by Efi Efthimiou
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) imposed sanctions against Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC, the entity of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine) of Metropolitan Onufriy, according to a decision on December 11.
Indeed, yesterday, on December 12, the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, signed the decree, which was posted on the official website of the Ukrainian Presidency.
“In accordance with Article 107 of the Constitution of Ukraine, I decide 1. The introduction of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine dated December 11, 2022, “On the application of personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions), 2. The control over the implementation of the decision of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine enacted by this decree, to entrust to the Secretariat of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine,” the Ukrainian president states in his decision.
Among the persons affected by this decision are Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil, Metropolitan of Luhansk Panteleimon, Metropolitan of Zaporizhia and Melitopol Lukas and Metropolitan of Chernivtsi and Bukovyna Meletiy, who all belong to the Russian Church in Ukraine, under Metropolitan Onufriy.
The Security Service of Ukraine’s sanctions list also includes Archbishop Konstiantynivskii Paisiy (of the Horlivka Diocese), Archimandrite Ioannis (Prokopenko) of the Zaporizhia Diocese, and Archimandrite Oleksiy (Fiodorov) of the Kherson Diocese.
Also, and according to what the SBU posted on its Telegram account, the persons added to the sanctions list, “undertook various initiatives, namely, agreed to cooperate with the occupying authorities, promoted pro-Russian arguments and justified Russia’s military attack in Ukraine”.
The sanctions against the clergy also include the blocking of their assets and the withdrawal of funds from Ukraine, restrictions on trade activities, etc.
They are also deprived of the right to purchase land, to privatize state-owned property.
It is reminded that most of the clerics affected by the sanctions were present at the speech of Russian President Putin at the end of September, when he announced the illegal annexation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson.
Watching the video of the announcement of the Russian president, one finds that among the audience in the Kremlin were Metropolitan Panteleimon of Lugansk and Alchevsk, Archimandrite Ioannis (Prokopenko), abbot of the Holy Monastery of Melitopolis, and Archimandrite Oleksiy (Fedorov), abbot of the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary in Kherson.
According to Ukrainian media, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Luhansk (since June 2019), who comes from Vinitsa, had helped Russian forces justify their invasion of Ukraine.
Archimandrite Ioannis, according to the Ukrainian media, had campaigned for “the earliest possible referendum on the accession to Russia” of the occupied areas.
Also, Archimandrite Oleksiy was in first place in the hall of St.George in the Kremlin, next to Ramzan Kadirov and the mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobianin.