A piece of disinformation that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is ostensibly planning to proclaim Mikheil Saakashvili as a living saint is being actively circulated in social networks (1,2,3,4). According to this claim, the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Macarius, stated that they will consider the proposal of canonising Mikheil Saakashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky as church saints and guardians of the nation at a holy synod. In addition, it was also claimed that Oleksey Orestovych made this proposal to the Church.

This or an identical/similar statement of Metropolitan Macarius Maletych cannot be found in open sources. The information is also not accessible on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. A priest of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Levan Gelovani, stated in his interview with FactCheck that Metropolitan Macarius had not made such a statement and such information cannot be found on the official website. Therefore, the information is invented.

In addition, Metropolitan Macarius Maletych is referred to as the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the publication. Until 2019, Metropolitan Macarius Maletych was a leader of one (Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church) of two Ukrainian churches which eventually merged into a Ukrainian Orthodox Church. According to Father Levan Gelovani, it has been four years since Macarius is no longer in this position and the head of the church is now one of the bishops.

The information that there is an idea to proclaim Mikheil Saakashvili as a saint as proposed by the Adviser to the Office of the President of Ukraine, Oleksey Orestovych, is also fake. This type of proposal cannot be found in Mr Orestovych’s statements. The latter, in his latest comment about Mikheil Saakashvili, stressed the issue of his health condition and stated that the Georgian government will never be able to remove this stain if Mr Saakashvili dies in prison.

Therefore, information that Metropolitan Macarius plans to consider a proposal on proclaiming Mikheil Saakashvili and Volodymyr Zelensky as saints of Ukrainian Orthodox Church and this that this proposal was made by Oleksey Orestovych is entirely fabricated and untrue.


This article was produced as part of Facebook’s Fact-checking Programme. Given the rating, Facebook may impose different restrictions – click here for full information. For information on issuing a correction or to dispute a rating, please see here.