The Russian Orthodox Church as the Mechanism of Degradation of National Unity in Ukraine

  • Post Category:Issue XX

Serhii Zdioruk
Leading Researcher of the Department of Humanitarian Policy of the National Institute for Strategic Studies, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Merited Figure of Science and Technology of Ukraine

DOI https://doi.org/10.37837/2707-7683-2019-39

Abstract. The article deals with the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on the Ukrainian society and the problems that arise as a result. The author claims that the ROC and its branch, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, pursue a purposeful and systematic pol-icy of destruction of the autocephalous status of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the policy of national unity in Ukraine.
It is argued that on 3 April 2019, the Synod of the UOC of the Moscow Patriarchate reiterated that the ROC and the UOC (MP) will not concede to full and global recognition of the autocephalous status of the newly-established UOC. A wide range of tools is used for that purpose.
The author analyses the attitude of the UOC (MP) to the Russian military aggression. He claims that part of the priests of the UOC (MP) openly supported terrorists and systematically cooperated with the invaders in the territories beyond Ukraine’s control. It is noted that the administration of the UOC (MP) adheres to the paradigm of the ‘Russian world’ and ‘spiritual unity of fraternal Ukrainian and Russian peoples’, therefore refusing to refer to the armed aggression in Donetsk, Luhansk and Crimea as the Russian aggression, occupation or hybrid war.
It is stated that the UOC (MP) together with the ROC has become a strong instigator of a stressful situation in Ukrainian society through creating ‘multiple lines of confrontation’. They also regularly conduct information and manipulative campaigns aimed at discrediting Ukraine. In addition, they appeal to international organizations on the violation of hu-man rights in order to realize their own interests.
The article elaborates upon the exploitation of religious issues by the Kremlin in the context of the attack on Ukrainian history. It is argued that Moscow considers part of the territory of Ukraine ‘the spiritual source of the formation of the Russian nation and the Russian state’.
It is proposed to take a number of measures to neutralize the destructive influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on the consolidation of Ukrainian society.
Keywords: Russian Orthodox Church, national interests of Ukraine, Russian aggression, hybrid war, Moscow Patriarchate, international religious relations.

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