Ukraine sanctioned 21 Russian Orthodox Church leaders

Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council is introducing restrictive sanctions against 21 leaders and priests of the Russian Orthodox Church, including Patriarch Kirill’s nephew, Mikhail Gundyayev, according to the National Security and Defence Council ruling

Sanctions have also been imposed on one Christian of the evangelical faith (Pentecostals).

This list was prepared further to recommendations made by Viktor Yelenskii, the head of the State Service of Ukraine for Ethnopolitics and Freedom of Conscience.

16 people on the list were proposed by the Security Service of Ukraine:

  • Mikhail Nikolayevich Gundyayev – Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church at the World Council of Churches and other international organisations in Geneva, Swiss Confederation; archpriest; nephew of Patriarch Kirill (Gundyayev) of Moscow.
  • Roman Sergeyevich Bagdasarov – Vicar of the Church of Zosima and Savvatius Solovetsky in Golyanovo (Moscow, Russian Federation); head of the sector for interaction with the Russian Guard of the Synodal department for interaction with the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies.
  • Aleksandr Vladimirovich Bulekov – Rector of the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God (Moscow, Russian Federation); Archimandrite Filaret; deputy head of the Department of External Church Relations.
  • Aleksandr Ivanovich Ganzhin – Deputy head of the Synodal department for interaction with the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies; Archimandrite Aleksei.
  • Leonid Eduardovich Gorbachov – Metropolitan Leonid of Klin; head of the Patriarchal Exarchate of Africa.
  • Leonid Grigoryevich Yemelyanov – Metropolitan Tikhon of Vladimir and Suzdal.
  • Vakhtang Vladimirovich Kipshidze – Deputy head of the Synodal department for Church interaction with society and the media.
  • Aleksei Sergeyevich Kulberg – Metropolitan Yevgeny of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye; head of the Synodal department of religious education and catechism.
  • Vladimir Romanovich Legoyda – Acting head of the press service of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
  • Nikolai Fyodorovich Nemtsov – Metropolitan Methodius of Perm and Kungur.
  • Oleg Andreyevich Ovcharov – Colonel of Justice of the reserve; head of the Synodal department for interaction with the armed forces and law enforcement agencies; priest; archpriest of the military and naval clergy.
  • Anton Yuryevich Sevryuk – Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk; head of the Department of External Church Relations.
  • Konstantin Yulevich Tatarintsev – Head of the sector for interaction with the Air and Space Forces of the Synodal department for interaction with the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies; archpriest.
  • Nikolai Nikolayevich Chashin – Metropolitan Sergii of Singapore and Southeast Asia.
  • Aleksandr Vladimirovich Shchipkov – Deputy Chairman of the World Russian People’s Council; First Deputy Chairman of the Synodal department for Church interaction with society and the media.
  • Sergei Vasilevich Ryakhovsky – Presiding bishop; head of the Spiritual Council of the Russian United Union of Evangelical Christians (Pentecostals). Publicly supports and justifies the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.

The other six were proposed by the Cabinet of Ministers:

  • Grigory Valeryevich Alfeyev – Head of the Department of External Church Relations; Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk. Publicly supports and justifies the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine. Manages the Ukrainian area of activity of the Moscow Patriarchate, promotes the “Russian world” ideology.
  • Nikolai Vladimirovich Balashov – Deputy head of the department of external Church relations; archpriest. Publicly supports and justifies the Russian Federation’s war  against Ukraine. Promotes the “Russian world” ideology and directly manages the Ukrainian area of activity of the Moscow Patriarchate.
  • Pavel Pavlovich Volochkov – Archbishop Pitirim of Syktyvkar and Komi-Zyryan. Openly supports the attempted annexation of Crimea and the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.
  • Artemiy Vladimirovich Vladimirov – Archpriest, writer, preacher and teacher. Justifies Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in his sermons and expresses hope that Russia will absorb the countries of the former USSR. He has also called for prayers for “victory over the dark fascist horde” that has allegedly taken over all of Europe. He claims Russia has assumed the role of a fighter for the truth and arranged the special operation in Ukraine “to arrange a Nuremberg trial over all of Europe”.
  • Andrei Yuryevich Tkachov – Mitred archpriest, preacher, TV presenter, popular YouTube blogger. Justifies Russian aggression against Ukraine in his sermons, seeing it as punishment for the Ukrainians for the Maidan, and calls on the Russian military to continue killing Ukrainians, promising them support from various saints and archangels whom Russian priests have supposedly “ordered” to support the Russian army.
  • Aleksei Ilich Osipov – Russian Orthodox theologian, teacher and commentator, Doctor of Theology, Honoured Professor of the Moscow Orthodox Theological Academy and Seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church. Has expressed public support for Russia’s war against Ukraine. Constantly publishes articles in the spirit of Kremlin propaganda promoting the military aggression of the Russian Federation. Appears in YouTube broadcasts expressing his opinion about the special operation in accordance with the policy of the Russian Federation with the aim of justifying Russia’s military actions and the genocide of the Ukrainian population. Says the Russian church does not condemn but supports the special operation.