The former leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic, separatist Igor “Strelkov” Girkin stated that the monks of the Holy Dormition Sviatohirsk Lavra actively participated in the conflict in the Donbas. He admitted that his personal security was fully made up of spiritual servants, monks and hieromonks of the Sviatohirsk Lavra.
“It [the security team] was not very big but anyway they were there. A novice of the Sviatohirsk Lavra commanded one of the units in the Slavic brigade. And this novice has a serious but household status in Lavra,” Girkin said. He also said that Orthodox people in so-called Novorossiya (New Russia) were convinced that they were doing the duty for their faith when they followed the Donbas militants.