

Police cordon off Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra buildings authorities seeking to take away from Church

MOSCOW. July 6 (Interfax) - Police have blocked access to the buildings of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra, which the believers prevented from being sealed off two days ago.

"A takeover of the monastery buildings was reported," Lavra lawyer Archpriest Nikita Chekman said on Telegram on Thursday morning. He posted a video of the police cordons around the buildings.

Representatives of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra Reserve and police broke the locks and penetrated Monastery Building No. 70, he said.

The lawyer called those actions illegal. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church sued the reserve in March 2023 after the latter terminated the Lavra rental agreement, and the hearing was scheduled for July 19 on Wednesday. Yet the authorities decided not to wait for a court judgment and tried to evict monks from the Lavra as early as this week.