Fabricated Statement Disseminated in the Name of the Vinnytsia Diocese

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On March 3rd, 2023, the Russian-language political portal utyug.info, as well as Russian– and Georgian-language Facebook accounts, disseminated the claim that the Vinnytsia Diocese of Ukraine – УЦС КП (Kyiv Patriarchate) officially gave the Orthodox parish blessing for murder.

The information is accompanied by a photo of the announcement, which features the following inscription in the Ukrainian language:

“You are the defender of Ukraine. It is your duty to protect independence from the Russian occupiers. Your task is to erase the Russian nation from the face of the earth. Your enemy is the Russian world, which harms the human soul. Killing Russians is not a sin.”

The statement is signed by the Metropolitan Varsonof of Vinnytsia and Bar.


The disseminated statement is fabricated. The statement is prepared on the letterhead of the Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate (УПЦ КП), although it is signed by the Metropolitan of the Moscow Patriarchate. The forged nature of the document is also indicated by the detail that УПС КП, in an independent form, ceased to exist officially in 2019 and was united under the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (ПЦУ). In a comment to “Myth Detector,” the press secretary of the Diocese of Vinnytsia-Bar also denied the authenticity of the statement.

  • The statement is signed by the Metropolitan of the Moscow Patriarchate.

To verify the viral statement, “Myth Detector” contacted the press secretary of Vinnytsia-Bari Diocese – Archimandrite Sophroniy Chupryna. According to him, there are a number of errors and inconsistencies in the text, which indicate the ignorance of the basic church rules and the falsity of the statement. The statement is prepared on the letterhead of the Kyiv Patriarchate УЦС КП and is signed by Metropolitan Versonof of “Vinnytsia and Bar”. It should be noted that Metropolitan Versonof is not subordinated to the Kyiv Patriarchate but to the Moscow Patriarchate. Therefore, it is inappropriate that the bishop of the Moscow Patriarchate writes the statement on the letterhead of the Kyiv Patriarchate.

  • УПС КП, in an independent form, ceased to exist officially in 2019

As for the church mentioned at the top of the statement, it should be noted that УПЦ КП no longer exists in an independent form because on December 15th, 2018, the United Orthodox Church of Ukraine (ПЦУ) was created, and УПЦ КП merged into it. On January 5th, 2019, Ukraine gained autocephaly. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I signed the certificate of autocephaly, the Tomos, and handed it over to the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphanes, on January 6th.

On December 15th, 2019, the head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanes, announced the final legal liquidation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (УПЦ КП) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (УАПЦ) of the Kyiv Patriarchate.

  • The Signatures of the Clerics on the Statement

The press secretary of Vinnytsia-Bar Diocese, Archimandrite Archimandrite Sophroniy Chupryna, also noted that monks and bishops do not sign the statement as standard but simply write their names. And this statement has a standard signature, which also proves that the author of the false statement does not know the basic ecclesiastical rules.

Notably, last year, Metropolitan Epiphanes of Orthodox Church of Ukraine said that killing the occupiers is not a sin. He says that the goal of Ukrainians is not to kill their neighbors, although Russian invaders have entered Ukraine and Ukrainians are defending their land.

Metropolitan Epiphanes of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine: “We as a nation do not seek to kill our neighbors. But since they entered our house, we defend our land, family, homeland. Our soldiers protect all Ukrainians. Defense, killing the enemy is not a sin. We defend, we do not aspire to another. He who comes to us with a sword will die with the same sword.”

The article has been written in the framework of Facebook’s fact-checking program. You can read more about the restrictions that Facebook may impose based on this article via this link. You can find information about appealing or editing our assessment via this link.

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Violation: Disinformation
Country: Ukraine
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