Explaining complex things in simple words: ‘’MAF temple’’ dismantling

Explaining complex things in simple words: ‘’MAF temple’’ dismantling

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The Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security pursues efforts to provide a brief explanation to foreign audiences on the current topics of particular interest as regards Ukraine.


According to the decision of the Kyiv City Commercial Court, dated February 15, 2023, the illegal construction, known as the ‘’MAF temple’’ on the territory of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine, was dismantled.

  • This construction was built in 2012 near the foundation of the Kyiv Church of the Tithes in the buffer zone of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘’Kyiv: Saint-Sophia Cathedral and Related Monastic Buildings, Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra’’, within the protection zone of the architectural monument of national importance ‘’St. Andrew's Church’’ and on the territory of the archaeological site of national significance ‘’City of Prince Volodymyr’’.
  • A new building in the buffer zone of UNESCO monuments is prohibited. The unauthorised building took place without archaeological investigation and the permission of the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Science of Ukraine. The new construction disturbed the ensemble of the historical archaeological complex.
  • The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine did not approve the project documentation for the allocation of land for construction and did not grant permits for building works. The construction was not put into operation in accordance with the procedure established by law.
  • The name ‘’Tithe Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God Monastery’’ was chosen for the purpose of misleading, confusing concepts and creating the illusion of the antiquity of the illegal construction and legal succession between it and the Church of the Tithes, whose foundation remains are situated in close proximity to self-building.
  • The unauthorised building on the territory of the museum was not only a violation of monument protection legislation, but also a provocation with the aim of harming the Ukrainian state, using the situation to provoke conflicts and create a picture of ‘’religious persecution’’.

  • It is significant that the abbot of the ‘’MAF temple’’ was Gedeon (Yurii Haron), a person with Russian citizenship.
  • The Kyiv City Commercial Court satisfied the claim of the National Museum of the History of Ukraine regarding the removal of obstacles to the use of the land plot by demolishing the immovable object and restoring the land plot to its previous state.
  • According to the Court's decision, the UOC-MP religious community has been obliged to independently dismantle the illegal construction. On more than one occasion, a fine was imposed on the violator for non- compliance with the court decision, which was not paid.
  • Since the Museum did not have funds, it announced the collection of 772,000 hryvnias in order to provide the demolition works of the ‘’MAF temple’’. Within 16 hours from the moment of the announcement, 870,000 hryvnias were collected. There were 2266 donors. The largest two donations were 30,000 hryvnias each, and the smallest was 10 kopecks. This indicates broad public support for the execution of the Court’s decision.
  • The movable objects from the furnishings of the ‘’MAF temple’’ will be transferred to the National Preserve ‘’Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra’’, which has the necessary storage space and has given written consent, according to the decree of the state executor.
  • The dismantling of the construction on the Museum territory is for the protection of the cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people because the Ukrainian state was born on this territory. The decision to demolish an illegal building is about the rule of law in the state. The law is one for all.

Center for Strategic Communication and Information Security

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