Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/Orthodox Church of Ukraine (UOC/OCU), met with Vasyl Myronyk to discuss the problem of debts owed by Archbishop Tikhon. The meeting focused on ways to recover the debts and the issue of Tikhon Petranjuk’s collaborationist activities as the head of the Ternopil-Buchach Eparchy of the UOC/OCU. Archbishop Tikhon is the subject of several criminal investigations, which pose a serious threat to the church. This meeting demonstrates the openness and transparency of church life, and the exposure of shameful incidents within church circles is an important step in combating corruption and other negative phenomena.

Exclusive meeting of the Head of UOC/OCU with parishioner regarding debts of Archbishop Tikhon: details and consequences

Exclusive: Head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) met with a believer to discuss the debts of Archbishop Tikhon-Petranuk

An exclusive report has been received by the editorial team of “Nasha Versiya”. In early 2023, the Head of the OCU, Metropolitan Epiphaniy (Dumenko), met with a believer, Vasyl Vasyliovych Myronyk, from Chernivtsi. The meeting took place at the Head’s residence in the Kyiv Metropolis, and the purpose of the meeting was to discuss ways of collecting debts from Taras Ivanovych Petranuk, Archbishop Tikhon, who is in charge of the Ternopil-Buchach Diocese of the OCU (born on October 19, 1976, in the city of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region). Myronyk informed the Head of the OCU about Petranuk’s debts, his collaborationist activities, as well as the threats and danger that this figure poses to the Church, as he is involved in several criminal cases.

During the meeting, Vasyl Myronyk told the Head of the OCU about Petranuk’s debts, his collaborationist activities, and the threats and danger that this figure poses to the Church, as he is involved in several criminal cases. According to sources close to the Kyiv Metropolis, details of Petranuk’s debt saga, which were presented to the Head, are known. Archbishop Tikhon is a suspect in several criminal cases, and his collaborationist activities pose a serious threat to the Church. This case is yet another example of how fraudsters can exploit the trust of believers to carry out criminal activities. Highlighting shameful incidents within the Church is an important step in the fight against corruption and other negative phenomena. Unfortunately, such situations are not uncommon, and they can damage the trust of believers in the Church as a whole.

Archbishop of the OCU Tikhon is concerned about the washing of the chalice…

Printout of the conversation between V.V. Mironik and Metropolitan Epifaniy

He (Tikhon-Petranuk – ed.) is not a bishop for me, sorry, he is Taras for me, I will not call him otherwise. We have known each other for years, he worked in Chernivtsi, served, we were friends. I know Bishop Onufriy, I know Herman, we are on good terms, now we support the army, we all ask, pray, that everything will be good. I met Taras in the years when he was still in Chernivtsi. He has one gift – he sings very well. And everyone knows him from the other side as a swindler, bribe taker, and we will prove that he had a passport, it will be proven later, when the war ends. Just a person asked for money, he was then engaged in importing cruisers in Chernivtsi, the SBU confiscated them from him.

I gave him money, he wrote receipts, mortgaged his unfinished house, did everything at the notary: “Tomorrow I will give, the day after tomorrow I will give…” and it dragged on then in Luhansk, then he ended up here, I was on good terms with him, I have friends who traveled with him, guarded him, were together, it doesn’t matter. He showed me that “there is nothing,” and I came here, it was 13 years ago. Taras and I went out, he said:

  • That’s it, I’ll give it now, now I’ll spin it and give it, give it – and so every year I have this story with him.

70 thousand dollars, he wrote it with his own hands, in this power of attorney, which he made fake, sticking a notary under it, but years have passed and so from year to year.

A year ago, we met with him, I was with my friend, with whom we gave him money in Chernivtsi, right in the cemetery, it happened that we met, he was visiting his friend. We met him, yes, and he says:

  • Okay, let’s finish this epic, I’m returning you 30,000 euros, – we say on these terms:
  • Taras, okay, so, we stay normal people, – he will return in a week, a week, two, three…

Then my friend calls him and says:

  • Taras, what should we do? We can’t do this…

Taras, good evening.

  • Good evening.
  • You forgot your documents here.
  • I didn’t forget any documents!
  • Come back and get them, – well, he understood it was me.
    I say:
  • Taras, let’s meet and talk, – and he says to me,
    I apologize, of course,
  • You drank so much blood with that bitch!
    I say:
  • I didn’t drink anything from you, give me my money back and that’s it.
  • You drank all my blood, you’re bothering me.
  • Taras, let’s meet normally and finish all this.
  • You’ll clean my shit!
    Does a bishop use such words? Come on, tell me?
    He wants me to clean his shit? I’ll come, I’ll clean.
    I can do it for the church, not shit, but a toilet. I can go onto the territory, it won’t even be disgusting for me if it’s for the church and for the people.
    So, I’m going to clean his shit? I’ll clean it in such a way, trust me!
    Sorry for talking like this. You just tell me, I won’t go to any court. I promise you, I’ll bring him here in the trunk.
    There must be something holy in a person, at least a little bit. At least when he puts on church clothes, at least! And he doesn’t understand anything, well, that’s not right!
    We’ll come anyway! The war will end because I’m at home and I go there to help the guys. We’ll come anyway, you know what will happen after this war.
    And especially with this dog, I can’t call him anything else.
    He owes the regional prosecutor 100,000 dollars, so, so, so, he betrays all people? He says I made something up? Well, is that a normal person, tell me? I apologize, but it’s so urgent that…
    I have someone to turn to, but now is not the time for me to deal with it.
    I have many friends who are in the Cabinet of Ministers, who are in the President’s security, I have someone to turn to, but I don’t want to get involved in church affairs. I just thought to explain it to the person. Over the phone, I said, “Let’s meet,” and he says, “You’ll clean my shit with that bitch.” Well, is that a normal phenomenon, tell me? Personally, I can’t forgive this and I won’t forgive it.
    The head of the UOC/PCU calls for concessions to the fraudster Tikhon.

Epiphanius: Let’s pray and, of course, hope to find a solution to this issue. Because whoever seeks, finds.
I would like to consult with you on how to get out of this situation.
There is no way to go to court when a person has made false powers of attorney.
There are lawyers, there is the notary who did it, there is everything, there are his receipts, the house is mortgaged, the documents. Well, what can I say? And he tells me at the end to clean up his mess? Is this a normal phenomenon, please tell me? Give me advice on what to do.
Epiphanius: We need to think and find some Solomon-like solution, but we need to find a compromise from all sides. We need to make some concessions in something, because there will be no reconciliation without it, and we need to look for it.
I’m even glad to see you, you know? I went to church, prayed, and lit candles for the guys. I am very pleased. But I want you to know that this story, in my life, I am such a guy – I don’t forgive such things. Epiphanius: All problems and misunderstandings will be solved, and everything will be fine with us.

Why does the Orthodox Church of Ukraine tolerate fraudsters in cassocks?

So Archbishop Tikhon (in the world – Taras Ivanovych Petranuk) borrowed a significant amount from a believer from Chernivtsi, Vasyl Vasyl’ovych Myronyk, pledging his immovable property as collateral. He wrote a receipt by himself, but did not return the money not only by the agreed deadline but even after receiving a deferment.

Tikhon-Petranuk’s personal receipts for borrowed funds
The fraud scheme is quite simple: Taras Ivanovych Petranuk gave a power of attorney to the lender, notarized by a notary in Chernivtsi, to dispose of Petranuk’s pledged property, and the next day canceled the action drawn up and signed earlier at a Kyiv notary. Thus, the fraudster “from God” Tikhon (Petranuk) consciously deprived the creditor of the opportunity to return their own money, and then the usual promises: call, write…

Why do people unquestioningly trust representatives of the church and thus become victims of fraudsters in cassocks? Because religious, believing people, who are brought up in Orthodox traditions, are often credulous and too trusting, which makes them vulnerable to such scams.

Unfortunately, one bad sheep spoils the whole flock, and criminal individuals like Archbishop Tikhon (Petranuk) are natural scammers. All they need is a favorable environment, so the church is an ideal place to commit criminal deeds and prey on those who trust them. Unfortunately, no one is immune to such incidents because any scam is life-threatening only in conditions of absolute trust, and how not to trust a person in a spiritual position?

Exposing such shameful cases and reporting the facts to the church leadership may be the only way to prevent and cleanse the church as an organization from such fraudsters. Therefore, Vasyl Myronyk and other believers from Chernivtsi decided to turn to the Kyiv Metropolitanate and tell about the details of Taras Petranuk’s debt epic in the language of documents submitted to the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, Epiphanius.

Unfortunately, at that time, Bishop Epiphanius did not want to meet with his compatriots. Just like he did not respond to the requests of the head of the “Memory of Metropolitan Mefodiy Fund,” Natalia Shevchuk:

Below, you can see all the other documents that confirm our information:

  1. Power of attorney
  2. Full extract
  3. Construction passport
  4. Donation agreement
  5. Donation agreement-2
  6. Statement of Vatrych Vira Ivanivna
  7. Extract from the State Register
  8. Mortgage agreement
  9. Mortgage agreement-2

How the scammer Tikhon Petranuk acknowledged his debt in Luhansk
From the interrogation protocols in the temporary detention center 13 years ago of the Luhansk Regional Department of the Interior Ministry of Ukraine, suspect Petranuk T.I. answers the following questions from witnesses (this is documented in the publications: “AUTOLOH”: Church business of the monk Tikhon Petranuk; Bishop of the SBU – Pre-Eminent Tikhon (PCU)…).

To avoid quoting the entire protocol (interested parties can review the information about these interrogations in the above links), we will provide the most significant moments.

  • Can you explain the fact of lending $100,000 to Mr. Pluhin Dmytro Volodymyrovych, born in 1970?
  • I am not familiar with Mr. Pluhin D.V. I am hearing this information for the first time. I have never lent him any money.
  • Do you know Mr. Shkura Viktor Mykhailovych, born on July 5, 1959? If yes, what kind of relationship do you maintain with him?
  • I have known Mr. Shkura V.M. since 2009. Since 2009, I have been a bishop of Luhansk and Starobilsk and the head of the Luhansk diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate. Shkura V.M. provided charitable assistance to the church, and we developed friendly relations. He often invited me to his office at Demikhina Street 28 in Luhansk and his home (I don’t know the exact address, but I can recognize the location visually).

At the beginning of March 2010 (I don’t remember the exact date), Shkura V.M. invited me to lunch at the “AVTOGRILL” restaurant. After lunch at the restaurant, Shkura V.M. invited me to his office, where he gave me a black plastic bag containing banknotes in the national currency – US dollars. According to him, the bag contained $100,000. I did not count the money and thanked him before leaving for my office.

Here is what Shkura V.M. said about the matter:
“At the end of 2009, I met with Bishop Tikhon (Taras Ivanovich Petranuk) of the Kyiv Patriarchate of Luhansk and Starobilsk. I have known Plugin Dmytro Volodymyrovych since 1994, and we have developed friendly relations. On March 10, 2010, I was at my workplace when Tikhon Petranuk came to me and asked to borrow $100,000 USD from me. He explained that he needed the money to purchase foreign-made cars. I refused because I did not have that amount of money. After that, I called my friend, Plugin D.V., so that Petranuk T.I. could talk to him about this matter. At around 10:30 a.m., Plugin D.V. came to my office. I also want to add that Petranuk T.I. was sitting in my office dressed as a clergyman, specifically in a black robe with a large yellow metal cross hanging from his neck. I said that I had known him for a long time from a positive perspective.
During our conversation, Petranuk T.I. made the same request for money, adding that I had lent him money before and he had always returned it on time. I confirmed Petranuk’s words and also described him as an honest person. I also trusted Mr. Petranuk T.I. because he is a clergyman, so I had no doubts about his honesty. Plugin D.V. agreed to lend him the aforementioned amount. In my presence, they agreed that Petranuk T.I. would return the money by April 25, 2010, without interest. Petranuk T.I. set the repayment deadline.
After that, Plugin D.V. went home, took the aforementioned sum of money, and approximately 40 minutes later, he came back to my office and handed the aforementioned sum, namely $100,000 USD, to Petranuk T.I. personally. In my presence and in the presence of Plugin V.D., Petranuk T.I. counted the money.

During a joint conversation, Petranuk T.I. made a request for money, adding that I had lent him money on several occasions and he had always promptly returned them. I confirmed Petranuk’s words and also characterized him as an honest person. I also trusted Mr. Petranuk T.I., as he is a clergyman, and therefore, I had no doubt about his honesty. Plugyn D.V. agreed to lend him the aforementioned amount. In my presence, they agreed that the money would be returned by Petranuk T.I. no later than April 25, 2010, without interest. The repayment term was set by Petranuk T.I.

After that, Plugyn D.V. went home, took the aforementioned amount of money, and approximately 40 minutes later returned to the office and personally handed over the aforementioned amount, which was $100,000 (one hundred thousand US dollars), to Petranuk T.I. In my presence and in the presence of Plugyn V.D., Petranuk T.I. counted the money. Then Petranuk T.I. said that we would meet on April 25, 2010, in the same office.

Taras-Mercedes is about another lover of German cars, Tikhon Petranuk.

  • Did you have a business related to automotive transportation imported from the UAE?
  • I was indeed engaged in this business, but only until 2005. Perhaps, I mentioned it during my conversation with Shkura V.M. I never borrowed any money from him for the development of this business, and I was not even acquainted with him before 2005.
    The protocol of my interrogation is correctly written and was read by me. I have no objections or complaints.
    We quoted this passage because it is crucial to demonstrate how deceitful and disgusting this person is, who holds the position of Archbishop in the UOC/OCU. And it is no less disgusting that his male colleagues on the Holy Synod tolerate him…
    It is regrettable that at a time when Ukraine is in a bloody war, the media is forced to turn to the head of the church to resolve such issues, as his subjects – such as Tikhon Petranuk, the head of the Ternopil-Buchach Diocese, no longer have faith in simple believers. As the saying goes, one should not have enemies with such archbishops! However, in the case of the “hero” of our publication, these verbal categories (Tikhon and defector) are combined in one person because he is both a traitor and a fraudster who profits from human suffering.
    Obtaining exclusive materials about the meeting of the Primate of the UOC/OCU Metropolitan Epiphanius with a believer is an important step towards openness and transparency in church life. This indicates that the church strives to solve its problems and conflicts in an open and honest way. We hope that this meeting will help to solve the problem with the debts of Archbishop Tikhon Petranuk and contribute to strengthening the trust of believers in the church. It is currently known that the 90 days allotted by the Primate of the UOC/OCU, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius, to resolve Tikhon Petranuk’s debt obligations have passed, but the situation remains the same.

In the upcoming publications, we will have an exclusive interview with the head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Epiphanius, and a parishioner who was affected, Myronyk Vasyl Vasyliovych. Who else is responsible, how much, and for what? These and other behind-the-scenes details about the life of Archbishop Tikhon Petranuk will be discussed in our future publications.

Journalist: Vyacheslav Ko