Speaking in the Russian Federation Council on May 17, Moscow Patriarch Cyril tried to shift criminal responsibility for Russia’s atrocities onto Ukraine and other countries, including Britain and the United States. He recalled how in the past divisions in Russia were “artificially provoked from outside.” He did not condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, but accused foreign hostile political forces of dividing the peoples of “historical Russia.”
This was reported by the Spiritual Front of Ukraine with reference to the ROC website.
The head of the ROC stated that for “most Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, Mazepa has always been perceived as a traitor to Russia, not as a personal foe of Peter I.” Forgetting about the charity of Hetman Ivan Mazepa toward the church, Cyril (Gundyaev) expressed regret that “in recent years in Ukraine there was a deliberate rehabilitation of Hetman Mazepa.”
Cyril has admitted that a “fratricidal division” began in 2014, but he does not blame the Russian occupiers for it. Instead, Gundyaev asserted that the Church was “seeing this division as a tragedy.”
Without taking any real steps toward peace, without condemning bloody executioner Putin and the Russian military leadership, Cyril voiced prayers for peace, which are also offered even by the ROC branch in Ukraine.
“I would like to remind you that from the very beginning of conflict (the war between Russia and Ukraine – ed.), the Church in Ukraine and Russia has been constantly praying for peace and constantly calling on people to overcome divisions,” he said.
Finally, Cyril did not condemn Russian aggression against Ukraine, but accused foreign “hostile” political forces of dividing the peoples of “historical Russia.” By the peoples of Russia, the Moscow patriarch means Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians.
Continuing his propaganda campaign and alluding to the United States and Britain, Cyril tried to shift responsibility for Russia’s war crimes onto them.
“It is well known that colonial powers, guided by the principle of ‘divide and rule,’ created points of military tension and internecine conflict in other regions of the globe, too. Today, this shameful rule, unfortunately, is also applied to the escalation of Russian-Ukrainian enmity,” Gundyaev said.
The ROC leader further said that it was “propaganda and lies” that prompted Russia’s war against Ukraine, and that Russians who have killed thousands of Ukrainians since 2014 are allegedly not interested in waging war against Ukrainians because they were baptized in a “single Kyiv font”.
“Yes, quarrels also occur between brothers, but it turned out to be possible to bring it to fratricide by purposeful propaganda of aggression and lies. I have said before that the peoples of Russia and Ukraine, who came out of the one baptismal font in Kyiv, united by the Orthodox faith and united by a common historical destiny, cannot be blamed for this situation. They do not and cannot have an interest in the conflict,” said Moscow Patriarch Cyril.
He also recalled that his flock also exists in Ukraine, and therefore, according to him, not war, but autocephaly is allegedly harmful to the unity of “brotherly peoples”: Russian, Belarusian, and Ukrainian. On the same day, Gundyaev acknowledged that the ban on the ROC in Ukraine would make it impossible to “serve the unity of the fraternal Russian and Ukrainian peoples.”
Despite Russia’s atrocities, Cyril (Gundyaev) claimed that Russia would make the necessary efforts to create a peaceful life in Ukraine. In early May, he lied that Russia “did not attack anyone.”