On January 27, 2023, the head of the SSU Department in the Khmelnytsky region, Taras Tsyutsyura, gave an interview to xm-inside.com, in which, in particular, he answered a question about the results of the security measures taken at the facilities of the UOC of the Khmelnytsky region.
“I’ll emphasize right away: in no case does the SSU have prejudices against believers who attend the churches of the UOC. Freedom of choice of religion in our state is protected by the Constitution. We adhere to the principle of impartiality to the activities of any religious denomination. That is, we have nothing against religion. We act only when individuals who commit a crime are covered by religion,” the SSU representative said.
Taras Tsyutsyura explained that the department “works ahead of the curve – it carries out systematic work to counter the intelligence and subversive activities of the Russian special services in the religious sphere. That is, to prevent the church from drawing individual representatives of the local clergy and believers into inciting religious hatred and propaganda for war.”
“Security measures are not searches, as some media wrote,” the head of the SSU specified and added that “at the end of last year, employees of the SSU Directorate, together with the National Police in Khmelnitsky region, inspected the territory and premises of places of worship in the presence of representatives of religious organizations. We checked more than 40 people who were on the territory of these facilities. With several of them, an in-depth study was carried out, including with the use of a polygraph.”
Tsyutsyura said that such events were held at religious sites in three districts: Shepetovsky, Khmelnytsky, Kamenetz-Podolsky.
“Those who aroused our suspicion of possible cooperation with the aggressor country were intensively checked, and these are not only priests,” he assured.
“In the Khmelnytsky region, neither since the beginning of a full-scale war, nor now, facts that would give grounds to qualify the actions of representatives of religious organizations as criminally punishable, or the presence of saboteurs or prohibited items, have been found,” Taras Tsyutsyura emphasized.