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    Is this really a “Ukrainian” church?: In occupied Crimea, priests with Moscow Patriarchate bless occupation army

    Amid the threat of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, the clergy of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine, which continues to disguise its own anti-Ukrainian activities by retaining its official title of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Church”, has stepped up its own prayerful support for the Russian armed forces.

    On February 15, 2022, as part of the exercises conducted by the Russian Black Sea fleet in the Russian-occupied Crimea, the clergyman of the ROCinU’s Sevastopol denomination Archpriest Vasily Gumarov visited the training grounds where he held meetings with the military and prayed for “more love between the fraternal Ukrainian and Russian peoples.”

    The website of the Sevastopol denomination of the so-called UOC-MP (ROCinU) has reported on the event.

    The same website reported that on the same day, February 15, Archpriest Serhiy Polyvtsev offered a prayer service for the crews of the enemy warships, which was a “blessing to a warship going at the enemy, one or many, and blessings to the soldiers who are set to man it.”

    During the service for Russian soldiers, strong words of prayer to God were voiced to keep the occupying military contingent “untouched and unharmed from any calamity, illness, hunger, drowning, and any fear”, to give them strength, endurance, courage, and victory over any enemy.”

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