On October 8th 2019 in Zaporozhye a resident of the Donetsk region, who, according to SBU investigators, intended to commit an act of terrorism and blow up the Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol Luka, was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.
On June 7th employees of the SBU in Zaporozhye detained a 63-year-old elderly person with a walking stick who allegedly went to the house entrance where the Metropolitan of Zaporozhye and Melitopol Luka lives in order to plant an explosive and blow up the Metropolitan.
The name of the pensioner wasn’t disclosed. On the same day the press service of the SBU posted video showing an elderly person with a censored face clearly reading off a piece of paper a confession of attempting to commit a terrorist attack.
The “1+1” TV channel and local media immediately published information that the man was enlisted in Donetsk and “bought off” by an offer to pay for leg prosthetics. Also, information was published in the media that he intended to blow up not only Luka, but also his bodyguard, the head of the Zaporozhye Union of Veterans of “Berkut“, Aleksandr Kurnikov. The media described the motivation for such an act as follows: since Metropolitan Luka is one of two Ukrainian hierarchs who are a part of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (and therefore a person with an “anti-Ukrainian position”), and the former “Berkut” officer Kurnikov is an “enemy of Ukraine” because he is a former Berkut officer, so the target of the terrorist attack was to “raise the topic for the next story in the “Vesti” program: ‘Priests are being killed in Ukraine'”.
It is interesting that on the same day Metropolitan Luka reported to the public that he is outside Zaporozhye’s city boundaries and nobody could have physically attempted to assassinate him.
After the publication in media about a possible assassination attempt on Metropolitan Luka, he reacted to it on social networks with an address to the Deputy Chairman of the SBU Ivan Bakanov.
“I am outside Zaporozhye, therefore this illegal act couldn’t even theoretically be aimed at me. Certain forces dare to artificially use the situation with a prevented explosion in Zaporozhye to force negative public moods, using elements of information manipulation and promoting the kindling of interfaith hostility,” wrote Luka.
It is no less interesting that some days prior to the “assassination attempt” Luka submitted an appeal to the police with a request to initiate criminal proceedings against the radical neo-Nazi organisation “Demokratycheskaya Sokyra”, the members of which repeatedly permitted themselves to make extremist statements towards the priests and parishioners of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in connection with the fact of kindling of interfaith hostility.
“Demokratycheskaya Sokyra” actively supported Petro Poroshenko at the previous presidential election; its leaders are participants of Euromaidan, former heads of the propaganda department of the local organisation “Solidarnost-BPP”, assistants to people’s deputies from the “Bloc of Petro Poroshenko”, and also former advisers of figures close to Poroshenko.
The SBU took 4 months to carry out investigative actions. The press service of the SBU writes that the investigators managed to find out that the 63-year-old disabled person was recruited by representatives of the DPR Ministry of State Security, was trained at an “explosives training center ran by militants, and was tasked with committing a terrorist attack”. For this purpose the pensioner came to Zaporozhye with 1.5 kg of plastic explosives. According to the SBU, he completely admitted his guilt concerning crimes stipulated by Part 2 of Article 15, Part 2 of Article 258-3, and Part 1 of Article 263 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine. Thus, the Zhovtnevy district court of Zaporozhye, which is considered to be a “court of the SBU”, sentenced the elderly person to 5 years of imprisonment.
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