The Moscow Patriarchate could not do without lying about the number of participants in today’s event in Kyiv marking the anniversary of the baptism of Rus-Ukraine. The official channel of the ROCinU states that the procession that moved from Volodymyrska Hill to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra has gathered a record 350,000 believers.
“While in 2019 about 300,000 people took part in the procession, this year there’s much more,” said Metropolitan Klyment (Vecherya) of the Russian Orthodox Church, later clarifying that he meant 350,000 followers.
However, the National Police refuted such calculations, calling another number, 20,000.
“As of 13:45, a column of believers lined up and headed toward the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. According to preliminary data, more than 20,000 people are taking part in the event. Law enforcers are ensuring law and order,” the National Police website said.
Ukrainian expert Oleksandr Kovalenko has commented on the situation.
“I very much doubt the figure reported by the ROCinU, but the National Police, in my opinion, are not quite accurate. I’m sure we’ll find out more a bit later, but that’s not the point. The point is that, one way or another, this is a large number of people, very large, which is an epidemiological time bomb,” he wrote.
Kovalenko added that in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the procession remained exclusively a hybrid political rally.
“In 2021 we are talking about deliberate, conscious bacteriological terrorism by the ROCinU! Such a move must be condemned at the highest level, and Ukraine should seek that the actions of the ROCinU be condemned at the international level, too,” Kovalenko concluded.
It should be reminded that the Head of ROCinU, Onufriy, deliberately chose not to mention during his address to believers that Rus-Ukraine was baptized precisely by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The ROCinU procession has also turned into a political rally against Bartholomew. As earlier noted by religious expert Oleksandr Yefremenko, the head of the ROCinU seems to be avoiding the word “Ukraine” in his speeches, while at the same time channeling Moscow-crafted malign narratives.