Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
Skip to content
Edit post

Parliament passes bill on banning Russia-affiliated religious organizations in first reading

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk October 19, 2023 2:14 PM 2 min read
Metropolitan Onufriy (C) arrives for the Sunday service of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) at a compound of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra on March 26, 2023, in Kyiv, Ukraine. (Roman Pilipey/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, passed in its first reading on Oct. 19 a bill that could ban the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), lawmakers reported.

The bill would prohibit the activities of any religious organizations affiliated with war propaganda or justifying the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

According to lawmaker Yaroslav Zhelezniak from the opposition party Voice, 267 members of parliament voted in favor of the bill, 15 against, and two abstained.

MP Iryna Herashchenko (from former president Petro Poroshenko's European Solidarity party) called the vote "historic."

"The Verkhovna Rada took the first step to expel Moscow priests from Ukrainian land… It (the draft law) is not about religion or church, but about protecting the national security of Ukraine," she said in a video message.

"It's about the fact that the church, which has a metropolis in Moscow, is not really a church, but a branch of the FSB (Russian security services). And it can be banned in court."

ISW: Russia ‘weaponizes religion’ to discredit Ukraine, achieve military goals
Russia “continues to weaponize religion” to discredit Ukraine in the international arena and uses information operations about religion to achieve its military goals, the Institute for the Study of War wrote in its latest update.

Ukraine has two main Orthodox churches — the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) and the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine (Kyiv Patriarchate).

The Moscow-controlled church (UOC-MP) has been accused of aligning with the Russian government during the war, which the church's leadership has denied.

Since November last year, Ukraine's law enforcement has raided multiple premises of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, alleging that the church is at the heart of "subversive activities by Russian special services."

The Ukrainian government evicted the UOC-MP from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and has brought charges against church leaders for spreading pro-war propaganda.

54% of Ukrainians believe the UOC-MP should be banned, according to a survey conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology.

Before you skip this banner, we want to tell you something…

The Kyiv Independent doesn’t depend on a wealthy owner or an oligarch — in 2023, 80% of our revenue was from reader contributions . It’s thanks to them that we don’t have to rely on a single owner.

Support us now and help maintain our independent model and keep our articles free for everyone. Your contributions allow us to cover journalists’ salaries, report from the front lines, and fund projects like our War Crimes Investigations Unit.

visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

12:54 AM

Germany blocks sanctions on Russian gas.

European Union countries failed to approve a new sanctions package targeting the Russian gas industry after German authorities intervened to block the deal at the last minute.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
4:11 PM

Putin names ceasefire demands, including Kyiv's complete withdrawal from four Ukrainian regions.

Speaking on the eve of the global peace summit in Switzerland on June 15-16, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Ukrainian troops must leave Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, and Kyiv must abandon any ambition to join NATO. Russia doesn't aim for peace, but for the continuation of the war, the occupation of Ukraine, and the destruction of Ukrainian people, Ukraine's Foreign Ministry wrote in a statement.
12:36 PM

Ukraine retrieves bodies of 254 fallen soldiers.

The Geneva Conventions dictate that people who lost their lives during war are entitled to a dignified burial. Over 2,400 fallen soldiers have been repatriated to Ukraine in the last two years.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.