Thursday, September 22, 2022

    Russia wary of Ukraine’s diverse religious landscape – scholar

    Ihor Kozlovsky, a Ukraine-based religious scholar, candidate of historical sciences, former Kremlin’s political prisoner, believes that the main thing for Russia is to create religious uniformity in the occupied territories, that is, to destroy any conscious opposition from various religious communities.

    The expert expressed his opinion in a comment for Espreso.

    “Russia, which is essentially an empire, is frightened by the diversity and variety of the Ukrainian religious landscape. On the other hand, Russians are impressed by the fact that our believers are pro-active citizens and part of the subject civil space. For the past eight years, the occupiers have been conducting an experiment in the captured territories of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, as well as Crimea, and now they spread it to newly occupied territories. Their task was to destroy religious diversity in Ukraine, because Russia is afraid of any freedom, including religious one,” the scholar explained.

    Ihor Kozlovsky noted that Ukraine is currently fighting for multiple values, of which he singles out three – freedom, dignity, and identity.

    “The main thing for Russia is to create uniformity in the occupied territories, that is, to destroy any conscious opposition that could be put forward by representatives of different religious communities. And the Russians saw this on the example of heroic Mariupol, when members of various religious organizations displayed courage by evacuating our citizens and helping our military. Therefore, as soon as the invaders invaded our lands, they immediately began to destroy manifestations of other religions, with the exception of the Moscow Patriarchate. They did it by different means, because someone actively collaborated and became a conscious ally and assistant of the occupation authorities, and it is clear that now, remaining in the liberated territories, they pursue their destructive activities. But there were also those who refused so they were summoned for ‘preventive’ conversations, as a result of which someone was broken down, while some managed to flee the occupied territories,” commented Kozlovsky.