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7:27 AM
Russian forces launched another drone attack targeting Ukraine's southern oblasts overnight on Oct. 1. Ukraine's air defense downed at least 15 drones over Odesa and Mykolaiv regions, Natalia Humeniuk, spokesperson of Ukraine's Southern Operational Command, said on air.
6:50 AM
U.S. President Joe Biden signed a law averting a government shutdown that was set for midnight, according to the White House. Biden said that although the bill does not include financial assistance for Ukraine, he expects Speaker Kevin McCarthy "will keep his commitment to the people of Ukraine and secure passage of the support needed to help Ukraine at this critical moment."
5:49 AM
Following a passage of a bill to avoid a government shutdown, top U.S. Senate leaders issued a rare bipartisan statement affirming their commitment to Ukraine. They expect the Senate will work "to ensure the U.S. government continues to provide critical and sustained security and economic support for Ukraine."
4:36 AM
At least four explosions were heard in Kharkiv, city Mayor Ihor Terekhov said via his official Telegram channel in the early hours of Oct. 1. Two explosions were also reported in the city of Snihurivka in Mykolaiv Oblast, according to regional authorities.
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"Odesa is a beautiful historic city. It should be in the headlines for its vibrant culture (and) spirit," Borrell wrote on Twitter. "Instead, it marks the news as a frequent target of Putin's war."
5:15 PM
According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, he and Slovak Defense Minister Martin Sklenar discussed cooperation with Slovakia regarding the Ukrainian military's needs, the situation at the front line, and de-mining.
12:25 PM
Among other capabilities, the alliance will eventually pave the way for Ukraine to localize production of licensed foreign weapons on Ukrainian soil, said Andriy Yermak, head of the president's office. During his recent visit to Washington, Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden agreed to have their teams hammer out a roadmap for this kind of localization.
11:21 AM
The ministry reported that, as Russia was attacking Ukraine's ports on the Danube river, air alert sirens were activated in the nearby Romanian cities of Tulcea and Galati as radar systems detected an unsanctioned object heading towards the latter in Romania's airspace.

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SBU finds Russian passports, propaganda at premises of Moscow-affiliated church

by Thaisa Semenova December 8, 2022 8:31 PM 3 min read
The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) said it had found Russian passports, anti-Ukrainian propaganda, when conducting raids at 13 Moscow-linked churches, monasteries, and adjoining facilities in Cherkasy, Volyn, and Kherson oblasts. (Photo: the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
This audio is created with AI assistance

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) reported on Dec. 8 that it had found Russian passports, anti-Ukrainian propaganda, and a stolen collection of icons during searches at the premises of the Russian Orthodox Church's Ukrainian branch.

The searches were conducted at 13 Moscow-linked churches, monasteries, and adjoining facilities in Cherkasy, Volyn, and Kherson oblasts. They belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, an affiliate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the Dormition Cathedral in Kherson, the agency found a collection of icons allegedly stolen by Russian troops from the Lithuanian consul's residence during the occupation of the southern city.

During a further inspection of the cathedral’s premises, the SBU discovered entry permits belonging to an official of the Russian occupation government and Russian passports belonging to local priests that they had received during the occupation of the city, the report reads.

Russian passports belonging to local priests found in the Dormition Cathedral in the liberated southern city of Kherson. (Photo: The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

Kherson, the only regional capital that has fallen to Russian troops during its all-out invasion of Ukraine, was under occupation for eight months before Ukrainian forces liberated the city on Nov. 11.

The agency also reported it had found the flag of so-called Novorossiya - a regional name used by Russian proxies in Ukraine - as well as pro-Kremlin propaganda at the Krasnohirsky Sviato-Pokrovsky Monastery in Cherkasy Oblast.

The flag of so-called Novorossiya discovered on Dec. 7 at the Krasnohirsky Sviato-Pokrovsky Monastery, Cherkasy Oblast. (Photo: The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

At the Mykolaivsky Myletsky monastery in Volyn Oblast, SBU officers found texts of prayers for the well-being of Russia and Russian textbooks praising Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's regime.

A series of searches and inspections at Moscow-linked churches, monasteries, and adjoining facilities began in October.

The agency explained that the measures had been carried out to prevent religious communities from being used as centers of Russian influence and "to protect the population from provocations and terrorist attacks."

During raids, the SBU said it found Russian propaganda and xenophobic literature, Russian passports belonging to senior clergy, and documents with pro-Russian ideological messages at the premises of the Russian-backed church.

On Dec. 2, President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree to approve a proposal by the National Security and Defense Council to ban Russian-affiliated religious groups and impose sanctions on some pro-Moscow bishops.

The primary target of these measures is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

The National Security and Defense Council instructed the Cabinet on Dec. 1 to draft a bill on such a ban. The bill will then have to be considered by the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament.

In May, the Moscow-affiliated Ukrainian church said it would have "full independence" from the Russian Orthodox Church, reacting to criticism of Russian-backed church leaders amid the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The Ukrainian branch said that it "condemns the war" and "disagrees with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on the war in Ukraine."

However, skeptics said it was just a ploy to appease critics since the Ukrainian branch effectively remained part of the Russian church and did not declare "autocephaly" – the Orthodox term for genuine independence. Under Orthodox rules, only one independent - or "autocephalous" - church can exist in a specific country.

The Russian-backed church's complete independence under Orthodox rules would imply its merger with the independent Orthodox Church of Ukraine, but the Moscow-affiliated church has opposed such a unification.

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