Ukrainian investigators are searching the location of an Orthodox Church person successful Kyiv accused of justifying Russia's equipped aggression against Ukraine.
Metropolitan Pavel Lebed runs the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Ukraine's astir important monastery. His subdivision of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) was antecedently loyal to Moscow clergy.
Kyiv prosecutors accidental helium is suspected of inciting nationalist and spiritual hatred.
Kyiv has been trying to evict him and his followers from the monastery.
Mr Pavel has denied the allegations and argues that the Kyiv authorities person nary ineligible grounds for evicting the monks and unit from the monastery.
In a tribunal quality connected Saturday, reported by the regular Ukrainska Pravda, helium called it "a governmental case" and said "I've ne'er been connected the broadside of aggression" - though helium did not notation Russia.
"I'm against aggression. And present I'm successful Ukraine - this is my land," helium said. He described his existent presumption arsenic "house arrest".
On Friday hundreds of worshippers gathered astatine the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery - celebrated for its historical caves - successful enactment of the monks there, protesting against the eviction order.
A connection from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) connected the Telegram messaging service, says Metropolitan Pavel is suspected of "violating citizens' equality" based connected their racial, nationalist and spiritual ties.
It says helium "repeatedly insulted the spiritual feelings of Ukrainians", "humiliated" different religion groups and "tried to make hostile attitudes towards them"."He besides made statements that justified oregon denied the actions of the aggressor state," the SBU says. It alleges it has grounds from Metropolitan Pavel's nationalist speeches and intercepted communications.
SBU caput Vasyl Malyuk said "today the force is trying to usage the religion situation to beforehand its propaganda and disagreement Ukrainian society".
"But we volition not springiness him a azygous chance!" helium stressed.
Last year, the SBU raided the Lavra and different buildings belonging to the UOC, and dozens of clerics person been arrested connected accusations of treason and collaboration with Russia. The UOC, however, says determination is nary grounds to enactment the charges.
In caller years galore worshippers person joined the autarkic Orthodox Church of Ukraine, portion millions inactive travel the UOC, which divided from Moscow past May aft centuries nether its control.
The Russian Orthodox Church has allied itself with President Vladimir Putin, echoing Kremlin rhetoric successful defending the penetration of Ukraine.