A Ukrainian court sentenced a monk affiliated with the Kremlin-backed Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) to five and a half years in prison for arson and other charges, the Chernivtsi Regional Prosecutor’s Office reported on Friday, Nov. 5.

The church – of the monk’s own denomination – is located in the village of Milieve in western Ukraine’s Bukovyna region, near Romania. It is overseen by the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna diocese of the UOC-MP.

Following a comprehensive legal process, the cleric was found guilty of multiple charges, including theft as well as arson.

Prosecutors successfully presented their case in court, revealing that in April 2023, a 34-year-old monk, apparently under the influence of alcohol, embarked on a series of criminal actions.


The spree began when he attempted to steal money from the dormitory of his own church but struggled to open a safe. Ultimately, he ended up setting a fire.

The targeted church suffered substantial damage as a result of the fire.

In addition, the monk is suspected of looting a local store, and in an attempt to conceal his theft, he is alleged to have committed another act of arson.

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