With the ongoing investigation concerning the  Moscow-backed Kyiv monastery,  Orthodox Church Metropolitan Pavlo Lebid, a staunch supporter of Russia’s genocide in Ukraine, has been placed under house arrest. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, a metropolitan is a bishop who presides over an ecclesiastical province, often called a metropolis and has authority over the bishops of the other dioceses within that province.

This is the latest in the intensifying power struggle between Ukraine’s Kremlin monk-loyalists and the Kyiv religious community in Pechersk Lavra, a historic monastery in the Ukrainian capital. The religious conflict has escalated into a national dispute between the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and has attracted global attention.

Ukraine’s top security agency has arrested Metropolitan Pavel on charges of justifying Russia’s aggression, which is considered a crime.

Prior to his house arrest,  the Orthodox Church abbot continued his defiance against authorities to vacate the complex,  in addition to cursing Ukrainian President  Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this week and threatening him with damnation.

The Metropolitan also debunked the Security Service of Ukraine’s (SBU) claim that he had been a staunch supporter of Russia’s invasion, pointing to his accusers as “politically motivated.”

SBU agents trooped to his home this weekend, raided his home, and prosecutors requested that he be placed under house arrest pending the investigation.

Kremlin Clergy Spies,  A House Divided 

Monks as Kremlin’s spies, Ukrainian churches divided with conflicting loyalties to Ukraine or Moscow: the religious sector is a house divided as the Russian invasion of the territory wages on.