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In Kiev, the Tithes Cathedral was demolished …

In Kiev, the Tithes Cathedral was demolished overnight by the authorities.

DECR Communication Service, May 17, 2024.

The Vladimir-Olginsky Cathedral of the Tithes (Desyatinnyi) Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, built near the site where the ancient Tithes Church, erected in the 10th century, stood, was demolished on the night of May 17, 2024, according to the website of the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

According to the information published on the Monastery's telegram channel, around 10 p.m. on May 16th, buses with police and military personnel arrived at the Tithes Church. Later, there was a report that law enforcement officers were trying to detain monks fr om the monastery.

The telegram channel "Dozor na Pershomu Kozatskomu" reported that the entire territory of the National Museum of Ukrainian History was cordoned off by police officers and individuals in military uniforms. All passages and staircases were blocked off. The brethren of the Tithes Monastery were prevented from entering the Vladimir-Olginsky Cathedral, and when one priest, who wanted to remove from the demolished building a copy of the icon of the Mother of God "Vladimirskaya-Desyatinnaya", representatives of the police began to twist his arms, and he had to leave the monastery grounds.

Empty dump trucks arrived at the territory of the National Museum of Ukrainian History soon after.

At 11:28 p.m., the lawyer and clergyman of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Archpriest Nikita Chekman, wrote on his telegram channel that the cathedral began to be demolished using special equipment. Eyewitnesses shared information that mobile communication was jammed on this territory.

Shortly after midnight, trucks began to remove the debris of the demolished church. The fact of the destruction of the cathedral was confirmed by the telegram channel of the Tithes Monastery. By morning, there was only an empty lot there. Only one bronze icon, which was mounted on the wall, had survived.

Metropolitan Theodosius of Cherkasy and Kanev laid flowers at the site wh ere the Tithes Cathedral stood, reports the telegram channel "Cherkasy Blagovestnik." "For me, as a native Kievan, what happened today is a tragedy," said Metropolitan Theodosius, commenting on the events. "How else can one call the barbaric demolition of an active Orthodox church in the center of Kiev? It's a tragedy. And wh ere tragedy strikes, people lay flowers. Today, I am here not as a hierarch, but as a citizen and a native Kievan. I believe that today many residents of the capital, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox, believers and non-believers, will follow our example. After all, not everyone's conscience has yet been completely disfigured, and memory trampled upon...".

***

As reported by the Union of Orthodox Journalists, on September 14th, 2023, the Kiev Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of the community of the Tithes Monastery in Kyiv and ordered the authorities to demolish the cathedral. The Ministry of Culture of Ukraine claimed that the cathedral building "violated the ensemble of the historical archaeological complex 'Desyatinnyi Church'," and the construction of the church next to the foundation of the historical Tithes church "contradicted the intended use" of the land plot.

In late April 2024, the Tithes Monastery received a letter from the government executor stating that on May 7th, on the Tuesday of Bright Week, the process of dismantling the church building would begin. On the evening of May 6th, believers came to the Tithes Church for a prayer vigil to prevent unlawful actions and pray for peace. After that, the authorities resorted to a ruse, stating that they were canceling plans to demolish the Tithes Church on May 7th and postponing it indefinitely. Ten days later, under cover of darkness, the shrine was destroyed.

UOC lawyer Archpriest Nikita Chekman said that the overnight demolition of the Tithes Monastery was illegal, as no documents regarding the dismantling of the shrine were added to the Unified Register of Enforcement Proceedings. The religious community also did not receive any documents regarding this matter.

In addition, the response from the Central Interregional Office of the Ministry of Justice to the complaint from the lawyers of the Tithes Monastery about the illegal actions of the government executor was published. "We ask you to objectively and comprehensively verify the facts presented in the appeal, establish the causes and conditions that contributed to the violations, and take urgent measures to remedy them. In the event of its unjustified nature, clarify the procedure for appealing the decision taken on it," wrote the officials from the management. The response to the inspection was supposed to be given by May 24, but the demolition of the church took place before that date.

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