Verkhovna Rada MP proposes to check Pochaiv residents for ties with Russia

30 November 2023 22:35
The Pochaiv Lavra and the town of Pochaiv. Photo: The Pochaiv Lavra and the town of Pochaiv. Photo:

According to MP Oksana Savchuk, land and houses near the Pochaiv Lavra have been bought up by suspicious "unknown citizens", but "nobody wants to deal with them".

Oksana Savchuk, a member of the Verkhovna Rada and a representative of the Svoboda party, said that the lease agreement for the Pochaiv Lavra should be cancelled, and people who own land plots and other real estate property around the monastery should be checked for links to Russia, reports

The deputy stated that two weeks ago, she intentionally visited the Lavra, "deliberately walked around and entered various premises". According to her, on the monastery grounds, "an illegally constructed huge church with Russian golden domes" has been built, and new structures continue to appear around the monastery.

"Not only is everything around there being built, now renovation work is being done, tourists are being brought in, monks are driving around in not cheap SUVs, and there are a lot of Russian-speaking people around," Savchuk said indignantly. “And in the first-second line near Lavra, unknown citizens have bought up all the land and houses there. I'll honestly tell you, the local police and law enforcement authorities are aware of all this, and it seems to me that there is some kind of taboo on this territory from the central authorities because no one wants to deal with them."

According to the MP, "to terminate the contract, a special commission was created in the Ministry of Culture, which, unfortunately, is completely incompetent, and here is a big minus to the current government."

"Politically, as I understand it, no one has given them the 'go-ahead' order, meaning they are not fulfilling their duties," complained Savchuk.

She reported that the Ternopil Regional Council, during the session on November 30, 2023, urged the Verkhovna Rada to "accelerate efforts to make the Lavra Ukrainian again".

"It is already known that the lease agreement has been violated, which is the ground for termination in court. And once again, for some reason, nothing is being done. So, the fact that the SBU has intervened is, of course, very good, but it should have happened a long time ago. The Lavra issue is a matter of national security, and there should be a termination of the lease agreement and a thorough analysis of each piece of land purchased around it: who these people are and why they bought it," the deputy believes.

As reported, on November 30, 2023, SBU officers carried out "investigative actions" at the Pochaiv Lavra as part of a criminal case "related to the involvement of the Lavra leadership in inciting national enmity and hatred".

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