Russian cleric: Ukraine raid on home ‘political’

A senior Russian Orthodox Church cleric says the raid at his home was meant to put the “political” pressure on his church.
The Ukrainian intelligence agency earlier on Friday raided the home of the father superior of Kiev’s biggest and oldest monastery which is part of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The Ukrainian church, which has been part of the Russian Orthodox Church for centuries, moved close to forming an independent church — fueled by the conflict with Russia Ukraine’s Orthodox communities earlier this year.
There are currently three Orthodox communities in Ukraine including two breakaway churches. Ukrainian authorities sought to portray the Russian Orthodox clerics in Ukraine as supporting separatists.
Father Pavlo, who leads the Pechersk Monastery in Kiev, said in a live broadcast that the raid at his home was ordered personally by the Ukrainian president who has been pushing for a new independent Ukrainian church.
Pavlo said he won’t recognize any other church in Ukraine.
Tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated since last weekend, when Russian border guards opened fire on three Ukrainian naval vessels near Crimea and captured their crews.