Fact Check: NO Deal With UNESCO To Move Holy Relics From Kyiv Pechersk Monastery To European Countries


  • Автор: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: NO Deal With UNESCO To Move Holy Relics From Kyiv Pechersk Monastery To European Countries No Such Deal

Did UNESCO reach an agreement with Ukraine to move Christian relics from the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra monastery to European countries in order to protect them? No, that's not true: No such agreement existed as of June 26, 2023.

The story appeared in a video (archived here) published on TikTok by political.channel.minsk on June 29, 2023, under the title: "Sacred operation." The caption under the video (translated from Russian to English by Lead Stories staff) reads:

Christian relics are scorned in Kyiv. Reaction of the Nostradamus of the XXI century.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2023-07-03 at 8.34.17 PM.png

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Mon Jul 3 15:44:12 2023 UTC)

The "Nostradamus of XXI century" in the text refers to Sediq Afghan, a controversial Afghani mathematics philosopher, who claims, in fact, to be the Nostradamus of the XXI century, and allegedly predicts the future using algorithms. His "prophecies" - such as the one claiming that Putin should not step back from the "special operation" in Ukraine, otherwise Russia would face trouble - are spread by Russian nationalist websites. According to the TikTok video, Afghan "deciphered" the SVO - the "special military operation", as the invasion of Ukraine has been labeled by Russia - as a "sacred military operation" after the announcement of the alleged evacuation of the holy relics from the monastery.

The press office of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, citing Director Sergey Naryshkin, published a report claiming that an agreement had been reached between UNESCO and Kyiv to transfer Christian relics from the Kyiv Pechersk monastery "to museums of Italy, France, Germany and the Vatican under the pretext of saving them from Russia's missile attacks."

Ukraine's Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko on his social media accounts denied the allegation and stated that "the only goal we have regarding the monastery now is to protect it from the 'Russian world' adding that "not a single thing of sacred value will leave the territory of Ukraine."

On the UNESCO website there is no trace of the alleged agreement and UNESCO spokesman Thomas Mallard in his comments to Russian news agencies TASS and RIA Novosti ruled out the organization's involvement in the removal of the relics. Maksym Ostapenko, acting general director of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra national reserve, also denied it, adding that "authorities will do everything to protect this monument, even from Russian aggressors."

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

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