Former DPR leader Igor Girkin: Sviatohirsk Lavra’s monks blessed him for war in Ukraine, while UOC hierarchs did not overtly support him
Igor Girkin (Strelkov), former Donetsk People's Republic leader and former Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation officer recently spoke about the participation of monks of the Holy Dormition Svyatohirsk Lavra in the Donbas conflict, according to Obozrevatel.
Discussing with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the Russian Orthodox Church the issue of granting the Tomos of autocephaly to Ukraine, he admitted that his personal guard consisted only of monks of this monastery. The relevant video has been posted on YouTube.
“My personal guard consisted of spiritual sons, monks, hieromonks of the Sviatohorsk Lavra ... To the last man. It was not very large, but they were there ... We had one of the units in the Slovyansk brigade commanded by the novice of Svyatogorsk Lavra. And the novice held a rather serious position in the Lavra ... a provisor,” said Girkin.
He also added that the priests of the Sviatohirsk Lavra blessed his gang formation in 2014 at the beginning of hostilities in Donbas.
According to him, he then hoped that the entire hierarchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) would overtly support them, but this did not happen.
Currently, Girkin has no doubt that a significant part of the UOC-MP will “run” to the autocephalous Ukrainian Church, and he even knows such bishops who are ready to do so.
Vsevolod Chaplin answered that the church diplomacy of the Russian Orthodox Church “has lost out on Ukrainian autocephaly” and he has no doubt that at least several leaders of the UOC (MP) and a large number of priests will move to a newly formed Church in Ukraine.