MOSCOW TRICKS AGAINST UKRAINE'S ORTHODOX AUTOCEPHALY
Since the outbreak of Russia's hybrid invasion to Ukraine there were numerous incidents when the Russian Orthodox Church branches in Ukraine has been acting as one of its parts on propaganda and supply levels, proving itself to be a part of Russia's GID. Shortly after Ukraine regained independence, through a series of internal intrigues and political lobby, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyevan Patriarchate lost its "canonical status" and has almost been supplanted by a Moscow Patriarchate.
Recently, a new ray of hope appeared in the horizon of Ukrainian Orthodox, Bartholomew I - the current Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch - made a number of gestures, which make us suggest that the tomos about gaining of autocephaly by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyevan Patriarchate will be signed. Against this background, in recent months we see the Kremlin has been activation all its levers of external influence to prevent the tomos to be signed.
According to the data of Dmytro Tymchuck, a Ukrainian military analyst, if the decision of Constantinople on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be taken not in a favor of Moscow, paramilitary detachments of "self-defense" are planned to be created on the territory of churches and monasteries of the Moscow Patriarchate owned churches (there is a clear parallel with the begging of Russia hybrid invasion to the Donbass and Crimea), as well as using groups of provocateurs who will commit attacks on churches under the guise of radical nationalists.
In addition, according to available information, to achieve its strategic goals to prevent the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from receiving an autocephaly, Moscow is ready to carry out any measures - from intimidation to physical influence on representatives of the local Orthodox churches who are ready to support this initiative.
or example, the Patriarch of all Georgia, Ilia II, has rather a balanced position and does not oppose the provision of autocephaly for Ukrainian Orthodox. In this regard, rumors are dwelling among the higher clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church that, the Georgian Patriarch's "health condition may deteriorate sharply" if he is continue to embrace pro-Ukrainian position.
At the same time, the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church and one of the biggest opposes of the tomos - Patriarch Irenaeus - who got the "International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Nations" prize on May 23 this year in Moscow, recently received $ 250,000 under the guise of "charitable help" from the same source. In addition, Moscow is about to provide assistance to the Serbian Patriarchate for the restoration of a number of facilities.
In exchange for these preferences, during his official speech in Moscow Patriarch Irenaeus criticized Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in the perspective of his intentions to provide an autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. At the same time, such position of teh Serbian Patriarch, as the head of one of the local churches, is used by Moscow as an influential factor for other countries' Othodox patriarchates.