On June 9, deputies of the Kyiv Regional Council called on the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) to urgently consider draft laws on banning the activities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) on the territory of the Kyiv region.

The UOC-MP has an ecclesiastical-canonical relationship with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and, as such, is deemed to be a fifth column for Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The UOC-MP is a structural subdivision of the ROC and is subordinate to Moscow on the territory of Ukraine.

“We believe that a religious organization that is in fact controlled by the aggressor country and supports its crimes cannot operate on the territory of Ukraine,” said Deputy Head of the Kyiv Regional Council Tetiana Semenova. “The Kyiv Regional Council asks the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine to urgently consider draft laws on banning of the activities of the UOC-MP.”

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On June 7, Oleksandr Tkachenko, Ukraine’s culture and information minister, announced that, within three days, the UOC-MP must stop using the property of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra National Reserve, housing the Monastery of the Caves, one of Ukraine’s most important spiritual and historical sites.

The announcement and the Kyiv region’s call for a ban are part of an ongoing pressure campaign by the government to diminish the influence of the UOC-MP in Ukraine, which the government deems to be propagating the ideology of the so-called Russky mir (Russian world). This ideology tends to view Ukrainian culture as a subordinate offshoot of Russian culture.

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