HOLY ACCOUNTING 2024.03.19
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Nicolas

BY 2024.03.19 St. Elisabeth Convent turned into a Business Holding Company

As of late, the St. Elisabeth Convent (SEC) has attracted the attention of Belarusians with its controversial activities. Its leader and businessman, Andrei Lemeshonok, supported the mass repression of civil society in 2020. The Monastir got involved in sending aid to Russian soldiers when Russia launched its attack on Ukraine.

We decided to take a closer look at this organization and discovered a full-fledged Orthodox Holding Company.

This investigation will explain under what laws the organization of St. Elisabeth Convent is governed, whose interests it serves, thanks to whom it earns millions of dollars on gray schemes, and how the entourage and sympathies of Lukashenko’s family are involved in this picture.

We express our gratitude to “Christian Vision” and “CyberPartizans” for their help in preparing this material.

Before the collapse of the USSR, the Orthodox Church was under the stress of atheism and the brutal repression of the Soviet leaders for seven decades. In the late 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev proclaimed the policies of glasnost and perestroika, thus initiating a revival of religious life. The church began interacting with state institutions and actively re-establishing dialogue with society. When a new independent republic emerged from the ruins of the old civilization, many former Soviet citizens felt a strong spiritual need and turned to God.

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Nuns with piggy banks in a subway crossing. Source: obitel-minsk.ru

Darya Alhovik was among them. In the early 90s, she took the first steps on her spiritual path and wanted to take catechism courses. The woman turned to Andrei Lemeshonok for a blessing, to which the “priest” answered her:

“If you want to work hard, take a piggy bank and go stand at the Chervenski Market. So much for the catechists’ courses”.

As our investigation revealed, this instruction will form the basis of the concept of the monastery – the temple of God is not only a place of spiritualism. It is a source of multimillion-dollar income.

FOR CHRIST’S SAKE, RELIEVE MY BURDEN

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Andrey Lemeshonok (in the center) and the CEM nuns. Source: obitel-minsk.ru

This Orthodox holding company employs about 1,600 employees. According to three independent sources, CEM maintains double-entry bookkeeping to avoid paying taxes on its employees.

St. Elisabeth Convent has been deliberately underestimating the tax burden. Several former employees of the religious organization told “Bureau”. The salary of a CEM employee is conventionally divided into two parts: 15% and 85%. The declared salary is 15%. After deductions to the state budget, it is officially credited to the employee.

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“The money was good, but most of it was not officially taxed. I worked for a very long time in this structure, but I didn’t earn anything for my retirement,” one of our sources told us.

Simple calculations suggest that if every employee at the convent received the minimum wage in 2023, the monastery’s monthly salary would be around $300,000, or a little more than $3.5 million per year. In 2024, based on the minimum wage rate set by the Council of Ministers, the CEM could spend just over $310,000 per month or nearly $3,760,000 per year on salaries. In practice, employee expenses are much higher, but they choose to conceal (hide) this from the Belarusian authorities.

Most of the wages CEM doesn’t report to the tax office are under-the-table” pay. These salaries are reported as a “charitable donation for church services”, according to our source. In a conversation with the “Bureau”, Andrei Lemeshonok denied salaries in envelopes:

“No, we don’t pay [salary in envelopes]. We pay the official rate, and if someone does extra work or performs exceptionally well, we pay them extra”.

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Andrey Lemeshonok. Source: obitel-minsk.ru

And here we are, immersed in the amazing cycle of donations of the St. Elisabeth Monastery in practice.

So, as we learned, CEM underpays the budget for its employees, but this is not the only savings of the monastery. The monastery disguises income as donations to avoid income taxes. Let’s look at a few examples. 

In June 2023, CEM organized a teenage summer camp at its “Ark” center. To enroll a child, parents had to make a “recommended donation” in the following amounts: 5 days/10 days – 250/450 rubles. If you book early, so to speak, they offer special conditions for “donations”: 5 days/10 days – 210/410 rubles.

ENROLMENT CALL OUT FOR THE SUMMER CAMP FOR TEENAGERS IN THE “ARK”

In November 2023, “Ark” invites you to a master class by a watercolor artist. The “Donation” for participation is 5 rubles for children and 10 rubles for adults. The artist provides paints and paper, but if you bring your own materials, the “donation” amount will be lower.

ANNOUNCEMENT – INVITATION TO THE MASTER CLASS OF A WATERCOLOR ARTIST

In essence, CEM is engaged in the substitution of concepts. They change the word “cost” or “payment” to “donation”. In this way, the money is registered not as profit from the provision of services and commercial activities, on which they are required to pay income tax, but as donations, which are not taxed at all.

“Most likely, this is being done in agreement with the authorities, who turn a blind eye to the fact that under the guise of the church, there is a full-fledged business, no different from any other business. This is an absolutely typical scheme for the Russian Orthodox Church,” says Vladimir Kovalkin.

The same scheme works in the monastery’s retail outlets. Our sources told the Bureau that there are no cash registers in places where the monastery’s products are sold (both regular retail outlets and fairs) – purchases are mainly made as “donations”.

“Everything that concerns official documents, profits, paying taxes, they try to do everything to the minimum. Most of it is black cash, but they pay taxes where it is necessary. The principle of conducting all business of the monastery is less than official. Less is better. From a financial point of view, they will always do things to win. And they will do this not based on the law, but as it suits them”, says our source from the monastery.

Under the guise of clients, we carried out a “test purchase”. We found out that several places within the monastery’s vicinity on Vygotsky Street did not have any terminals or cash registers. We were offered to pay in cash at the “Monastery Garden”, “Ella”, and “Crosses and Monuments” stores, as well as at the monastery hotel “House of Pilgrims”. 

The Ella and Monastic Garden stores confirmed that they do not have a terminal – you can only pay in cash. In addition, Monastic Garden offered our buyer the option to pay for the goods through ERIP. Payment for it is asked to be made with the tag “Donation”

In the “Crosses and Monuments” store, the secret buyer “Bureau” was advised to pay for a granite tombstone in cash or donate this amount to the monastery, but, according to the seller, “this is a long song, and it is quite difficult to do it. Giving it in cash or transferring it to his card is better. We also attempted to book a room at the monastery Hotel. The woman at the reception explained that there is no terminal at the Hotel:

“You give money upon arrival in cash in Belarusian [rubles]. We won’t officially give you a check. We can only issue you an invoice for what you donated to the monastery – as an act of charity”.

When the client asked what the reason for such a policy was, the answer was: “Well, we have it that way. It is treated as a donation to the convent”

The Bureau additionally analyzed user reviews in Yandex Maps and Google Maps. Visitors to the monastery’s shopping facilities have repeatedly complained about the lack of terminals and receipts.

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For example, in 2022, a hotel guest left an angry comment with the following content: “There is an incompetent administrator who does not know the price range of the rooms. They say one thing on the phone, but in reality, something else. What if a guest is not a local and has exactly as many Belarusian rubles as the administrator said to withdraw when booking over the phone”?

Exactly a year later, another guest noted cash only at the Hotel. 

Thus, payments to customers at the monastery’s retail outlets are made primarily in cash, the volume of which can only be tracked with the feasible participation of government agencies. That is if there is a desire, says the head of the Kosht ​​Urada project, economist Vladimir Kovalkin:

“They [the law enforcement] use their own methodology to calculate damages and underpaid taxes based on observed accounting and inventory discrepancies. As they [law enforcement agencies] have already applied these measures to businesses – and in this case, this is just another business – it is feasible to apply them to other market participants without issue”.

In a conversation with the Bureau, the businessman Andrei Lemeshonok did not deny the absence of terminals in the monastery’s retail facilities:

“It’s us who are, you know, very slow. And, of course, it would be better for us to move and offer the possibility of payment the way modern trade works. And we need to improve a lot in this direction”.

THE CENSER IS SPINING…

Now, let’s examine the financial statements of legal entities associated with the monastery. We counted seven such companies. Some of them did not provide reporting, but we obtained documents for four organizations.

HOLY ACCOUNTING SCHEME 2024.03.19

In Russia, CEM has been the owner of the publishing house “Istochnik” since 2017

In 2022, the company’s revenue increased by almost 30% – to 240.8 thousand dollars, and net profit increased by almost 4% – to 17.8 thousand dollars. The company paid nearly $24,000 in taxes for 2021 and 2022. It looks legit here.

EXTRACT FROM INFORMATION SYSTEM “SPARK” – REPORT ON FINANCIAL RESULTS AND TAX PAYMENTS OF “ISTOCHNIK” LLC Page1 & Page2

The situation is different from that of the Belarusian legal entities of CEM. For example, the unitary enterprise “In the Name of Righteous John the Russian” is engaged in producing film and video films.

EXTRACT FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF THE RB – UE “NAMED AFTER THE RIGHTEOUS JOHN OF THE RUSSIAN” Page1 & Page2

In 2022, the organization’s revenue increased by 38% – to 163 thousand rubles. However, despite the profit of 116 thousand rubles, the organization did not pay taxes.

PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT (2022) – UP “NAME OF THE RIGHTEOUS IOAN RUSKY” Page1 & Page2

The position of director of the company is headed by Natalia Lashuk, a nun of the St. Elisabeth Convent. We were unable to reach her for a comment.

EXTRACTS FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF BELARUS – UP MONASTYRSKI LEKAR, UP VYSOKAYA GORA, ChP CHUDO-MELNITSA Page1Page2Page3Page4Page5Page6

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There are questions regarding taxes for another organization associated with the monastery – the peasant (farm) enterprise “Monastic Compound”.

EXTRACT FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF BELARUS – KFKh MONASTERY COMPOUND Page1 & Page2

The management is not registered with the monastery but with the nun Maria Guskova, who is also listed as the director. The monastic compound produces kefir, milk, cottage cheese, bread, confectionery, soft cheeses, butter, and sour cream. The organization has two procurement workshops in Minsk on Vygotskogo Street; they have a license to produce meat, fish, and confectionery products. The “Monastic Compound” is assigned to the “Ark” cafe in the spiritual and educational center of the same name with 200 seats and a grocery store, also called the “Monastic Compound”.

In 2022, the yard showed a revenue of 2.36 million rubles, bringing a net profit of 388 thousand rubles. Then, the organization paid 89 thousand rubles in income tax, which corresponds to the standard rate. But in 2021, the farm did not pay income tax for some reason.

PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT (2022) – KFKh MONASTERY COMPOUND Page1 & Page2

The director of the enterprise, nun Maria Guskova, admitted in a conversation with “The Bureau” that this circumstance is related to the benefit. However, the grace period for “Monastery Compound” was supposed to end in 2020. Guskova did not explain to us whether it was extended or not.

When the “Bureau” asked Andrey Lemeshonok why “Monastery Compound” did not pay income tax in 2021, the head of the CEM said the organization itself still needs to pay extra for all its good deeds. Probably, Andrey Lemeshonok means the monks who live and work at the “Monastery Compound”.

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Men’s compound. Source: obitel-minsk.ru

The farm itself is located in the village of Lysaya Gora in the Minsk region. The lands spread nearby belong to the “Orthodox sisterhood in honor of the pro-martyr Grand Duchess Elisabeth”, which Andrei Lemeshonok founded in 1994. A total of 300 or more hectares of land has been registered for the Sisterhood. To illustrate the scale of the agricultural holding, this area equals 64 Dynamo stadiums in the capital. CEM makes money on these lands, but according to the law, the religious organization does not pay a single ruble in land taxes for this property.

It is in Bald Mountain that people who find themselves in difficult life situations live – those who have lost their homes, have been released from prisons, suffer from drunkenness or drug addiction, and are disabled. The monastery provides such people with clothing, food, and personal hygiene items. Residents can work there for the benefit of the monastery. Residents of the yard raise cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats, own poultry, grow root crops annual and perennial grasses, take care of apple trees, pears, garden raspberries, and currants, work in the apiary, in greenhouses and on the construction site. The yard also has open workshops: icon, stone, locksmith, carpentry, and sewing workshops.

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Men’s compound. Source: obitel-minsk.ru

“When this rehabilitation center was set up, the idea was to help people who struggled to find their way back to society. But it doesn’t really work that way. These people are not socialized in any way. They are not cured of their addictions. Someone drank himself to death in the farmstead – not a big deal. It turns out that what the whole thing was designed to do doesn’t work at all. It only works to get funding and publicity [to tell sponsors], like look how great we did here”, says a source at CEM.

The monastery is very proud of this social burden and organizes gatherings for the inhabitants’ needs at any convenient opportunity. They are included during foreign tours. Even though CEM nuns organize foreign collections to rehabilitate those in need, the absence of a CEM rehabilitation program is not hidden in Belarus.

“We don’t have rehabilitation programs. We rely more on the help of the Christian life. We don’t have occupational therapy so much as confession, communion, conversations with priests and sisters”, said the farm owner and manager Maria Guskova, a nun of the Saint Elizabeth Monastery.

According to her, about 150 people live in the men’s compound now. Some residents are officially employed, and some are not.

CEM #LEAVES NO MAN BEHIND

Another social direction of the monastery is education. CEM has its own private school with an Orthodox bias, “Ichvis”.

EXTRACT FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF THE RB – PRIVATE SECONDARY SCHOOL “ICHVIS” Page1 & Page2

The school is among the few who survived the massive purge of Belarus’s private secondary education market.

In 2022, the school’s revenue increased by 28% – to 878 thousand rubles, but the organization had no profit.

“It [the school] cannot be unprofitable. The children cannot be unprofitable. We must help children figure out what is “good and bad”. We are not guided by “profitable/unprofitable” terms at all”.

The director of “Ichvis” and part-time nun of CEM, Tatyana Antanovich, clarified in a conversation with the “Bureau” that the school implements, rather, an ideological function:

“We are not a commercial organization. The school is an ideal project. For the sake of the children, for the sake of the future,” said Antanovich.

Since 2023, Ichvis students began to be involved directly in sponsoring the Russian-Ukrainian war and promoting the Russian world. In September 2023, the students performed at the Joy festival, which included a charity concert to help Donbas – “We do not abandon our own”.

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Pupils of the Ichvis school performed at the Joy Festival.
Source: Instagram account CEM @ichthys_shkola

“In February 2024, CEM organized an event for the Day of Defenders of the Fatherland within the walls of the “Ark”. The monastery called on the children to record a musical composition with military-patriotic content and label it with the logo #Children-Warriors with the Latin letter Z”.

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Invitation to participate in the song project “Children to Warriors!”
Source: CEM Instagram account @obitel_fest

In the appeal, CEM students performed the following composition as an example: “I am writing to simply say thank you for a calm life and for a peaceful sky—Russia”! The concert “We don’t abandon our own” on February 23 at the “Ark” was held with the participation of “Ichvis” students under the Russian tricolor. On some flags, the Latin letter Z is also visible in the colors of the St. George ribbons.

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Concert “We do not abandon our own”, dedicated to Defender of the Fatherland Day.
Source: obitel-minsk.ru

In addition, from February 18 to March 18, the following exhibitions were organized in the “Ark” as part of the “Help to Brothers” campaign: “Eyes of the Unconquered Donbas” and “Coal of Donbas”. 

The children of the “Eaglets” movement, which appeared in CEM with Andrei Lemeshonok’s blessing, are raised in the same spirit. Like the Ichvis students, the “Eaglets” are also instilled with a love for the “Russian Motherland.” At the end of April 2023, CEM called on the “Eaglets” to prepare military drawings for the competition—all the works were then sent to the front as a consolation to Russian soldiers. 

“Eaglets” drew patriotic cards for Russian soldiers during a “homeland studies” class in January of this year.

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Students of the Eaglets Movement design envelopes for soldiers at the front.
Source: Instagram account CEM @dvizhenie_orlyata

In addition to military-patriotic events, CEM organizes sporting events at the Ichvis school and the Eaglet’s camp. The world champion leads the sports and patriotic bias in kettlebell lifting Igor Signevich. A relative of Alexander Lukashenko himself and people close to him helped him with this.

NEW PROJECT OF A RELATIVE OF LUKASHENKO

On January 6, 2024, Igor Signevich published a post: The St. Elisabeth Monastery held a meeting with the participation of Olympic boxers from the charity project “Children of Sports”, hockey players from the “BAM 24” car wash, and the authors of the innovative pedagogical project of Kolodischa school No. 2 discussed issues of cooperation and promotion of youth movement “Eaglets”. A photo accompanies the post: in it, you can see Igor Signevich himself, athlete Vazgen Safaryants, CEM confessor Andrei Lemeshonok, and Vladimir Kulakov, a relative of Lukashenko.

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Meeting at CEM. Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich

From left to right (sitting at the table): nun Rebecca Pereira (organizer of the “Eaglets” movement), Andrei Lemeshonok (CEM confessor), CEM abbess Euphrosyne (Laptik), nun Mstislava Gorodnichuk (CEM economist), Vladimir Kulakov (husband of Anna Lukashenko sister)

From left to right (standing): Igor Signevich (behind Lemeshonok), Vazgen Safaryants (to the right of Kulakov). Let us remember that Vladimir Kulakov is the husband of Tatyana Kulakovathe sister of Lukashenko’s daughter-in-law, Anna, who is the wife of Dmitry Lukashenko. Kulakov owns 33.33% of the LLC Fast Car Wash company. 33.34% of the company belongs to Nikolai Zarubitsky, chairman of the republican public association “Patriots of Belarus”.

EXTRACT FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF THE RB – LLC “FAST CAR WASHES” Page1 & Page2

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Both Zarubitsky and Kulakov are involved in the removal of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territories to Belarus.

The Fast Car Wash, “BAM 24” company sponsors the pedagogical project “Implementation of a model for developing students’ active citizenship and readiness to implement socially significant initiatives through the use of social creativity and team-building technologies”, which will be implemented from 2023 to 2026 at 20 educational institutions throughout Belarus.

EXTRACTS FROM THE INNOVATION PROJECT “INTRODUCTION OF A MODEL FOR FORMING AN ACTIVE CIVIC POSITION OF STUDENTS AND READINESS TO IMPLEMENT SOCIALLY IMPORTANT INITIATIVES THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGIES OF SOCIAL CREATIVITY AND TEAM BUILDING” Page1Page2Page3 Page4

The authors of this particular project discussed the promotion of the “Eaglets” with Lemeshonok. The project should “strengthen the institution of family through the implementation of project and research activities in the field of health conservation through the introduction of technologies of social partnership and team building with the interaction and support of the social structures of the RPO “Patriots of Belarus”.

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Mentors of the innovation project conduct classes at CEM with the “Eaglets”. 
Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich

From left to right (adults): Vazgen Safaryants, Sister Rebecca (Pereira),
Dmitry Lemehonok (son of Andrei Lemeshonok), Ihar Sihnevich

The program’s second sponsor is ChP SigBel, a Belarus-based company that specializes in the wholesale and retail trade of car tires, spare parts for agricultural machinery, and auto consumables. Ihar Sihnevich is the beneficiary of this company.

EXTRACT FROM THE UNIFIED STATE REGISTER OF LEGAL ENTITIES AND INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEURS OF THE RB – PE “SIGBEL” Page1Page2

On his Instagram account, he appeared with Yulia and Dmitry KazakovDmitry BaskovEvgeniy Nazarevich, and Alexey Talai.

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Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich
From left to right: Vazgen Safaryants, Viktor Lukashenko

(son of Alexander Lukashenko, chairman of the NOC), Igor Signevich

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Source: the Instagram account of Igor Signevich
From left to right: Vazgen Safaryants, Dmitry Baskov (head coach of Alexander Lukashenko’s hockey team), Evgeniy Nazarevich (member of the Presidential Sports Club, employee of the Alexei Talai Charitable Foundation), Igor Signevich

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Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich
Igor Signevich (far left), Nikolai Zarubitsky (tall man in the center in a suit), Yulia Kazakova (coordinator of social projects of the Alexey Talay charitable foundation – brunette in a green suit)

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Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich
From left to right: Igor Signevich, Nikolai Zarubitsky, Natalya Eismont (press secretary of Alexander Lukashenko), Ivan Eismont (far right – husband of Natalya Eismont, chairman of the National State Television and Radio Company of the Republic of Belarus)

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Source: Instagram account of Igor Signevich
From right to left: Dmitry Kazakov (member of the board of trustees of the Alexei Talay charitable foundation, Nikolai Zarubitsky’s deputy in the Patriots of Belarus ROO), Vladimir Kulakov, Nikolai Zarubitsky, Igor Signevich (in a half-squat), Vazgen Safaryants (far left)

All these people are involved in the “rehabilitation” of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territories in Belarus. 

Signevich collaborates on the innovative project with students and their legal representatives, including Belarusian athletes Javid Gamzatov and Vazgen Safaryants. 

Vazgen Safaryants is a boxer, Honored Master of Sports of the Republic of Belarus, and multiple winner of republican and international tournaments. He combines the position of representative of the RPO “Patriots of Belarus” with the position of head of the “Sport Begins with Children” foundation – this is the Belarusian branch of the Russian non-profit foundation for supporting the development of children’s sports “Sport Begins with Children”, which implements the “Children of Sports” project – the same one that plans to engage in the promotion of Orthodox “eagles.” The Russian fund also has branches in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories: DPR, Mariupol, Zaporizhzhia region, and Melitopol.

EXTRACT FROM THE “SPARK” INFORMATION SYSTEM – “SPORT STARTS WITH CHILDREN” FUND

“Sport Begins with Children” was registered in 2020 in Moscow. Among the fund’s founders is Russian Anton Kabanov.

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Anton Kabanov appears in the “Peacemaker” database as a Russian war criminal – a participant in the Russian-Belarusian aggression against Ukraine and is accused of genocide of the Ukrainian people. According to “Peacemaker,” Kabanov took part in hostilities on the territory of Ukraine as a reconnaissance officer and was awarded the medal “For Military Merit” in 2022.

IN PERFECT HARMONY

On December 20, 2023, a meeting of the clergy of the Minsk diocese took place. The VIP guest of the meeting was Olga Chemodanova, head of the main department of ideological work and youth affairs of the Minsk City Executive Committee, press secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2020. The official complained that 75% of the rectors of Minsk churches do not speak in the state media – only the All Saints Parish, whose key is the “spiritual father of Lukashenko” Archpriest Fyodor Povny, and the St. Elisabeth Monastery are active. 

Andrei Lemeshonok not only happily gives interviews to pro-government publications, but He shared and supported the position of the Belarusian authorities, and Lukashenko in particular, on various political issues, even before it became mainstream. That is why the St. Elisabeth Monastery has more than once found itself at the epicenter of high-profile scandals.

After Russia attacked Ukraine, the Minsk monastery’s support for the Belarusian authorities in military matters began to gain momentum. CEM regularly holds military-patriotic events, using the symbols of the so-called SVO, and organizes fundraisers – the money is subsequently sent to Ukrainian territories occupied by Russia and the purchase of vehicles for the Russian military. True, on business trips abroad, the nuns, for some reason, do not advertise their sponsorship of Putin’s aggression, laconically calling the activities of the “Help the Brothers” initiative of the writer Nikolai Gavrilov “help to Ukrainian refugees”.

“We stand for peace. We support the course of our president. White Rus’, Great Rus’, and Little Rus’-Ukraine are a single people and a single state. We will win anyway because God is with us. We help both the children of Donbas and the Donbas monastery. Not necessarily military. What does the military mean? We help people who are fighting the liberation struggle and the civil war. People throw money into piggy banks – we pass it on. It is people who support it, not the monastery who helps. I’m not responsible for this,” Andrei Lemeshonok commented on the monastery’s activities.

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Alexander Lukashenko visited the St. Elisabeth Convent. Source: president.gov.by

Lukashenko himself noted his devotion to CEM – on Christmas Day 2023, he visited the monastery and praised the Minsk monastery for helping the Russian military:

“You are doing the right thing… We not only help our Russian brothers, Russians, I have never hidden this. And my visit yesterday to the military, to the Russian military, openly says that we supported and support our brothers”.

The monastery’s confessor, Andrei Lemeshonok, responded to Lukashenko with sacred trepidation: “Today, you need to be bold to say: we are with Russia”.

BureauMedia - Investigative Reportage

This excellent investigative reportage was conducted and published by BureauMedia 2024.03.19 in the following languages:
BelarusianRussianEnglish
It has also been republished by Nasha Niva and Belsat

Editors comment on:

# “Eaglets” drew patriotic cards for Russian soldiers during a “homeland studies” class in January of this year. Thus, Andrei Lemeshonok and his entourage don’t allow my daughters Anthie’ (Anthoula) and Alexandra to communicate with their Papa or send a postcard to him! Anthie’s and Alaxandra’s Papa is considered a threat to Lemeshonok’s establishment and, by extension, Lukashenko’s Mafia in Belarus!  

# Andrei Lemeshonok’s nuns and St. Elisabeth Convent have been banned in Slovakia, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and a few other countries. Along with other left-behind parents, we are working on getting a ban in Italy, too. You can find more details on Andrei Lemeshonok’s Scandals page.

# The English version of the present text has been reviewed and improved
Nicolaos Cheropouloa
Father of Anthie’-Anthoula and Alexandra
Stockholm 2024.03.25
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