Personal testimonies of the Sisters concerning barbaric armed raid on their monastery in Bryukhovychi on 22 June 2015

On 22 June 2015, a barbaric armed raid was made on our monastery in Bryukhovychi at 6:20 a.m. There were about 200 men.

They jumped over the fence, dressed in black and green and wearing black or green masks. They had guns. They broke the doors with axes.

I saw a group of men in disguise at the door. They wore masks and you could only see their eyes. They had guns and pistols. They pointed the weapons at us, shouted at us and commanded us to go out. Another group of men was standing behind them and flashing torches in our eyes. They did not allow us to say anything. They showed no official documents nor explained what right they had to encroach on a private territory.

One of them said: “Come on, drag them out!” I saw them pushing one Sister out with a gun, one of them kicked her. Then they seized my hands and feet and brutally threw me out of the monastery. I fell on the ground. My leg then hurt me for a long time. I thought to myself: “What shall they do to us?” Then they threw out one Sister after another, pointing guns at them.

I ran quickly to the second floor to tell at least someone by phone what was going on here and to ask for help. When I looked out of the window, I saw our whole house encircled by armed men.

The Sisters telephoned us: “Please, pray for us and tell all our Sisters in other monasteries to pray. We’ve been attacked!” At that moment I didn’t know if I would ever see any of the Sisters again.

They ran up to the second and third floor… There were ten of them or more… They were pushing our Mother Superior out, pointing a gun at her… They broke the camera, snatched it out of my hands and took the cassette out. It was clear that they wanted to remove all the evidence.

We asked them to give us our cameras back. They stole all of them, broke them… Evidently, they did not want us to have any evidence of their organized crime.

They were pushing me out and shouting: “Get out, get out!” They dragged me down the stairs from the third floor. Then they seized my hands and feet and threw me outside. Moreover, they body-searched me and used rude and insulting words. I lost my slippers and was left barefoot but they did not let us inside to put on our shoes or sweaters… We were shivering with cold; it was 6 o’clock in the morning.

As we were standing outside, at a certain moment one man wearing a mask ran out of the house and commanded the others to take the Sisters inside, each separately, to be “body-searched”.

One of them said: “Come on, pull them inside. Take the first one here!” They started to tear me away from the Sisters, so cruelly, brutally grasping me by the arm… I held tight to my Sisters, with all my strength… I held tight to the cross on my chest… They were pulling me with great force and nearly tore my clothes and the cross from around my neck… I began to cry and begged them to let me be, to let me be together with the Sisters… But they ignored that…

Our Mother Superior said: “We will not go inside.”

Full of anger and hatred, they approached the Mother Superior and began to tear her away from the Sisters. They hit her head very hard several times, whereafter she bent down for a while; we could see that she felt a sharp pain.

As one of the Sisters tried to defend the Mother Superior, one of the men hit her too with all his might.

I am a lawyer and I can prove that the search procedure from the beginning to the end was violated. They violated all basic human rights and all norms related to search procedure established in the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine. This is yet another proof of an on-demand action.

During this armed raid, they robbed our monastery. They stole computers, notebooks, video cameras, personal belongings, official documents…

Shame on you! Bandits! Thieves!

They defiled and devastated our monastery, the chapel, defiled the altar, upsetting the altar cloths, throwing away the crucifixes, meddled with sacred things like chalice, paten etc. This was not the doing of the police or State Security Service. This was the doing of the apostate clergy in disguise. The apostate hierarchy had prepared this action beforehand. Their representatives had openly talked about it on TV.

About a month and a half ago, a certain person said to one of our Sisters: “Leave this monastery, for, you know, some people are organizing a raid. I know it from reliable sources. One person from church circles told me that they had already fixed the date. Leave the monastery lest something bad should happen to you.”

The mass media now continue a smear campaign. They give no true facts about what really happened.

This religious discrimination against our orthodox Catholic Church has lasted for several years already: we can mention the events in Chortkiv, Probizhna, persecution here in Lvov, TV or newspaper libel, incitement to religious hatred toward us, orthodox Greek Catholic believers. This brutal armed attack was an illegal action on the orders of the apostate hierarchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who exploited state authorities.

Shame on you!

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Word of Life

“For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Rom 7:5-6 (24/3/2019 – 7/4/2019)