The local branch of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Nov. 27 that it conducted a search of a Moscow-linked cathedral in Ivano-Frankivsk to counter the possible “subversive activities of the Russian special services in Ukraine.”
In comments to public broadcaster Suspilne, the SBU confirmed that the search was conducted inside the Cathedral of the Nativity, which belongs to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church- Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), a branch of Orthodoxy in Ukraine still linked to the Russian Orthodox Church.
The "counterintelligence" operation in Ivano-Frankivsk comes a few days after the SBU conducted a nationwide raid on the grounds of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery and other locations of the UOC-MP in Ukraine, including Korets Monastery in Rivne Oblast.
The UOC-MP announced the cutting of ties with Moscow in May in response to Russia's full-scale invasion, but the remains little evidence that this move had any practical implications. The church came under renewed scrutiny from Ukrainian society after a video went viral of churchgoers praying for Russia in the Lavra in Kyiv.