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How long the hand of Moscow will scour in Ukrainian souls?

Друк

How the Kremlin is using its influence in the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Russia and Ukraine in order to stifle our statehood and independence.
About that, what we have to do with this.

Epifaniy,
Metropolitan Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and Bila-Tserkva,
Patriarchal vicar

The sharp intensification of inter-confessional relations, which can be seen for the last period, is threatening to social stability and national security of Ukraine. These conditions lead to particular urgent need in analyzing the situation and suggesting a possible answer to the challenge.

Here it says of cooperative actions of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and the political leadership of the Russian Federation with the involvement of prominent clergy of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine (which calls itself the Ukrainian Orthodox Church), and the politicians of pro-Kremlin direction. Bright manifestation and example of joint action is a special informational operation called «conflict around the church in the village of Ptycha in Rivne region ", the aim of which is to as much as possible destabilize the social situation in Ukraine and to introduce our country as a place of "bloody religious persecution» abroad, than to justify its further aggression.

Prehistory

As all well know, the Moscow Patriarchate as a public institution, except for very short periods, was always, on their own or against it, closely integrated with the State government of the country - Moscow kingdom, Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and now - the Russian Federation. In the USSR and after its collapse in the Russian Federation, the separation of Church and State was officially declared. However, it is obvious for all, that the authority of the country deliberately pursued a policy of full inclusion of the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate in Russia and abroad with the aim of the implementation of its own internal and foreign policy.

An example of such close cooperation was the tragic state of division in which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church found itself after the sad events of the first half of 1992. The culmination of these events was inspired by Russian secret services and the Moscow Patriarchate , the coup in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (known as the so-called Kharkiv Council ), the consequences of which will not overcome till now. Then provoked by Moscow Church the separation, in my opinion is one of the reasons for the current undeclared war and the partial success of Russian aggression against Ukraine (occupation of Crimea, and part of Donbass).

From the stories of our Patriarch Filaret, who has been heading the Kiev Orthodox bishop chair for five decades, I was familiar with methods of influence on the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, applied primarily by the former Committee for State Security at the Council of Ministers of the USSR (KGB). In condition of totalitarian rule in the Soviet Union, which is known for the complete control of the government and security services over the whole society, the Orthodox Church having been ideologically hostile to atheistic Communist Party structure was under special supervision.

In practice, this meant that any issues of interest to the State within the Church could not be resolved without the knowledge of the KGB. Moreover, among the Church there were intelligence agents (both KGB officers and recruited persons of Church leaders). The task of the agents was to influence the activity of the Church in the desired for the government direction, and to prevent adverse events.

That is, on the one hand, the government through special state bodies (Council of Religious Affairs at the CM USSR KGB) did everything for total control of the Church (through granting approvals for purpose, granting or not granting various permits, the use of repression, etc.). Each representative of the Church was forced to interact with the State, as a citizen of the USSR.

On the other hand, to achieve their goals, secret services recruited the agents in Church circles and exiled KGB undercover officers to work in the Church structure. There were not many such of agents, comparably with the whole structure of the Church, but they had a significant impact having support from the State.

Because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine's independence proclamation, the former system of state control over the life of the Church in our country has been dismantled. However, in Russia the structure of the Moscow Patriarchate remains in close dependence on the State. Over time, this dependence just intensified under the influence of a number of factors, foremost of which is that people from the KGB attained power, as well as ideological affinity of both sides in an effort to implement the imperial project “Russian World”.

What all this has to do with Ukraine and the Ukrainian Church? Direct and immediate.

“Lenin died, but the cause of him is alive! “

Among the available figures of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate there are and continue to be the people of whom since Soviet times it was known - the recruited agents of KGB, this became known because of their activities and attitude to them from the Soviet authorities. There is no reason to believe that their cooperation with Russian special services, which officially are the heirs of the KGB, was suspended. Instead, all their activity continues to indicate the work, - now in the interests of the government of the Russian Federation.

Similarly, there is no reason to believe that the methods and impact of the Soviet secret service against the Church were rejected in the Russian Federation or undergone significant changes. On the contrary, everything indicates that this effect is only intensified, because now the Moscow Patriarchate is not appreciated as ideologically hostile structure, the existence of which the State suffers, but as one of the ideological pillars of the state system and the guide of internal and external influence of the Kremlin.

From this logically follows, that to the change of the old church leaders and agents of USSR, here to the Church comes a new, young staff. In addition, this concerns not only Russia but also Ukraine and other countries where the Moscow Patriarchate operates.

External relations

It worthy to mark that since a metropolitan Kirill (Gundiajev) became in 2009 the head of Moscow Patriarchy, this department was reorganized in a few new. In particular, Department of cooperation of Church and society (Russian abbreviation - ОВЦО) a head of which became a famous scandalously priest Vsevolod Chaplin, - one of the most odious pioneers of Kremlin ideology. Under the supervision of DCCS, and in cooperation with it there are various pseudo-public structures ( "Union of Orthodox brotherhoods ", " Union of Orthodox citizens ", " Association of Orthodox of experts " and the like), which are in fact agents of influence of the Russian secret services.

During Patriarch Kirill (Gundiajev), on the base of communication services, there was formed a new information structure headed by Vladimir Romanovich Legoyda. This structure has close vertical unity and now is working as a church analogue of Russian state propaganda tools like “Russia Today" of Dmitry Kiselyov.

Incidentally, an interesting fact - both Lavrov and Kiselyov at the height of aggression against Ukraine received top honors from the hands of Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church, while the Patriarch was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Russian Diplomatic Academy.

Financing

Except system cooperation at the level of structures of Moscow Patriarchy and influence on the agents of the special services, there is also financial stimulation of useful to Kremlin activity of ROC.

Even in the Russian media from 1990s to present time, they are openly talking about various schemes of direct and indirect financing by the authorities of the Russian Federation needs MP. In particular, we are talking about moneymaking schemes at the expense of foreign trade, lobbying and the inner workings of the person of Metropolitan (now Patriarch) Kirill (Gundiajev), which is estimated from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars of USA.

It was also reported about traditional for the current RF authority scheme. When under instruction from the Kremlin, the public and private financial and industrial structures ( of oil and gas, banking and other highly profitable sectors) annually "voluntarily sacrificed " for the needs of the Moscow Patriarchate hundreds of millions of dollars. A few days ago there was circulated a report saying that structures associated with the Moscow Patriarchate (during the last three years) received the most number of so-called Russian President grants - totaling a quarter of a billion rubles.
As they say, he who pays calls the tune.

About how the "Ecclesial DNR" was organized in 1992.

All these problems would be external to Ukraine, whatever the influence of the structure of the Moscow Patriarchate. After all, according to opinion polls, almost 20 % of our fellow citizens would not be able to control more than 10,000 religious communities, including the major shrines of our people, such as Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and Pochaev Lavra.

I want to remind that in January-June 1992 there was made a revolution in the leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. As it can be told now from the known facts, directly related to the organization and carrying out of the coup with the Church the parties were Metropolitan Kirill (Gundiajev) as the ideologue and Chairman of the external Church relations of the MP, and the secret services – Colonel General of the KGB Nikolai Mikhailovich Golushko.

M. Holushko in 1987 - September 1991 was a chairperson of the KGB of the USSR. From September 20 until November 6, 1991 - performing duties of Security Service of Ukraine, November 1991 - Head of the Secretariat of the inter-republican Security Service of the USSR and at the end of 1991 - Deputy Minister of security, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia. A high official position in Moscow, personal contacts in Ukraine, the knowledge of the operational situation, and by some accounts - export to Moscow the documents KGB of USSR, allowed General Holushko together with the Moscow Patriarchate to organize and hold in May 1992 so-called Kharkiv Council. Formally this " council " was ruled by now deceased Metropolitan Nicodemus ( Rusnak ), known in the Russian Orthodox Church since the 1960s with his work for the KGB , in particular in the form of denunciations. With help of him the new leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), agreed in Moscow, was brought to power by gross violation of laws of Ukraine registered with the State Statute of Church and church canons.

In fact, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in 1991 – 1992 has faced the same circuits of impact, which in 2013 and 2014 Russia has used against Ukraine. That is aggressive propaganda, the use of agents, direct application of the security services, the seizure of power followed by false legitimation (through the formal blessing of Patriarch of Moscow – in 1992, through a fake referendum in Crimea and the Donbas in 2014).

Fortunately, Ukraine as a state has managed in general to convince the international community of the correctness. However, in the community of Orthodox Churches where the Moscow Patriarchate (through control of Ukraine) has more than half of all Orthodox world – the situation of the UOC has been the opposite.

Brought to power in a coup in 1992, the new leadership of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine continued the traditional line of interaction with the Kremlin. Because of this, despite the presence of bishops, priests and laity of the UOC-MP, especially in the current situation, sincere Ukrainian patriots, the Church as a social structure continues to act as a conductor of Russian policy in Ukraine, - agent of influence of the Kremlin on the Ukrainian state, authority and society.

This Church contains many persons that are dependent on Russia. In the governance structures both in Kyiv and in a number of areas, there are agents of Russian influence. Financial and political figures being closely connected with Russia, provide financial assistance to persons and projects in which is interested the authority of Russia.

Grey Cardinal?

In 2011 - 2013, only in private conversations, and after the Revolution of dignity - in open publications they repeatedly reported about the special impact that did (before 2012 - Russian citizen) into the activities of the UOC MP. Today he is the deputy of Ukraine - a billionaire Vadim Novinsky. The Prosecutor General's office of Ukraine is investigating a case in which V. Novinsky appears as the person who helped the former President. Yanukovych, Minister of internal Affairs. Zakharchenko and the Prosecutor General. Pshonka illegally to interfere in the life of the UOC-MP to force sick and rebellious Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan) to resign, and replace him with Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich).

According to numerous media reports, V. Novinsky has a significant influence on Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), and through him (as the Manager of the UOC-MP) on the whole higher Church leadership. In July 2014, Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) died. In August 2014 the new head of the UOC-MP Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky) was appointed, but despite the public revelation of his previous work, the Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich) and V. Novinsky maintained and even increased their influence on the UOC-MP, particularly in informational and legal spheres.

«The rulers of thoughts»

The general official information channels of the UOC-MP takes place in particular through the links of Metropolitan Anthony with Bishop Clement (Vecheria). In the same circle of influence, there are unofficial but very active and constantly quoted official sources of information ecclesiastical structure. Their tip visible is so-called "Union of Orthodox Journalists” and the website «Orthodox life. » These sources from its own name and under pseudonyms or anonymously, are spreading information beneficial for Moscow, including the extremist and provocative content.

There is evidence that the Moscow Patriarchate in the face of the above B. Legoyda and information unit coordinates and directs MP advantageous for the Kremlin policy activities of information structures from orbit of Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanych). Proof of this can be traced in a public plane when both statements and comments of identical content appear from these information resources from the V Legoyda as MP Speaker and of the official spokespersons of Russia, such as the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Russia.

They separate in order to continue to dominate in future

According to available information, the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate in the spring of 2014 was not confident in the future prospects of the existence of the structure of the UOC-MP (as in the preservation of Ukraine's unity). Therefore, they prepared the script of "federalization" of the Church in Ukraine with the release of a separate "Metropolitan district of the new Russia" (or some of the Metropolitan areas with centers in Crimea, the Donbass, in Odessa, and perhaps in Kharkiv). Now in Moscow they claim that this scenario is not relevant (especially after the collapse of the Kremlin the project of the so-called Novorossiya), and because due to Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanich), the Moscow Patriarchate controls the leadership of the UOC-MP, in particular the position and actions of Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky).

Over time, it becomes more obvious that the Russian political and ecclesiastical circles, through their structural and personal influence on the UOC-MP are doing their best in order to use it (Church of MP) as a tool of Pro-Russian influence on the state, government and society in Ukraine. Despite the fact that the basis is chosen as negative scenario incitement which is the easiest to implement. For, tear down is easier than to build.

The President and many other dignitaries of our country has repeatedly stated publicly that after the defeat of the plans of external military aggression of Russia against Ukraine that were stopped, the Kremlin has set itself the goal of achieving internal destabilization in our country followed by the organization of unrest, possible coup and collapse of Ukrainian statehood.

From what has been set out above, of why we are all witnesses, the self-evident fact is that the structures of the Moscow Patriarchate in the plan of destabilization play one of the leading roles. With that, agents serves as instigators of confrontation, whereas ordinary priests and faithful who still naively believe their leaders, are victims.

In recent years, the leadership of the late Metropolitan Volodymyr (Sabodan) of the Ukrainian branch of the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has experienced a trend of being out of control of Moscow. To pursue a more balanced policy focused on internal rather than the interests of the Kremlin. With the coming to power in the UOC-MP, a new team shows a distinct trend.

Numerously was increased aggressive rhetoric towards two main denominations of Ukraine, which are consistently fighting against the yoke of Moscow for our people, - implied Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. Patriarch Kirill (Gundiajev) expressly stated that events in Ukraine is a «religious war» in which allegedly «Uniates and schismatics," i.e. Greek Catholics and the faithful of the Kyiv Patriarchate, “are fighting against the canonical Orthodoxy ", i.e. against the Russian Church. The following reflections of these ideas we can hear from Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky), in interviews of Metropolitan Anthony (Pakanych), Bishop Clement (Vecheria), in numerous publications on the resources under their control, where the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church are accused in all - the persecution of the faithful of the Moscow Patriarchate and in promoting War.

Even outright damaging their public reputation in our country, leaders of the UOC MP stubbornly do not recognize the Russian aggression against Ukraine, calling what happened in the Crimea and Donbas “fratricidal conflict" or, in secular language, civil war. Leading the rhetoric, they completely mimic the official Kremlin propaganda, which says, «Russia - is not a party to the conflict. » And if there is no external aggression then it is unnecessary to call the flock to protect Ukraine from the enemy, for as they say - "you cannot honor the heroes of this undeclared war", " because in civil war there are no heroes ," because " our congregation is here and there" , that is, on both sides of the front.

The last argument about "flock, which is both here and there" actually is striking: on the model, we can say that between the gangsters and police officers, we cannot choose who to give moral support, because police officers and gangsters both baptized in the same Church is "our flock".

In addition, it does not hurt the supreme heads of the UOC MP to receive medals personally from the hands of Vladimir Putin. Perhaps contrary, Metropolitan Onufriy and Anthony, Paul and Agaphangel Ilarion and Augustine just waiting when it will be possible to put on medals that were given by Putin and to go " to meet liberators "? There is ample evidence that these sentiments are prevailing among senior management of UOC-MP «we will be calm, wait out, our time will come." Moreover, the argument they cite, - the example of the return to power of their patron and admirer Yanukovych, who after the defeat in 2004 became Prime Minister and the President.

"Capture temples”

On the first day after the escape Yanukovych, the Russian media were quick to announce the "capturing Kiev-Pechersk Lavra by people from Maidan." Nevertheless, that mediate between management of Lavra and outraged activists were representatives of the Kyiv Patriarchate, which convinced people not to commit any violent acts - they now prefer not to remember. They also do not mention the numerous statements of UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate on the categorical condemnation of the provocative incitement to violence against the property and servants of the UOC MP. After all, these cards and calls appeared regularly, with each time they were strings from Moscow.

The propagandists tried, but could not convincingly prove “persecution Orthodox of MP in Ukraine", so they cannot now. The only argument left in their arsenal is so-called “seizure of churches." What is really going on?

Because of the events of the last two years, an increasing number of parishioners MP understands that the leadership of the Church depends on Moscow and serves its interests. In the spring of 2014, there still was some expectation that in the new conditions, the leaders of the UOC-MP will be on the Ukrainian position, that they will begin a constructive dialogue with the UOC-Kyiv Patriarchate and the existing division would be overcome. However, over time, it became clear that it is not so, even the level of dialogue that existed during Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan), the present leaders of the MP categorically do not want.

Therefore, if leaders are not able, then parishioners themselves begin to unite the Church from its bottom. For two years, quite a large number of supporters of former Church of MP has left this Church becoming parishioners of Kiev Patriarchate. In large cities, towns or villages, where there are churches of both patriarchates, believers simply “vote with their feet.” Nevertheless, in the villages, where there is one temple, there is resentment of the Moscow Patriarchate, because most of the residents go off from it (such as in Pticha - Rivne region, where villagers of MP is nearly a tenth of), there arises a conflict situation.

By law, the community has every right freely to choose their submission. In practice, the clergy of MP say that as a community you can choose, but “the temple is ours ". Therefore, you - the parishioners if you do not want to be in MP then go out of your own temple, whereas the temple will remain for Moscow Patriarchate, even if ten supporters of MP will go there. If you want to pray in the church - be humble to MP, but if you do not want to bend your head to Moscow, then go away and leave the temple for us.

When outraged parishioners are reluctant to give out their temple to Moscow Patriarchate, then Patriarchate of Moscow declares the temple as “captured one”.

It should be emphasized: Kyiv Patriarchate does not capture temples. Churches continue to belong to the communities who worship in these churches. Stamp of "capturing" invented and used by pro-Moscow propaganda exist in order to prevent the departure of MP believers and to have an excuse to interfere in Ukrainian affairs.
In the network got the documents revealing that the UOC-MP has established a special unit that is centrally engaged in "conflict management". Its aim is not the prevention of incidents of confrontation or peaceful resolution of disputes, but to prevent understanding between supporters of the two Patriarchates, for example alternate service in the temple. It also became known that to the work of this division are involved expensive lawyers who closely "cooperate" with the courts to obtain favorable for MP solutions, but for powerful psychological and physical pressure on recalcitrant communities there are groups of young strongly built men (society called them "TITUSHKY").

Unfortunately, it should be emphasized - the Moscow Patriarchate deliberately is not making any suggestions on finding a peaceful, compromise formula to solve conflicts. For example - last year in Rivne region there was signed a memorandum, in which local hierarchs of the Moscow and Kiev Patriarchate jointly condemned the Russian aggression, and declared their desire to create a local Orthodox Church, and the possible conflict agreed to resolve through dialogue. The ink on the memorial still was wet when bishops of MP were summoned to Kyiv where they were obliged (suggesting that this is an indication from Moscow) under any pretext to revoke signatures. That was done in two days.

Complaints abroad

In an attempt to undermine the situation in our country, creating the desired informational picture for the Ukrainian and Russian audience, the Moscow Patriarchate is actively using its structure as well as Ukraine’s foreign policy goals.
During the last year, the representatives of the Department for external Church relations of the UOC-MP, which are officially ostensibly independent, remain in constant contact with the above-mentioned Department for External Church Relations of the MP in Russia. They increasingly visited international institutions such as the Council of Europe or OSCE, and the Local Church with one purpose – to tell about "persecution" in Ukraine. "By strange coincidence" they use the same statements, even with the same set of "facts" and rhetoric that the Russian diplomats. Maybe because they work for the same "center"?

The analysis of such activity leads to two conclusions. On one side, there is the opportunity to see the full picture of informational aggression of Russia against Ukraine, the reason is – "the protection of canonical Orthodoxy" – to further the Kremlin's interference in Ukrainian Affairs to defame our country in the eyes of the international community. On the other hand, Moscow thus is actively forming a negative image of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the eyes of other local Churches, fearing the exit of our Church from artificial isolation and recognition by the Ecumenical Patriarch of its autocephaly.

After all, the visits of delegations and hierarchs of the UOC of the Kyiv Patriarchate abroad are carefully monitored; their meeting not only with Orthodox but also with other foreign religious figures are the result of written and oral complaints of the Moscow Patriarchate. Thus, because of absence of direct contact between the Kyiv Patriarchate and a number of local Churches, the Moscow Patriarchate is trying to do everything to ensure that they were the only source of information about the Church and social life in Ukraine. It is quite clear what kind of information this is.

Conclusion

First, in the light of the above facts (and it is only a small part of what could be written) it is obvious that the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine was, and still is closely dependent on the Russian Church and secular structures.

On the Church line, its life is controlled and directed in favor of the Kremlin authorities as personally by Patriarch Kirill (Gundiajev) and structures of the Moscow Patriarchate, so by Department for external Church relations, and Informational Department and the Department of interaction of Church and society.

The Patriarch himself and these patterns depend on the Russian authorities and especially on the security services. The staff of these services not only interact with structures of Moscow Patriarchate, but are also directly working in them, wearing one of them - jackets while another clerical cassocks.

This Patriarchal-Kremlin symbiosis is reflected in Ukraine too. There is every reason to believe that in the same way as in Moscow, here works the volunteer staff, as well as Russian officers working under the cover. Its role in the interaction of the Lavra and Bilokamiana plays the Russian Embassy in Kiev.

Also needs to be further clarification of the influence of V. Novinsky on Church Affairs, in particular in the framework of the mentioned Prosecutor's investigation. However, from the publicly known facts, it is clear that on one hand, he maintains close ties with the country of his origin, and has serious, and in respect of some individuals even decisive influence on the leadership of the UOC-MP. Hardly without his support are these numerous information projects related to this Church performed. For, the purpose is to support pro-Russian sentiment in the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and inciting hatred against other Ukrainian churches.

All these Kremlin and Pro-Kremlin factors in the life of the UOC-MP are reminiscent of parasites, which penetrate into the human body, live in it and at its expense, causing the disease, sometimes very heavy. You can wait hoping that the body would heal itself. However, it is better, especially considering the danger of death, to urgently address the professional diagnosis and treatment.

The whole world already seems to understand (someone by conscious thought, but someone under the influence of different shocks) that spiritual and information security for the society and the country is no less important than economic or military one. It is clear that the internal life of the Church or the religious belief of the citizen is a private matter that the state should not intervene. However, when the institutions of the Church and the faith of the people are used to foreign politicians and secret services to influence the country or even to its destruction, the duty of the state, and society, is the protection from external aggression.

Because, in the end, our soldiers on the front line and the civilians in the burning Donbass are killed not by Russian bullets, mines or Grads. The idea of "Russian world" that guide the hands of the aggressors on the shot, - is deadly one. In addition, the creators and propagandists of these ideas are killers too – regardless of whether they wear suits, uniforms or brocade robe.

You can talk about the peace and supposedly for its sake to close his eyes to Pro-Kremlin actions of some leaders of the UOC-MP, their associates and patrons, but to expect from them real peace is like to expect peace from "separatists" Zakharchenko and Plonitsky or de-occupation of Crimea from Aksenov.

Representatives of the UOC-MP like to point out that they are entirely independent of Moscow in its management. Make every effort to help the Church to expose the Russian agents of influence, to stop the travel of Church leaders to Moscow for instructions, receiving instructions of the Kremlin by phone and e-mail and other means of communication, means only to bring the Declaration to the real state of Affairs. Perhaps, then, having liberation from the Kremlin parasites, the UOC MP will be healthier, the dialogue on Church unity will be productive, and United Local Ukrainian Church will be a reality.

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