Bob Amsterdam, the defender of the UOC (in unity with the MP) and Vadym Novinsky in the international arena, interviewed Tucker Carlson, an infamous spreader of Russian narratives in the USA and an opponent of assistance to Ukraine.
This is reported by the propaganda resource SPZh, presenting Carlson as a “public figure”.
In the interview, Carlson spoke about the Ukrainian government allegedly fighting religion with the support of the U.S. government. In the past, the American ex-Fox-News host Tucker Carlson repeatedly amplified Russian fake news about the war in Ukraine, playing along with Russian propaganda.
In June 2023, Carlson uploaded a 10-minute video clip with a monologue recorded from home and read from a teleprompter, in which he falsely blamed Ukraine for the destruction of the Kakhovka HPP, insulted the Ukrainian president, and referred to the 9/11 conspiracy theory.
In 2022, Carlson congratulated his listeners on the anniversary of the Russian “special military operation”.
Now this propagandist is outraged by the alleged ban on the church in Ukraine and the U.S. silence in this regard. Carslon even drew parallels with Syria and actually hinted that the USA is almost “killing” Christians in Ukraine.
Several U.S. presidential administrations have effectively financed the killing of Christians in Syria, and this continues throughout the Middle East and Eastern Europe, as well as in Ukraine, Carlson outrageously claims, citing as an example what he calls the Ukrainian government’s ban on the entire Christian denomination. This thesis was of course cited by the SPZh, a pro-Russian church outlet.
This was perhaps the highest-profile effort to date, spun abroad, to defend the UOC (MP), apart from Russian Patriarch Kirill’s statements.
Another important thing is that Carlson’s narratives will be heard by many average Americans and U.S. politicians. Thus, Carlson’s words about the alleged funding of persecution by the Americans contribute to the disinformation campaign against further defense assistance to Ukraine. After all, when Carlson says that the USA funds the persecution of the Church, an average American may have the impression that for their money, Ukraine persecutes the church and gets more weapons. A distorted propaganda picture is thus being formed.
The UOC (MP) also claims “persecution”, especially the leader of the pro-Russian wing, Metropolitan Antony (Pakanych). In fact, as the head of State Service for Ethnopolicies and Freedom of Conscience emphasized, the dismantling of the Moscow Patriarchate should not affect anyone’s ability to practice their religion. That is, under no circumstances will people be forbidden to pray in temples or profess their faith in God. That is, theses about “persecution” are a deliberate lie being spread by the UOC (MP), which is also shared by pro-Russian liars in the U.S.
Russian propagandists are already savoring Tucker’s statements. One of them, affiliated with Russia’s defense intelligence, shared a 10-minute video of Carlson talking about the “persecution,” which is allegedly being funded by the U.S. government. “…They literally drove a tank over the Ukrainian government, recalling everything – the ban on the Church under false pretenses, the seizure of churches, the violation of believers’ rights, as well as Ukrainian and international laws,” says one of the propaganda posts. The Russian agents thanked Metropolitan Luka of Zaporizhzhia, who “initiated the necessary process by sending Tucker Carlson a letter about the persecution of the UOC (MP).
Carlson’s interviewer is not too credible either, to put it mildly. American lawyer Robert Amsterdam is known for defending the Russian nationalist and businessman Mykhailo Khodorkovsky and Ukraine’s MP and UOC donor Vadym Novinsky. Amsterdam also joined the effort of whitewashing the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (MP) and threatened the Ukrainian authorities with Western assistance cut if the law banning the Russian Orthodox Church is passed. In addition, Novinsky’s attorney is sure that Ukraine will not be able to join the EU precisely because of this law.
Neither Carlson nor Amsterdam said a word about the collaborators from among UOC (MP) priests. They turned a blind eye to Metropolitan Pavlo Lebid welcoming the occupation of Kherson, while his fellow priests handed out provocative leaflets and stored terrorist flags in dioceses. So myuch for the objectivity of Carslon’s reporting.
By the way, speaking of real persecution. In Ukraine, hardly anyone takes this claim seriously anymore because people see the reality that is around them. There is an ongoing war in the country, and the UOC (MP) continues its usual activities. In particular, Metropolitan Onufriy serves in the Kyiv Lavra, and new churches of the UOC (MP) have been set up in the Oleksandria and Khmelnytskyi dioceses. Of course, the people suffering from Russian aggression do not want to see the Church, which has not yet clearly severed ties with the Kremlin. Therefore, there are a number of conflicts that the UOC (MP) refers to as persecution, but they do not want to change.
Well, let’s wish the leadership of the UOC (MP) to invest their efforts not in paying for Novinsky’s lawyers, but in distancing themselves from Moscow and its talking heads like Tucker Carlson who are harming Ukraine, trying to ignite a diplomatic scandal, manipulating the facts, and ignoring objectivity.