Lavra sues the Reserve for 100 million, the Reserve offended

24 November 2023 09:42
The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Photo: Fr Gavriil Zavgorodniy The Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Photo: Fr Gavriil Zavgorodniy

The head of the Reserve called the monks of the monastery "Rashist agents".

The lawyer of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, Archpriest Nikita Chekman reported on his Telegram channel that he went to the Court of Appeal with a request to recover from the Reserve 100 million hryvnias for the actual expulsion of the monastery from the Lavra premises.

The lawyer believes that the court's ban on the monastery in obstructing the work of the Commission "actually leads to the transfer" of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to the Reserve.

"In this regard, it is necessary to take counter-security measures by obliging the plaintiff to deposit funds in the amount of 100,000,000 UAH into the deposit account of the Economic Court of Kyiv within seven days from the date of the ruling," says the statement of the Lavra’s lawyer.

In response, the head of the Reserve Maxim Ostapenko on his page in Facebook emotionally called the monastery a "Rashist agency" whose "cynicism" has "no limit".

"For decades, you have used 79 unique structures in the centre of the capital for free, got all possible benefits from the state, paid no taxes, received tens of millions of hryvnias from the Ukrainian budget for the religious community, illegally subleased state property to businesses, hotels, shops selling products of the Moscow Church ...and then demand 100,000,000 hryvnias from Ukraine!" Ostapenko wrote.

On its official Facebook page, the Reserve accused the monks of "making super-profits" for 30 years.

In response, the Lavra's lawyer reminded Ostapenko and his subordinates point by point who and how created the Reserve and how the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra came into being.

"We want Mr Ostapenko to remember, firstly:

  • who built the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and who lived and prayed in it?
  • and who took it away from the Church and made it a "reserve"?
  • in the 90s of the 20th century, Ukraine made a commitment to the Council of Europe to carry out Restitution (return) to the ownership of the Church of the property seized by the Soviet totalitarian regime (by the way, it was this regime that created the "reserve"), and which, unfortunately, was not fulfilled.

Secondly: let us make an assessment and calculate how much money was spent by the Church on the restoration of the Sanctuary, which was handed over to the Church for use in an almost completely destroyed state.

Thirdly: when the court of first instance granted a groundless security for the claim of not obstructing the work of the commission on the acceptance-transfer of the property, thus actually satisfying the claim of the Reserve even before the beginning of the case hearing – isn’t it considered cynicism?

And also calling millions of believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, at whose expense the Lavra was restored and who are not allowed into the Lavra territory to worship the relics of saints on Ostapenko's instructions, "Rashist agents", is not cynicism? Interesting double standards," the lawyer wrote.

As earlier reported, the Court of Appeal postponed the hearing on the case of eviction of monks from the Lavra.


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