Support The Moscow Times!

Ukrainian Clergy Members Face Persecution in Russian-Occupied Regions – Reports 

A church in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region. Valentyn Stoliarchuk, Mykhailo Chubai / ArmyInform

Dozens of Ukrainian clergy members in occupied Ukraine have faced persecution by the Russian military since Moscow launched its invasion last year, according to an investigation by the independent news outlet Vyorstka, citing media reports and civil rights organizations. 

At least 43 clergy members have faced persecution in the Kyiv, Donetsk and Kherson regions, according to the investigation, among which eight were taken prisoner, and five were killed. When taken prisoner, some were subjected to interrogations and even torture.

Vyorstka reported that one of the clergy members’ bodies was found in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Russian forces have been accused of committing mass atrocities before their withdrawal in late March 2022.

At the same time, journalists found that 12 clergy members were forcibly deported, while 18 others were expelled from Russian-occupied territories. 

The repression reached a total of 109 documented acts against the pro-Kyiv Orthodox Church of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Moscow Patriarchate, as well as Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, and Muslims.

According to Vyorstka, the primary reasons behind the abuses were the religious figures' refusal to endorse the Russian occupying forces and their continued use of the Ukrainian language during religious services.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more