Russian president attacks new Ukrainian church


Religiina Pravda, 13 July 2021


Putin accuses Ukrainians of breaking the “spiritual bonds” and destroying the ecclesiastical unity of the two peoples.


This is said in an article by the president of Russia whose basic points are that Russians and Ukrainians are one people (although the nationality of Ukrainians never existed) and that there is no such country as Ukraine, and its territory must be seized. A version of this was posted on the website of the Kremlin in the Ukrainian language. In it Putin, who has no historical education, relays dozens of myths from soviet propaganda, justifying Russia’s war against Ukraine, reports.


The articles says, in particular, that Ukrainians have destroyed the “spiritual bonds.”


“They have delivered blows to our spiritual unity. Just as in the time of the Grand Principality of Lithuania, they started a new church division. Without hiding that they pursued political goals, the secular authorities crudely interfered in church life and brought the matter to schism and to the confiscation of churches and beating of priests and monks. Even the broad autonomy of the UPTs [Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate], while maintaining spiritual unity with the Moscow patriarchate, absolutely does not suit them. They must destroy this visible, centuries-old symbol of our kinship at any price,” the article notes.


As the religious studies scholar Dmitry Gorevoi comments for, Putin is talking falsehoods.


“The tomos merely restored ecclesiastical justice for Ukraine. In fact the UPTsMP participated in negotiations over the creation of an autocephalous church in the last months of Metropolitan Vladimir, but after his death negotiations “collapsed” for Onufry. And the Kiev patriarchate became the gathering point. The UPTsMP operates in Ukraine without problems and it is located in a large church center, the Kiev caves lavra, and the people’s deputy Vadim Novinsky is its sponsor,” Gorevoi noted. (tr. by PDS, posted 13 July 2021)

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