Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.
Ukraine’s SBU appears to “pwn” the UOC-MP/ROC within Ukraine.
SBU issues major warning to the public as the UOC-MP/ROC/“Russian Church” stages protest marches that present ideal opportunities for false flag attacks and propaganda exploitation. UOC-KP announce that the Tomos will be given to Ukraine January 6th. St Andrew’s Cathedral the site of the first liturgy in Ukraine by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Analysts speculate on who might become the head of the new unified church.
US Amb Brownback comments on the likelihood of Russia being sanctioned for violating religious freedom in Russia.
The SBU State Security Service of Ukraine has said pro-Russian forces have been arranging provocations to be staged on the eve of and during the Unification Assembly of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine that is scheduled for December 15 in Kyiv.
Russian special services and occupation leadership of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” discussed holding of religious processions in various cities of Ukraine on the day of the church’s unification council and provocations in order to trigger clashes with the law enforcers. This was said by First Deputy Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, Viktor Kononenko, as he was peaking at a Kyiv briefing on Thursday, Censor.NET reports citing UNIAN. He said the SBU had received information on holding a meeting in the premises of the former SBU office in the now-occupied city of Donetsk. It was chaired by representatives of Russian special services and occupation leadership of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic,” who had discussed the issue of Ukraine being granted a tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as measures that could prevent this from happening. “The participants decided to organize on the day of the unification council religious processions in the cities of Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, Kherson and Mykolayiv, during which violent clashes with law enforcement officers would be provoked, to create for the Russian media a picture of bloody confrontation,” Kononenko said. In addition, the perpetrators are planning to attract to the processions a number of elderly and disabled people, in a cynical hope to ensure that the number of those injured in clashes increases. Kononenko also stated that the plan involves employing sabotage groups from “DPR,” already deployed in the above-mentioned Ukrainian cities to engage in violence. Source: https://censor.net.ua/en/n3102164
Ukraine’s Security Service has documented the intentions to organize provocations in Kyiv and other regions of Ukraine before and at the time of Unification Assembly and creation of Ukrainian Orthodox church. Viktor Kononenko, the deputy head of Security Service reported during the briefing, broadcasted by the 112 Ukraine TV channel. “Last November a person Yuriy approached a resident of Kyiv, who used to participate in different rallies of various political forces. Yuriy presented himself as an Anti-Maidan activist, who is hiding out in Moscow. He offered to organize protests in Kyiv. He offered to meet on November 26 in Minsk, but in the capital of Belarus, however, when in Belarus the venue was moved to Moscow, where the negotiations actually took place. Yuriy offered to hold protests on the territory of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra against Tomos for Ukraine and creation of the united local Orthodox church,” reads the message. According to Kononenko, 5000 dollars were given out in cash to implement the intentions. Related: Orthodox calendar: St. Andrew’s Day in Ukraine ”The instructions were provided, there was a need to buy a new cell phone and a sim card to have a close communication channel with Yuriy and to contact one of the priests of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra who was to coordinate the activity of our informers from inside. It was under our control already, the organizer of the protest contacted Yuriy, who said that a priest called Pavel shall be the coordinator of the future protest in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. It was it was found that this was actually a vicar of the LAvra Metropolitan Pavlo,” Kononenko added.
First Deputy Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Kononenko is calling on believers not to become “cannon fodder” in Russia’s plot. Security officials have called on members of civil and political associations to refrain from holding any rallies during the church’s unification council. First Deputy Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine Viktor Kononenko is calling on believers not to become “cannon fodder” in Russia’s plot. “On behalf of the board of the Security Service of Ukraine and SBU Head Vasyl Hrytsak, I am calling on believers of all denominations not to succumb to provocations and not to become cannon fodder for foreign puppeteers to satisfy their own ambitions,” Kononenko told a briefing, an UNIAN correspondent reports.
First Deputy Head of the SBU Security Service of Ukraine, Viktor Kononenko, says Russian special forces and its armed forces in Donbas are planning to hold religious processions in various cities of Ukraine on the day of the church’s unification council and to provoke clashes with law enforcement. Speaking at a Kyiv briefing on Thursday, he said the SBU had received information on holding a meeting in the premises of the former SBU office the now-occupied city of Donetsk. It was chaired by representatives of Russian special services and occupation leadership of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic,” who had discussed the issue of Ukraine being granted a tomos of autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as measures that could prevent this from happening.
The Ecumenical Patriarch will hand over a Tomos of Autocephaly to the future primate of the local Orthodox Church in Ukraine in Constantinople on January 6, 2019. This was stated by the spokesperson for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Archbishop of Chernihiv and Nizhyn Yevstratiy (Zorya), according to BBC Ukrainian. “The Tomos of the Ecumenical Patriarch should be handed over to the primate on January 6,” the archbishop said. According to Zorya, the Ecumenical Patriarch and the primate of the local church should complete “a divine liturgy and joint performance of church service” in Constantinople on January 6, and “then he will be handed the Tomos.”
Pavlo Rudiakov, head of the Perspektiva information and political center, says that among all known candidates, it’s Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) who has most chances to become head the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church after it gains autocephaly. The local church in Ukraine may also see at its helm a “dark horse” candidate. Pavlo Rudiakov, head of the Perspektiva information and political center, says that among all known candidates, it’s Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) who has most chances to become head the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church after it gains autocephaly. The local church in Ukraine may also see at its helm a “dark horse” candidate, he told Pryamiy TV Channel, according to Glavred.
On December 13, the First Hierarchical Liturgy will be held at St. Andrew’s Church, the Patriarchal Stauropegia. On November 3, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I thanked Poroshenko for the transfer of the church’s building to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Russia used the opportunities available to members of the Moscow Patriarchate for reconnaissance ahead of the annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claims in an information booklet it published. “On March 30, 2014, the armed group of the terrorist Igor Girkin (Strelkov) conducts reconnaissance in Simferopol disguised as guards for the “Gifts of the Magi” church sanctuaries,” the handbook states. The authors of the booklet view this incident as one of several examples of “assistance from Moscow Patriarchate clergymen in Russian aggression in Crimea and in the Donbas”. The SBU has developed a series of information booklets on the methods used by Russia while launching its aggression in Ukraine. A photograph of the first copies of these booklets was published on December 10. The topic of the first two issues was the Kremlin’s use of religious organizations. “The purposeful instigation by the Russian intelligence agencies of inter-confessional conflicts in Ukraine, in conjunction with the provocations of outright terrorist actions, could become a reason for open military invasion by the Armed Forces of Russia in our country,” SBU head Vasyl Hrytsak is cited as saying. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has not yet commented on this statement. There has also been no comment from the Russian Orthodox Church or Russian government on this matter.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is experiencing troubles in Ukraine. Areas once considered to be the uncontested territory of the Russian Patriarchate are now becoming autocephalous (independent), adding yet another dimension to the geopolitical challenges Russia is facing in the borderlands of the former Soviet space. Russian history over the past several centuries was marked by battles over territories running from the Baltic to the Black Sea in the south, then towards the South Caucasus in the east. These are the lands for which the Russians fought the Swedes, the Poles, the Turks, the armies of Napoleon, the Nazis, and the Iranians. The Russians succeeded in fighting off their geopolitical challengers, stalling European advances into the arc of lands around the Russian heartland where most of its industrial and human potential lay.
During a telephone briefing with journalists, United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback confirmed that the US government may impose sanctions on Russia because of violations religious freedom. “They [ the Russian authorities] really… intensified their oppression,” said Brownback while speaking of Russian authorities and religious freedoms, as quoted by TASS. The briefing was held after US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s recent decision to assign some countries including Russia to the category of violators of religious freedoms in the world through another attempt at extraterritorial application of national legislation. Pompeo’s decision was based on the American Law on International Religious Freedom of 1998.
A Russian Orthodox priest deleted his Instagram account and apologized for posting photos with products from Louis Vuitton and Gucci.