Kiev, November 14, 2022
On Saturday, November 12, Mykhailo Omelian, a “priest” of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” posted a video supposedly from the Holy Dormition-Kiev Caves Lavra that has led to an official investigation from the Ukrainian Security Service (SBU).
The video shows people singing a prayer for Russia in one of the Lavra churches, Omelian claims, referring to the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church as “the ‘church’ of the occupier” and a traitor to Ukraine.
The situation demands a response, said the press service of the SBU, which is “already studying all the details of the incident.”
The SBU and National Police are working to establish the authenticity of the video, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Alexander Tkachenko said. “Further actions and consequences will depend on this. If the video is authentic, we call for immediate procedural action against the leaders of the UOC.”
And as Protodeacon Andrei Palchuk of the Odessa Diocese of the canonical Church explains, the video is clearly a fake, with unrelated audio imposed upon the footage.
“Every video has metadata—when it was shot, what date, and if the video was changed is also indicated. With this video, the metadata shows that it was changed with a video editor on November 12 at 10:47 PM. The video shows people in the church, and outside it’s clearly daytime,” the protodeacon said.
The video was clearly edited later and immediately posted to all the outlets where there are “millions of subscribers who serve the interests of the OCU and the previous president.” But “it’s a cheap fake,” the cleric says.
Lawyer Victoria Kohanovskaya announced yesterday that she had filed a statement with the police, calling for an investigation into the schismatic cleric for inciting religious enmity.
Recall that the Synod of the schismatic OCU created its own “brotherhood” of the Kiev Caves Lavra on paper in May and is actively trying to take at least one church away from the canonical Lavra.