Cherkasy newspaper "Kolos" says DMA official is blocking articles criticizing the UOC (ROC-affiliated)
The editor of the Talne newspaper "Kolos", Iryna Rohova, said that the deputy head of the Zvenyhorod district military administration (Cherkasy oblast), Oleksandr Dubovy, prohibited the local newspapers from any publishing articles critical of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (affiliated with the Russian Orthodox Church). The editor spoke to Ukrinform about this.
According to her, Dubovy argues that such articles incite religious enmity in the country.
"While martial law is in effect, we have to send the newspaper layout to the Zvenyhorod Military Administration for proofreading. However, the deputy head of the Zvenyhorod DMA, Oleksandr Dubovy, regularly declines articles criticizing the Moscow Church. This was the case last year, when we submitted a note on the Veselokut parish transitioning from the UOC MP to the OCU for proofreading. This was also the case yesterday, when our reader, former head of the district council, Anatoliy Kravchuk, sent us a letter criticizing the actions of the UOC MP leaders, Metropolitans Onufriy and Pavlo. Both times, Mr. Dubovy said that the articles were inciting religious enmity in the country," said Rohova.
Oleksiy Bahatelya, the head of the OCU parish in Buzhanka village, Zvenyhorod district, has said that the deputy head of the Zvenyhorod DSA, Oleksandr Dubovy, was a staunch supporter of the Moscow church. According to Bagatelya, Dubovy is an UOC MP churchwarden in Lysyanka village.
"When our village's parish decided to transition from the UOC MP to the OCU, Oleksandr Dubovy personally brought titushkas here and threatened that the villagers would be punished if they decide to submit to a different Church," Bagatelya said.
Oleksandr Dubovy himself believes that he is acting within the limits of current legislation.
"I always make decisions guided by the law and the interests of the community and take an impartial position. I believe that the articles you mentioned do violate the law, so the submissions to print them were declined. The head of the Zvenyhorod DMA, Yuriy Pikovsky, is of the same opinion as me," he told Ukrinform.
Zvenigorod DMA head, Yuriy Pikovsky, assured the journalist that his deputy was not telling the truth.
"Oleksandr Vasylyovych is bluffing. He coordinated some of his decisions with me, and did the rest independently. I know his position regarding the UOC MP. I am also aware of the radical attitude towards the Moscow Church in Talne. Obviously, once Easter is over, we will have to take certain action so that such situations do not happen again," he said.
The Cherkasy RMA claims that proofreading newspaper layouts is mentioned in the Law "On the Martial Law Regime".
"The editors send us the layouts of the newspapers, and we approve them based on whether they meet the safety restrictions. This is mentioned in the Law of Ukraine 'On the Martial Law Regime' – clause 11, part 1 of Article 8 – and is supposed to prevent information leaks that could be detrimental to security of the oblast and the state overall. Regional newspapers send their layouts to the Cherkasy RMA, district newspapers send them to the DMA," said the head of the Cherkasy RMA press office, Victoria Kurchenko.
Zvenyhorod district is one of the four districts of Cherkasy oblast. It includes the former Zvenyhorod, Lysyanka, Shpola, Talne, Katerynopil districts, and a part of the Korsun-Shevchenkivsky district.
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