Sunday, June 16, 2024

    ROC’s branch in Ukraine believes it can help with reintegration of Russian-occupied territories

    The branch of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine believes that their presence in the Russian-occupied areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions could help with the reintegration of these territories.

    Archpriest Mykola Danylevych, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, stated this while ignoring to address the issue of Russia, the culprit of the ongoing war against Ukraine, the pro-Russian newspaper reports.

    He noted that the ROCinU continues to operate unhindered in the terrorist-occupied territories and is faced with no persercution by pro-Russian mercenaries. Moreover, the episcopate and priests of the ROCinU, based in the occupied territories, freely cross out of the Joint Forces Operation zone and visit Kyiv.

    “We are in constant contact with our clergy and faithful from those uncontrolled territories. Bishops and priests, if possible, come to Kyiv or other settlements in the (gov’t-)controlled part of Ukraine. I am convinced that communication between people from different regions and territories is a real basis for unification,” Danylevych assured.

    A spokesman for the ROCinU ignored the fact Russian aggression and said nothing about the Russian-Ukrainian war. At the same time, the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine called Russia’s war against Ukraine a “conflict,” without mentioning Moscow’s role in the international crime against Ukraine.

    “In my opinion, this conflict has social, political, ideological, but not religious reasons. Today it is obvious that significant groups of our believers are out there on both sides of the line of demarcation,” Danylevych concluded.

    According to a number of resolutions and other official documents of the United Nations, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, the European Union, other international and Ukrainian institutions, the Russian Federation remains an occupying power as regards Ukraine. At the same time, priests of the Moscow Patriarchate, including the ROCinU, continue to provide comprehensive support to the Russian occupation forces in Crimea and the certain areas of Donbas, consecrating military hardware and working out the optimal scheme for their priests to serve at Russian combat positions and during the Kavkaz military exercises. Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the ROCinU talks about peacekeeping and forgiveness of the occupiers, and even holds forums for “victims of persecution.”

    Moscow Patriarch Kirill, like his subordinate, Metropolitan Onufriy (Berezovsky) in Ukraine, did not condemn Russia’s illegal appropriation of Ukrainian sovereign territories in Crimea. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill (Gundyaev), as well as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Onufriy (Berezovsky), did not accuse Russia’s top leadership and Vladimir Putin personally of murder, theft, and lies. Thousands of killed soldiers of the Armed Forces, according to the ROC, died at the hands of other Ukrainians, not those of Russia’s hybrid troops and their puppet terrorists.