Russia's strategy is simple, – the archimandrite said how to get rid of the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate


Russia's strategy is simple, - the archimandrite said how to get rid of the influence of the Moscow Patriarchate

Russia's influence on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is still significant. First of all, it is information influence. It is supported by certain media resources created by pro-Russian business circles associated with the UOC-MP.

Archimandrite Kirill Govorun told Channel 24 about this. According to him, these resources have created a certain information “bubble” into which a lot of Ukrainians have fallen.

The task is to neutralize the influence of Russia

He believes that inside this “bubble” Ukrainians were told that Russia should be the savior, that Ukraine is not a self-sufficient state, and that it should eventually be spiritually subordinate to Moscow. Our state has not done anything with these narratives, so now we need to take important steps:

  • first of all, to neutralize the influence of these information, or rather, propaganda resources;
  • neutralize the influence that Russia exerts through the leadership of the UOC.

The UOC-MP today is a very fragmented church. There is a distance between what the majority of its faithful and clergy think and what the bishops think. Just at the highest level of this church, among the episcopate, Russian influence is very widespread,” the archimandrite noted.

In his opinion, this influence is carried out not only at the level of ideas, but with the help of other means of motivation – money, compromising evidence, various manipulations that Moscow does not shun.

“Moscow's strategy was this: if we have influence on the bishopric, then we can influence the whole church,” said Kirill Govorun.

Neutralize influence on the bishopric

He emphasized that it is important to concentrate the efforts of the Ukrainian authorities on depriving this church of the elements of collaboration – just at the level of the episcopate.

And this is being done now. Sanctions were announced by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, and certain measures are being taken by the Ukrainian state. They are aimed at neutralizing the influence on the episcopate, – the archimandrite believes.

He emphasized that it is necessary to act in a differentiated, reasonable and effective way in order to free the UOC-MP from Russian influence and make it more pro-Ukrainian, compatible with Ukrainian society, and accordingly prepare it for unification with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine – so that they eventually become one Church.

The goal is a political task

Kirill Govorun noted that not only the UOC-MP has business circles – most churches also have them, but the question is what influence they have.

These business circles had a negative impact on the UOC-MP, directed it to the pro-Russian side,” he believes.

The archimandrite mentioned that such attempts were made even before 2014. Under Metropolitan Vladimir (Sabodan), businessman Victor Nusenkis tried to direct the UOC in a pro-Russian direction. Now such an influence is exerted by Vadim Novinsky, a former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, but not only him.

“Other businessmen continue to finance the media bubbles that have been created around the UOC. They pursue a specific political task – to direct this church into the pro-Russian channel. It is their efforts that the Ukrainian state needs to neutralize,” he stressed.

Archimandrite Kirill Govorun on Russia's strategy for the UOC-MP: watch the video

Detoxify the Church

According to him, the question is not to get rid of the UOC-MP in general in Ukraine – these are thousands, if not tens and hundreds of thousands of believers, citizens of Ukraine.

They cannot be sent outside the borders of Ukraine – they are the same believers as others. The question is to help this church structure get rid of the influence that is toxic for the church itself and dangerous for Ukraine,” he stressed.

Kirill Govorun noted that 10 years ago the UOC-MP was quite a respectable and respected church in Ukraine. However, the current attitude towards her is terrible, and it is caused by the Kremlin's efforts to politicize the church and use it for political purposes.

“This influence must be cut off,” he concluded.

The situation around the UOC-MP: latest news

  • A Christmas service was held by the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epiphanius, in the Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. Minister of Culture and Information Policy Alexander Tkachenko revealed the details of obtaining permission.
  • The Security Service of Ukraine found campaign postcards of the Medvedchuk association in the UOC-MP. Also, Russian flags and former warehouses of infidels were found in the dioceses.
  • Ukrainian boxer and fan of the UOC-MP Vasily Lomachenko recently found himself at the center of a scandal when he posted a video of a sermon by Metropolitan Longin of the UOC-MP on his Instagram. He is known for his Russophile and “anti-anti” views. According to the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexei Danilov, such actions by Lomachenko, who adheres to pro-Russian views, are unacceptable during the war.

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