Metropolitan Paul was charged with criminal offenses.

He is suspected under two articles of the Criminal Code - about inciting inter-religious enmity, as well as justifying Russian aggression in relation to Ukraine.

The SBU published clips of Paul's phone conversations and sermons, in which, according to an expert opinion initiated by the service, the priest "repeatedly insulted the religious feelings of Ukrainians, disparaged the views of believers of other faiths and tried to create hostile attitudes towards them," as well as "made statements that justified or denied the actions of the aggressor country".

Pavel was searched on Saturday morning, he was taken for questioning, and then to the court to choose a measure of restraint.

The prosecutor's office asked to send him under house arrest.

The court session was postponed after the metropolitan declared that he was not feeling well.

At first it was announced that the trial would be held on Monday, but then the court decided to consider the case on Saturday evening.

In the court, the metropolitan declared that he was "never on the side of aggression", without mentioning Russia.

The case related to the metropolitan of the UOC, which, according to the authorities of Ukraine, has not broken ties with the Moscow Patriarchate, was initiated against the background of the confrontation in the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.

Ukrainian authorities ordered the UOC monastery to vacate the territory and buildings of the Kyiv-Pecherska Lavra by March 29, after the Kyiv-Pecherska Lavra state reserve refused its lease agreement with the UOC.

The UOC claims that they filed a lawsuit and have no intention of leaving the Lavra until the end of the proceedings.

The Security Service of Ukraine also announced the introduction of sanctions against 17 priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

In addition, a ban on entry to the territory of Ukraine was introduced for 250 clerics of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Also, 19 priests of the UOC, who have Russian citizenship, were deprived of Ukrainian citizenship.

Two people will be deported to Russia.

In relation to Paul, sanctions were introduced earlier.

The Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov, said on Wednesday that the UOC monks will not be forcibly evicted from the Lavra - in his opinion, they will "quietly" leave the territory themselves.

  • At the end of November, the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra was searched.

    On November 15, the Security Service of Ukraine opened a criminal case on the article about the justification of Russian aggression after the song sung by the parishioners of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

    In the text of the song, the words "motherland - Russia" were mentioned.

  • The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights noted in its recent report that the actions of the Ukrainian authorities in relation to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church may be discriminatory.

    In response, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine called on the UN to refrain from unbalanced political assessments.

  • The UOC is one of the two largest Orthodox religious organizations in Ukraine, along with the autocephalous OCU.

    After the war, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church declared "independence" from the Moscow Patriarchate, but this independence was not legally formalized.

    The authorities believe that a number of priests and hierarchs of the UOC de facto take a pro-Russian position.