Archbishop VICTOR (PIVOVAROV), Orthodox Church of Russia (Slavyansk-on-Kuban, Russia)

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Archbishop Victor (Pivovarov)

Victor (Pivovarov), Archbishop of Slavyansk and South Russia, previously belonged to the Orthodox Church of Russia in this capacity, since 2009 outside any jurisdictions; born in 1937.

On 1 March 2023, he delivered a sermon that the authorities considered discrediting the army; a protocol was drawn up against him.

According to the Kommersant publishing house, the clergyman was fined 40,000 Russian rubles by the Slavyansk City Court (Krasnodar Krai). What statements were incriminated to Pivovarov is unknown.

The Novaya Vkladka publisher published a large interview with Archbishop Victor.
On the morning of 3 October 2023, the security forces with machine guns detained Archbishop Viktor (Pivovarov) and his assistant, hieromonk Iona (Sigida). The church was searched; during the search, both clergy were stripped of clothes; and hieromonk was detained, while archbishop Victor was released, but the police warned him about the possibility of initiation of a criminal case if he continued to «discredit the army».

On December 28, 2023, Pivovarov told the Kavkaz.Realii media that a criminal case had indeed been opened against him. The basis for re-prosecution was his article «The answer to the question that worries everyone today: what is this war?»

The criminal case, according to OVD-Info referencing the court’s website, was submitted for consideration to the Slavyansky City Court of the Krasnodar Krai on 22 January 2024. On 27 February 2024, the trial of Archbishop Victor began. The next court hearing is scheduled for 11 March 2024.

On 8 April 2024, the Slavyansk City Court received “a plaint for the demolition of an unauthorised construction” regarding the decision of the city administration to demolish the Intercession and St Tikhon Church in Slavyansk-on-Kuban. The justification for the decision states that in an interview to Novaya Gazeta Europe on the territory of this church, Archbishop Victor (Pivovarov) allegedly discredited the Russian army.