The Kalininsky District Court of St. Petersburg sentenced former hieromonk Ioann Kurmoyarov to three years in a penal colony in the case of “fakes” about the Russian army based on political hatred (point “e” of part 2 of article 207.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation). This is reported by the publication “Paper”.
In addition to imprisonment, the court banned Kurmoyarov from administering Internet sites for two years. In sentencing, the court took into account the fact that the defendant admitted guilt as a mitigating circumstance.
A day earlier, the prosecutor petitioned for the former priest to be sentenced to seven years in prison.
In his last words, Kurmoyarov stated that his motives “are exclusively of a religious nature,” adding that, as a priest and monk, he was very upset that the war was taking place between Orthodox people.
The reason for the criminal prosecution of the hieromonk was a video he published on YouTube in March 2022, which stated that the Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine would go to hell, not heaven. “Blessed are the peacekeepers,” “peacekeepers”, you understand what the problem is in paradise? And those who unleashed the aggression will not be in paradise,” the priest said.
Kurmoyarov was detained in St. Petersburg in June 2022, his gadgets, two icons, a wooden cross and a cassock were taken from him. Then Kurmoyarov was arrested and sent to SIZO-1 “Crosses-2” in St. Petersburg.
In the summer of 2020, Kurmoyarov criticized the main temple of the Armed Forces. “This is another example of how Orthodoxy is turning into banal paganism, with its temples, heavenly patrons, icons of military branches, professional churches,” he wrote at the time.
After that, Patriarch Kirill banned Kurmoyarov from serving for two months “due to inconsistency with the title of cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church” and “until all the circumstances of misbehavior are clarified.”
In December 2021, Kurmoyarov wrote a statement to the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation against Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu with a request to bring him to justice. The priest believes that the frescoes depicting Red Army soldiers and communist symbols located in the temple of the Ministry of Defense in the Patriot park near Moscow offend the feelings of believers.
In April 2022, he was deprived of his church rank. The Moscow diocese considered that he “forms false information” about the Russian army.