Information operations · Information Warfare · Russia · Ukraine

Russia Loses the War of the Churches (56)


Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting.

Navalny eviscerates Putin in a tweet. Translation:

“Today there will be an event of historic proportions. Schism. The Cathedral in Kiev will complete the creation of the Local Church in Ukraine. ROC will lose up to half of the “live” parishes. What was created [over] hundreds of years was destroyed by Putin and his idiots in four years. Putin is the enemy of the Russian world.”

I have no doubt Putin is livid while Poroshenko is ecstatic.  

The problem is this sounds like a great excuse (provocation?) for an invasion.

</end editorial>



Ukraine’s UOC-KP Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) has been elected as the new head of the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine. He is both a bishop and an educator in theology. He has been described as a protege of Patriarch Filaret, who led the UOC-KP since it was formed after the collapse of the USSR, and during the week identified as the most likely choice due to his exceptional record.

This election brings to an end over 300 years of unlawful control of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church by Russia’s church. The formal Tomos will be presented to Ukraine in three weeks time.

SBU and Police reports indicate that the large riot planned for extensively by Russia was successfully hobbled by the SBU, although the leader of this effort, previously contracted by Yanukovich to organise bands of thugs to attack Maidan protesters, managed to escape to Russia. Further disclosures on the SBU raids.

Russian propaganda effort ramping up, and targeting gullible players in the Western media. Navalniy, despite his Ukrainian heritage (or because of it?) sides with Russia in this argument, but correctly points out that the Vozhd is at fault for Ukraine’s departure.

We can expect Russian mischief to continue through coming months, although it might collapse if the predicted mass defection of bishops and parishes from the UOC-MP/ROC to the newOrthodox Church of Ukraine is as rapid and overwhelming as some have forecast.

Metropolitan Epifaniy elected head of local Ukrainian Orthodox Church | UNIAN

Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate, Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) has been elected head of the local Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Epifaniy has been elected at the unification council of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral, according to an UNIAN correspondent. He was nominated by the Bishops’ Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate on Thursday. He is the rector and professor of the Kiev Orthodox Theological Academy.

Metropolitan Epifaniy elected primate of Ukrainian Orthodox Church – 15.12.2018 17:51 — Ukrinform News

Metropolitan of Pereiaslav and Bila Tserkva Epifaniy (Serhiy Dumenko) has been elected primate of the local Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Epifaniy was elected by secret ballot at the unification council of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral on Saturday, December 15, an Ukrinform correspondent reported.

Poroshenko arrives at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Square | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has arrived at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Square, where thousands of people gathered waiting for the decisions of the unification council of the Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Poroshenko spoke with people near the St. Sophia Cathedral.

Ukraine not to be canonical territory of Russian church – Poroshenko (Photo) | UNIAN

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said Ukraine has never been and will not be the canonical territory of the Russian church. Read alsoPoroshenko arrives at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Square “Ukraine has never been and will not be the canonical territory of the Russian church,” he said during a unification council at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral, an UNIAN correspondent reports. Poroshenko reiterated the Ecumenical Patriarchate by its recent decision had finally called illegal Moscow’s annexation of the Kyiv Metropole carried out in the late 17th century. “They were told the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) has no canonical rights in relation to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. And that our Orthodox Church is not subordinate to the ROC,” the president added.

Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church kicks off in Kyiv – 112.international

The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church kicks off in the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv, reads the message published on the website of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyiv Patriarchate. ‘The Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Kyiv on December 15, where church hierarchy, priests and laity to take part,’ reads the message. Related: Poroshenko arrives at Sofiyivska Square where people wait for decision of Unification Assembly It is specified that the participants of the cathedral represent three Orthodox churches, which now exist in Ukraine: Ukrainian Orthodox Church Kyiv Patriarchate, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is in unity with the Moscow Patriarchate. ‘The first two churches took part in the council at the level of their bishops’ councils, the last (UOC MP) is represented by individual representatives of the episcopate, clergy and laity,’ stated in the message. It is also noted that before the beginning of the cathedral, the Divine Liturgy was served in the church of Little Sofia, after which the participants of the Unification Assembly were registered. Related: U.S. Embassy calls Americans to avoid protests because of unification assembly of Ukrainian Orthodox Church ‘The Cathedral in Kyiv can be a decisive step, which summarizes the years of efforts aimed at creating a local autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine,’ reads the message. It should be noted that the Unification Assembly should have started yet at 10 a.m. but the registration of participants took longer. Later, the speech of the Ukrainian President and the beginning of the official part of the event were scheduled. The event will be held in private in the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral.

Unification council to be held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral Dec 15 (Live video) | UNIAN

A unification council will be held at Kyiv’s St. Sophia Cathedral on December 15, during which it is planned to announce the creation of a new, unified, independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine, approve its charter, and elect its leader in two rounds. In total, 192 delegates will take part in the unification council.

Leader of new Ukrainian Orthodox Church to be elected in two rounds – media | UNIAN

Some 192 delegates will take part in the unification council of the Orthodox churches in Kyiv on December 15: they will announce the creation of a new, unified, independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine, approve its charter, and elect its leader in two rounds. The unification council will be attended by such honored guests as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Andriy Parubiy. Some 192 delegates will take part in the unification council of the Orthodox churches in Kyiv on December 15: they will announce the creation of a new, unified, independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine, approve its charter, and elect its leader in two rounds. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate will be represented by 42 hierarchs with a priest and a layman each – a total of 126 delegates, a source from the organizers of the event told the e-zine Ukrayinska Pravda. The Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church confirmed the participation of 12 bishops and each will bring a priest and a layman with them, that is, 36 delegates. “The Moscow Patriarchate has confirmed the participation of 10 bishops – each with a priest and a layman. In total, 30 people,” the source said. In total, according to preliminary calculations by the Exarchs of the Ecumenical Patriarch, 64 bishops, 64 priests and 64 laymen will take part in the unification council, thus their total number will be 192. During the council, there will be a secret ballot to elect the Primate, the leader of the church. There will be two rounds, the first round is a ratings ballot. Three candidates with the highest number of votes of the participants in the council will be able to compete in the second round, and the Primate will be elected from among them.

Photos of Ukrainian Orthodox Church Unification Assembly appeared on Web – 112.international

A spokesman for the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, Svyatoslav Tsegolko, published a photo of Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, which is being held in Kyiv. The corresponding photo Tsegolko posted on his Facebook page. “The Assembly, which is aiming to create a single local Ukrainian Orthodox Church continues In St. Sophia Cathedral,” Tsogolko inscripted the photo. The layman Yuri Doroshenko, who is present at the event, said that the delegates of the council carefully studied the statute regarding the creation of an independent Ukrainian Orthodox church. “The most dramatic Assembly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church since the beginning of the 30s kicks off. God will help! The delegates of the cathedral are studying the statute. The situation is tense,” Doroshenko wrote on his Facebook page.

Ukraine Orthodox Priests To Hold Historic Meeting In Kyiv

Senior Ukrainian Orthodox priests are due to hold a historic council on December 15 in a bid to form a new, unified, independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church and elect a leader, known as a primate.

Ukraine’s State Security Service prevents pro-Russian rallies in Kyiv – 112.international

Rallies against the Unified Orthodox Church could take place in Ukraine these days. Thanks to the efforts of the SBU, the State Security Service, these attempts were prevented. Viktor Kononenko, the deputy head of the authority said that on Thursday. According to him, the organizer of these rallies is the former member of hired pro-Russian thugs who attacked the Euromaidan activists in Kyiv in the late 2013-early 2014. He is now fleeing from justice in Moscow. The investigation four our that the local coordinators are some of the priests of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, the main shrine of the Kyiv Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Demonstration Alert – U.S. Embassy Kyiv, Ukraine | U.S. Embassy in Ukraine

Location: Ukraine – Kyiv and countrywide Event: On Saturday, December 15, a vote regarding autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will take place at the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv (Volodymyrska St., 24). Large crowds are expected in the area. Crowds and protests are also expected at other religious sites throughout the country.

Ukraine to Establish Independent Orthodox Church

The decision infuriated the Russian church, prompting it to cut all ties with Constantinople

Ukraine moves to create its own Orthodox church out of Russia’s orbit

One of Christianity’s biggest splits in centuries is expected to be formalized as Ukraine moves to create a new church independent from Russia’s influence.

Ukraine Orthodox priests to establish independent church – BBC News

The move angers the Russian Orthodox Church, which sees Ukraine’s parishes as under its jurisdiction.

Ukraine Orthodox leaders to approve break with Russia church – ABC News

Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.

Ukrainian priests rile Moscow with moves to set up independent Orthodox Church | World news | The Guardian

Kiev hopes historic ‘unification’ synod in Kiev will be a further step out of Russia’s orbit

Ukraine to Pick Church Head, Securing Dramatic Split From Russia – Bloomberg

Ukrainian Orthodox Christian priests are poised to select a leader for their newly independent church, cementing a split from the previous Russian hierarchy in a step that’s further straining relations between the two former allies.

Ukraine set to establish new church, secure split from Russia | News | Al Jazeera

Meeting in Kiev’s Saint Sophia’s Cathedral aims to unite branches of the Orthodox church into a single independent body.

Church battle could weaken Putin’s power in Ukraine

Ukrainian bishops are choosing a leader for a new national church that will sideline their current Moscow-based patriarch.

Police detain armed people near Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv – 112.international

Kyiv police officers detained two people with dangerous items in the downtown of the capital. Head of National Police in Kyiv region Andrii Kryshchenko claimed this in the air of Priamyi TV channel. ‘We have already detained two people, one of them had a knife, another had nunchucks. They were delivered to the Police Department, we will figure out why they came to such an event with the dangerous things,’ Kryshchenko claimed. He added that the order maintain is reinforced near the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral, Kyiv Pechersk Lavra, St Andrew’s Church and Mykhailivska Square. Earlier we reported that the Unification Assembly of Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church kicks off in the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral in Kyiv. The Unification Assembly should have started yet at 10 a.m. but the registration of participants took longer. Later, the speech of the Ukrainian President and the beginning of the official part of the event were scheduled. The event will be held in private in the Saint Sophia’s Cathedral.

SBU reports on what it seized from vicar of Kyiv Pechersk Lavra during search – 112.international

The Security Service of Ukraine has withdrawn printed materials at the place of residence of the vicar of the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra Pavlo which has signs of inciting religious and interfaith hostility. Ukrainian News report this with a reference to the answer of the service for a request. The SBU specified that it is about four items of brochure ‘UOC: relations with the government. Attitude to ATO and church division. Questions and Answers’. As we reported earlier, Ukraine’s Security Service conduct searches at the place of residence of Pavlo, the archpriest of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. The searches are being conducted at the place of residence of Pavlo and in the premises of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra within the probe of stirring up religious hatred, which is a subject to Criminal Code of Ukraine. The Ministry of Culture initiated checks of relics and shrines in Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Later the SBU clarified that investigative activities are being held under procedural regulation of Prosecutor’s Office of Kyiv region in fulfillment of the order by the Investigative Direction of National Police of Ukraine. The Ecumenical Patriarchate decided to grant the autocephaly for Ukraine’s Orthodox Church. The respective document appeared on the official website of the Patriarchate. This outraged the Russian Orthodox Church, which already promised ‘a tough and decisive response.’ The head of the SBU administration, Ihor Huskov, has confirmed this information. “The SBU is taking investigative measures at the vicar’s place of residence as part of a criminal case opened under Article 161 of the Criminal Code,” Huskov said at a press briefing at the SBU on Friday.

Vinnytsia diocese of UOC-MP refutes reports about cathedral’s seizure | UNIAN

The Vinnytsia diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has refuted reports about the alleged seizure of the Transfiguration Cathedral in the city of Vinnytsia, calling them fake and provocative aimed to create tension among the believers. Read alsoPropaganda “very strong” in Moscow Patriarchate – ex-priest “We inform that since 1991 in fact and since 1993 by law the premises of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnytsia have been transferred to the permanent free use of the religious community of the cathedral and are currently in use by the community. At the same time, the buildings of the cathedral and the Mury (Walls) historic architectural complex to which they belong and which is a monument of architecture of national importance are the state property and are under its protection,” the diocese’s press service said. It is noted the situation in the Transfiguration Cathedral is calm now. Earlier, the Union of Orthodox Journalists spread information about the alleged seizure of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Vinnytsia. The news was echoed and spread by the Russian media. After the publication of a refutation by the diocese’s press service, the Union said it had been made public “under pressure.”

Head of Russian Orthodox Church urges world leaders to stop Kiev from tampering with religion — RT World News

The fate of millions of faithful and over 200 monasteries are in the hands of Ukraine’s president, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said, urging the international community to stop Kiev from deepening the religious rift.

Ukraine raids offices of Russia-aligned priests amid push for new national church | One America News Network [Propaganda]

Breaking News, Latest News and Current News from OANN.com. Breaking news and video. Latest Current News: U.S., World, Entertainment, Health, Business, Technology, Politics, Sports.

Russian Orthodox Church asks UN, Western leaders for help in Ukraine – media | UNIAN

The Russian Orthodox Church has called on international leaders to “protect” its followers in Ukraine in the face of what it called official pressure on Moscow-appointed clerics. The statement was issued a day before a meeting on December 15 of senior figures from Orthodox Christian communities in Ukraine in Kyiv in a bid to form a new, unified, independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Russian Orthodox church calls on Pope Francis, UN for help in Ukraine

The Russian Orthodox church on Friday called on the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, the pope and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-appointed clerics. MOSCOW, Russia – The Russian Orthodox church on Friday called on Pope Francis, the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-affiliated clerics. Ukraine’s Orthodox clerics will gather for a meeting Saturday that is expected to form a new, independent Ukrainian church, and Ukrainian authorities have ramped up pressure on priests to support the move. The Ukrainian church has been part of the Russian church for centuries, while enjoying broad autonomy, but Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pushed for the creation of an independent church. The newly formed community would then be expected to receive independence from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Istanbul-based institution considered the so-called “first among equals” of leaders of the world’s Orthodox Churches that has already drafted a charter for an independent Ukrainian church. The Russian church said on Friday that its Patriarch Kirill has sent a letter to Francis, the U.N. secretary-general, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, the Archbishop of Canterbury and other spiritual leaders, urging them to help protect the clerics, believers and their faith in Ukraine. Merkel’s spokeswoman and the German foreign ministry spokesman said they didn’t immediately have any information on the letter. As church tensions have grown, Ukraine’s Security Service has searched Russian Orthodox churches and the homes of Russian Orthodox priests in several cities. The agency also has summoned dozens of priests for questioning. Ukrainian authorities have sought to portray Russian Orthodox priests in Ukraine as supporting Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, claims that the clerics have rejected. Kirill’s letter accused the Ukrainian government of hate speech and pressuring the clerics to take part in the Saturday gathering. “The numerous instances of discrimination against the Ukrainian church (of the Moscow Patriarchate) give us the reason to fear far worse infringements of the rights and legitimate interests of Orthodox believers,” the letter said. In Kiev, about 100 people led by a Moscow-affiliated cleric were holding prayers near the Ukrainian parliament Friday morning to protest the creation of a new church. Some voiced fears that authorities will seize churches from the communities under the Moscow patriarchate and give them to the new church. Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

Russian Orthodox church calls on UN for help in Ukraine | Fox News

The Russian Orthodox Church on Friday called on the United Nations, the leaders of Germany and France, the pope and other spiritual leaders to protect believers in Ukraine in the face of pressure on Moscow-affiliated clerics.

Russian Orthodox leader alleges ‘large-scale persecutions’ by Ukrainians

Ukrainian authorities have begun “large-scale persecutions” of Russian Orthodox clerics in the country, according to the church body’s Moscow-based leader.

Matthias Williams, Margaryta Chornokondratenko | Some see ‘devil’s work’ as Ukrainian Church prepares to split with Russia | Reuters

Ukrainian security service officers raided the Orthodox Christian cathedral in this northwestern town this month, saying it suspected its Russia-aligned clergy of spreading religious hatred.

Alexey Navalny on Twitter: “Today there will be an event of historic proportions. Schism. The Council in Kiev will complete the creation of the Local Church in Ukraine. ROC will lose up to half of the “active” parishes. What was created over hundreds of years was destroyed by Putin and his idiots in four years. Putin is the enemy of the Russian world.”