The "symbolic blow" of Russia taking over the rotating UN Security Council president has been criticised by a senior Ukrainian official. The chief of staff to the Ukrainian president, Andriy Yermak, posted on Twitter on Saturday, "It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state – Iran, another terror state – Russia – begins to preside over the UN Security Council. It's not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations."
It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state – Iran, another terror state – Russia – begins to preside over the UN Security Council.
It's not just a shame. It is another symbolic blow to the rules-based system of international relations.— Andriy Yermak (@AndriyYermak) April 1, 2023
On Saturday, Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the UN's top security committee. The Kremlin declared on Friday that it will "use all its rights" in the capacity. There being no way to prevent Russia from taking over the position, the US has asked it to "conduct itself professionally" when it does so.
Yermak criticised Iran, which Kyiv and its allies claim supplied Russia with weapons, including hundreds of assault drones that have threatened Ukrainian critical assets. Iran denies providing weapons to Russia. “It is very telling that on the holiday of one terror state – Iran, another terror state – Russia – begins to preside over the UN security council,” Yermak remarked in reference to Iran's Islamic Republic Day holiday.
A prominent Orthodox priest has been informed that he is suspected of condoning Russian aggression, which is against the law, by Ukraine's top security agency. The abbot of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery in the Ukrainian capital, Metropolitan Pavel, has been called in for questioning. According to The Guardian, photos from the Ukrainian security service (SBU) showed officers outside Pavel's house on Saturday.
Up until recently, Pavel's branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) had a formal affiliation with the Russian Orthodox faith. Prosecutors sought the court to place him under house arrest while the inquiry was ongoing after SBU operatives stormed his home. Due to its longstanding ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, whose head, Patriarch Kirill, has backed Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Ukrainian government has cracked down on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Insisting on its allegiance to Ukraine, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has condemned the Russian invasion from the first. The church formally renounced its allegiance to Moscow. But, according to Ukrainian security services, certain UOC members have continued to retain strong contacts with Moscow.