President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called 7 January a historic day for the spiritual independence of Ukraine and stressed that no one would ever again make Ukrainian culture alien in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves).
Source: the President’s evening address
Quote: "Once again, I wish everybody who celebrates today [7 January] a merry Christmas, on this day which has become historic for Ukraine, for the spiritual independence of our people.
Today I was glad to see how many people, how many of our soldiers, came to the Divine Service in the church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra - that holy place which is one of the wellsprings of Ukrainian cultural tradition.
It is very important that a sincere prayer for Ukraine was heard in the Lavra today and will continue to be heard. And that no one will ever make Ukrainian [culture] alien in the Lavra again."
Details: Zelenskyy noted that Ukrainian independence should be "strong in all its elements" and would be so forever. "All of us are ensuring this," he said.
"It is very important to preserve the mood that was felt today. The mood of joy from the strengthening of Ukraine and the achievement of historical justice," the President added.
On 5 January, Oleksandr Tkachenko, the Minister of Culture, reported that the Dormition Cathedral and the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra had been officially returned to state use. Pavlo Lebid, the monastery’s UOC-MP abbot, did not show up to sign the act of return of religious buildings.
On 7 January, Metropolitan Epiphanius of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine held the first Christmas service in the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.