Kyiv Primate claims to have survived three assassination attempts


Eastern Europe


Metropolitan Epiphanius. Photo AFP, Ozan Kose

According to himself, the head of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius is on a Russian hit list. The Metropolitan claims to have survived three assassination attempts since the Russian invasion.

The Metropolitan gave an interview to the Greek state TV ERT. He stated that foreign intelligence services informed him that he was “target number five on a list of Russians to kill.” According to him, three Russian agents attempted to enter the cathedral of the Archangel Michael with the Golden Dome.

“I want to thank the Greek people and the Greek Church for their help. We cannot be alone now, we must have support, and we feel it coming from you, from the Orthodox Greek“, he said, speaking in Greek. This reports the Orthodox news website Orthodox Times.


The Primate of the Orthodox Ukrainian Church is an outspoken critic of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a speech on February 27th, a few days after the attack began, the Metropolitan compared the Russian president Putin with Hitler and described him as the antichrist. “The spirit of the antichrist operates within the head of Russia. The Scriptures reveal the signs to us: pride, devotion to evil, ruthlessness and false religiosity”, the Kyiv Primate said. “It was Hitler during the Second World War, and it is what Putin has become today.”

Epiphanius is the head of the autocephalous (autonomous) Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which has been in existence since 2019. It contrasts with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is subordinate to Patriarch Kirill. The Moscow Patriarchate sees the Ukrainian Orthodox Church as a threat, causing tensions between the two Churches. Around 70 per cent of the 45 million Ukrainians profess Orthodox Christianity and belong to one of the two churches.



Subscribe for an update, and receive a documentary and e-book for free.

Choose your subscriptions*

You may subscribe to multiple lists.