The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has been closely associated with special services for decades, first in the USSR, and then in modern Russia. Initially, in the USSR, the church and priests were persecuted, but later they became a full-fledged element of the Soviet state, and then Russia. Using the church, the Russian authorities are trying to influence an audience that was previously impossible to reach, and first of all, these are the EU countries.
Russia’s aggression against Ukraine led to the fact that the Ukrainian authorities began a tough fight against the activities of Russian special services in their country, including with one of the elements in their service, the “Gundyaevites”. That is why in March 2023 the National Historical Cultural Preserve “Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra” announced the termination of a lease agreement with the UOC-MP on the use of the Lower Lavra. Pro-Russian clergy were ordered to leave the monastery by March 29.
It should be noted that the Russian Church has a vast geography and is in Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Great Britain, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal , Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Finland, France, Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Sweden. One can only imagine the scale of the work of the Russian special services, which use the ROC’s capabilities. Every priest of an official parish in the Russian Federation, one way or another, is connected with the FSB, which is why Western countries should take into account the experience of Ukraine in the fight against Russian special services, through which Moscow continues its activities aimed at destabilizing the situation in the European Union and other countries.