On Army Day, Patriarch Kirill urges Russian soldiers to perform military feats
"Unfortunately, even now there threats emerge, everyone is familiar with what is happening on the borders of our homeland. Therefore, I think that our servicemen must have no doubts that they’ve chosen a rightful path in their lives. By following this path, you are protecting the people even without any military action. The strength of the Armed Forces, the strength of the Russian army — this is already a weapon that protects our people," said the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose words were shared by the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Kirill stressed that Russian troops were engaged in "protecting" Russia and continuing the exploits of their grandfathers. He wished them to be "always ready to stand up for their homeland." Kirill added that Russians live in peacetime, but also in "peacetime there are threats."
There is already a reaction to such a "passionate" military speech by Kirill.
"Now comes the moment of truth for priests and believers of the UOC-MP," archpriest of the OCU, theologian, publicist Fr. Andriy Dudchenko commented on the words of Kirill.
"My dear brothers and sisters and especially fellow servants from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate!
Think of these words of the man whom you are obliged to proclaim "the Great Lord and Father"! Do you agree that the Russian military personnel in this "peacetime" chose the right path in their lives? Isn’t it time when choosing from two canonical ecclesiastical jurisdictions – of Moscow and of Ukraine you have to opt for our own native one?" the priest asks.
Fr. Andriy also appealed to his brothers and sisters from the OCU:
"In fact, there are numerous sincere patriots of Ukraine among the clergy and faithful of the UOC-MP. This may seem unconvincing to some of you, but take my word for it, because I’ve been there almost all my life, until the very Unification Council.
And so now, in these times of trials, we must understand that one of the enemy`s methods is to sow hostility between us, the Ukrainians. Any violent attempt to seize a church or a monastery, and especially a monastery lavra, is a gift to the enemy. Similar provocations may happen. The OCU does not support this and does not organize it. The OCU is an open church. We are waiting for people to come to us, and we are happy when this happens, but we do not force anyone."
On February 21, Putin signed a decree recognizing the terrorist LPR-DPR, he also officially sent the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation there. Thereafter, the militants issued an ultimatum to Ukraine: lay down their weapons and retreat to the legal borders of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
After that, ultimatums to Ukraine fell from Putin: voluntarily refuse to join NATO and observe neutrality. The Kremlin also wants Ukraine to abandon its claims to the occupied Crimea and start disarmament.
However, these bold demands were strongly rejected by the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmygal., noting that joining NATO and returning the occupied Crimea is a requirement of Ukrainian society.