It would be weird if Russia didn’t engage “honorary patriarch” Filaret in a wide-ranging information campaign to disrupt the upcoming Ukraine visit of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on the 30th anniversary of the country’s independence.
So there’s no surprise Filaret is now playing his part.
Multiple mouthpieces of the ROC (read FSB) are already trumpeting that Filaret has announced he would chair at least two forums, within the framework of a religious organization, which has de facto ceased to exist in Ukraine. Still, the “honorary patriarch” keeps posing as the organization’s leader. Both events are aimed to create a platform for Filaret to ask the Ecumenical Patriarch for another tomos of autocephaly, this time a personal one.
In this regard, the Kyiv Patriarchate that Filaret represents has even prepared a list of demands as for the rights that must be granted to him in this tomos duplicate. But it’s not the demands that are important but the actual goals pursued by the stunt.
This vector of the campaign targeting Bartholomew’s visit is conditioned by several goals sought within its framework. The ultimate goal, naturally, is certainly to disrupt Bartholomew’s visit as such, by all means possible. Among the auxiliary goals is leveling the importance of the tomos in the media space and, accordingly, in the minds of parishioners.
That’s as if to show that the tomos is nothing important if it could be granted just like that. So it’s about creating a distorted perception of the historical importance and uniqueness of a local church obtaining a tomos of autocephaly. Masterminds behind the campaign seek to make people see the tomos as some item on a diner menu.
This entails discrediting the Orthodox Church of Ukraine as a religious organization, nullifying significance of autocephaly in public perception and, as a consequence, even in the long run, challenging the transition of parishes from the ROCinU to the OCU, at least at the grassroots level. However, the problem is precisely that the parishioners of the so-called “UOC-KP” and the ROCinU draw the news precisely from such dubious sources, being inclined to trust it in full.
In fact, Filaret’s latest reappearance on the pitch is a rather multi-level and well-thought-out, albeit expected, move. Also, it has clearly been imposed on the “honorary patriarch” rather than being his personal initiative. And there’s nothing difficult in guessing who exactly imposed this idea on Filaret because the latter, with his destructive and illogical moves, has been recently playing against Ukraine.
Since 2019, Filaret and his UOC-KP, even after being formally dismantled, have regularly exerted information damage to Ukraine, through discrediting the OCU, circulating fake news, as well as participating in and supporting dubious hybrid operations.
In fact, without openly revealing the fact that their steps have been synchronized with those of the Russian Orthodox Church, this organization has been latently participating in almost all destructive projects organized by the ROC branch in Ukraine. And the fact that Filaret announced his events immediately after the “Legal Forum” of the ROCinU was held suggests that these organizations act in concert and almost simultaneously, toward destabilizing Ukraine and inflicting maximum damage to the country, both reputational and political, as well as damage in the public and civic domains.
Last year, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the activity of Filaret and his “organization” in the area was significantly curbed, but now the situation has changed dramatically and requires his direct participation. Participation in yet another big game against Ukraine…
Source: Oleksandr Kovalenko, a military and political commentator