Accused of insulting Maidan activists and propagandising for the Russian Orthodox Church: where did the priest who won the Voice of the Country, Oleksandr Klymenko, disappear to?
Archpriest Oleksandr Klymenko of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, who won the 7th season of The Voice, is currently organising charity events to raise funds for people affected by the war waged by Russia against Ukraine. In recent years, however, the priest has repeatedly been involved in scandalous stories, including accusations of insulting Maidan activists, propagandising for the Russian Orthodox Church, and humiliating believers of other faiths.
OBOZREVATEL decided to recall the story of the archpriest who impressed the jury of the Ukrainian singing competition and tell how Father Oleksandr lives today. He took part in the show in 2017, but did not set out to become a vocalist. Tina Karol was the contestant's celebrity coach.
Life after the contest
In 2019, Klymenko was seen in Kyiv with Russian propagandist Boris Korchevnikov, whose visit caused a scandal in Ukraine. Together they attended the People's Festival of Orthodox Cinema. The men were accompanied by the archpriest's wife Svetlana.
In addition, after participating in the competition, Father Oleksandr made several controversial statements that provoked criticism against him. In particular, the priest was accused of insulting Maidan activists, propagating the Russian Orthodox Church and insulting believers of other faiths. For his part, Klymenko assured that he did not want to offend the Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred in any way.
In addition, in an interview, he explained why he chose the Moscow Patriarchate, stressing that he had a taste. The OCU, he said, has no "harmony".
"Because I am a person with taste. I have a taste in music, literature, women (I chose the woman I consider the best to this day - my wife). So, I also have taste in the church. I remain faithful to the most serious and prayerful religious structure in our country. For me, the OCU is still an organisation with bad taste [...] I do not feel harmony, music and pure chords in what the OCU does, what it says and how it functions," Klymenko explained his position.
Archpriest Oleksandr is married and together with his wife Svitlana he has 4 children. In 2017, Klymenko's 7-year-old daughter Anna also tried her hand at the show "The Voice Kids-4", but did not go beyond the "blind auditions".
In recent years, the priest lived an ordinary life - he held services, helped his wife with housework and raising their children, and sometimes travelled.
Activities after the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation
In March 2023, the UOC Information Centre reported that Archpriest Oleksandr Klymenko raised UAH 80,000 at a charity concert in Leipzig to support victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The priest reported that up to UAH 40,000 of the money was used to help four families in Manganets, and another UAH 10,000 was donated to the needs of the Natalia NGO, which cares for 1,558 disabled and lonely people.
Another UAH 10 thousand was donated to the religious community of Rudnytske village in the Kyiv region. The village has survived a long occupation and the old church was heavily damaged, while the new one has also suffered numerous destructions.
Another UAH 10 thousand was sent to Izyum by Yulia Borysenko, whose house was heavily damaged by the bombing.
"This is our contribution to help the victims. It's not much on a national scale, but for those who received the money, it was a significant support in a difficult time. So our initiatives have had a good and useful result," said Archpriest Oleksandr Klymenko.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, well-known Ukrainian producer Alyona Mozgova said that the song " Mother's Love" by her father, Ukrainian singer and composer Mykola Mozgovyi, was performed by the winner of The Voice, priest Oleksandr Klymenko, without any creative input. The show's contestant has good vocal skills, but his performances are similar to songs in a restaurant.
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