Yet another instrument of Russian Information Warfare and larger political warfare against Ukraine is religious warfare.
In this case, using the Eastern Orthodox Churches, Russia tried to “unify” smaller Orthodox churches under the Moscow Patriarchy centuries ago, but this was never recognized by the ruling body, the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople.
The Kyiv Patriarchate was one of those churches, which Moscow claimed ‘ownership’.
Now it turns out the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople never recognized Moscow’s ownership. Therefore Russia committed an illegitimate scam centuries ago.
To quote an anonymous expert: “How very Russian – a fake church.”
A few recent articles bear out these findings.
- Ecumenical Patriarch: Constantinople never recognized Moscow’s church authority over Ukraine
- Ecumenical Patriarch takes Moscow down a peg over church relations with Ukraine
- Ecumenical Patriarch: Constantinople Never Gave Permission To Transfer Any Territory Of Ukraine
Probably the best article written on the subject which explains the controversies and repercussions is this one, Orthodox Church Leaders Duel Over Ukraine, Meet With Pope Francis.
What none of these articles properly conveys is the political warfare repercussions of the outcome. Moscow currently claims Kyiv’s subordination to Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill. Kiril and the Russian Orthodox Church have become a witting and willing partner with Russian president Putin, promoting each another symbiotically.
The Ukraine government and the Ukraine Orthodox church applied for an autocephalous (self-governing) Ukraine Orthodox church. This is especially important in the context of Russia fighting a hybrid war against Ukraine, using any and all tools and weapons against Ukraine, including religion.
Of course, the Metropolitan Hilarion, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations, in arguments against the autocephalous Ukraine Orthodox Church echoes – precisely – Russian propaganda as legitimizing “Ukrainian schismatics“.
The tide, the vast shifting of the ocean of world opinion and concomitant global events, is moving against Russia.