Kiev Caves Lavra under threat by radicals
October 11, 2017. Deputy abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra Metropolitan Paul of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl has raised the issue of a possible attack against the holy site by radical forces during the days of the feast of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God, October 14-17, reports Vesti.
The bishop has composed a letter, addressed to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman, the public prosecutor and Ukrainian Security Service, the head of the national police Sergei Knyazev, and the head of the Ministry of Interior Affairs Arseny Avakov, with a request to suppress all attempts at aggression against the lavra. “We really hope that people will not raise a hand against this sacred site and this will not happen. We are not occupied with politics, we pray. But I’m constantly receiving calls from various political powers warning about a possible attack against us,” Met. Paul writes.
Leader of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists Nikolai Kokhanivsky stated that their organizations, together with the groups the Right Sector, Freedom, and the National Corpus will hold the “March for the Glory of Our Heroes” in Kiev, passing through Maidan Square, where the bloody 2014 revolution took place, moving down St. Michael Street, along which sits the Kiev Caves Lavra. 10-20,000 are expected to participate in the march.
Advisor to the Minister of the Interior Ivan Varchenko has stated that he has not heard of the radicals’ plans, but has promised that in the case of emergency, all preserved objects will be protected.
Met. Paul also recalled that at the same time a year ago, 500 people in ski masks gathered near the monastery, insulting believers and throwing stones at the lavra. Last year on October 14, participants in the “March of the Nation” procession, which included members of the Right Sector, which routinely seizes canonical churches and physically assaults clergy and believers, set off pyrotechnics near the Caves Lavra.
In July of this year, nationalist Viktor Trigub spoke about discussions “to take control of the Ukrainian Lavra reserve,” and in July of last year, former advisor to the Minister of the Interior Ilia Kiva declared his desire to free “the Lavra from seizure and violence by the FSB ghouls in riassas.”