"Putin has an extensive all-Ukrainian intelligence and sabotage network – the UOC-MP is at his fingertips," – expert opinion
This is stated in the material by “Channel 24”.
The clergy of the UOC MP acted in cooperation with the aggressor
Since the beginning of the war, the clergymen of the Moscow Patriarchate have acted in close cooperation with the aggressor. During the occupation of Crimea, priests persuaded the Ukrainian military to lay down their weapons, otherwise “they will be cursed.”
Since the outbreak of hostilities in the East, Moscow priests have been hiding militants and weapons in their monasteries, in particular in the Svyatogorsk Lavra. About which there is a lot of evidence.
Among the main functions of priests of the Moscow Patriarchate in the hybrid war against Ukraine, the experts specify:
- propaganda and introduction of the Russian political order within Ukrainian society is not Russia's aggression, but a "civil war" not the occupation of Crimea, but "the one people", disruption of mobilization, because " the Russians are our brothers, and the enemy is sitting in Kyiv”, demoralization of Ukrainian citizens, who are thrown a guilt complex for participating in repelling Russian aggression;
- discrediting the official authorities in international organizations by spreading slander on the actions of Ukraine;
- indirect calls for Ukraine's capitulation to the enemy through the rhetoric of the “struggle for peace” and denial of the very existence of the Ukrainian nation, which is allegedly part of the “Russian World”.
In the end, it was the participation of the Russian clergy under the cover of the Moscow Patriarchate in a hybrid war on the side of the aggressor that gave rise to the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, experts say. But both the previous president and the current one did not have the political will to solve the problem of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine forever.
Therefore, Vladimir Putin still has at hand an extensive all-Ukrainian intelligence and sabotage agency – the UOC-MP, and with it plans to capture the southeast of Ukraine.
American analysts and military experts say that the Russian occupier can only be stopped on the Dnieper River. Left-bank Ukraine continues to be under threat, because Putin and his military strategists dream of making a land connection between the occupied Crimea and the Russian Federation," said religious expert and political analyst Andriy Kovalyov.
In the zone of greatest danger at once 3 Ukrainian regions bordering on the occupied territories:
- Kharkiv region;
- Zaporizhzhia region;
- Dnipropetrovsk region.
The Russian Orthodox Church has a powerful lobby in local self-government bodies
As many as seven dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine still work here. In each of the regions, the Russian Orthodox Church has a powerful lobby in local self-government bodies. Each of the dioceses has militant groups that disguise themselves as public organizations and provide military support to the Russian Church.
Tetiana Derkach, the author of the book “Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine: the Anatomy of Treason”, noted that the MP has been gathering various paramilitary and Cossack organizations associated with veterans of the Ministry of internal affairs and Afghanistan for years. That is, everything related to law enforcement agencies.
“We know perfectly well that each such institution had its own chapels of the Moscow Patriarchate. And it is clear that it was not just like that,” she stressed.
Military support for the Diocese of Kharkiv of the UOC-MP was provided by the Oplot Fight Club. With the beginning of the war, he organized himself into the battalion of the same name – a structural division of the army of terrorists of the “DPR”. The ”Oplot" in Kharkiv has long been gone, but there are still pro-Russian organizations, various unions of Soviet officers, whose activities are coordinated by the local diocese of the UOC.
Until his death, he supported the Russian Orthodox Church in Kharkiv by Mayor Gennady Kernes, who was assisted by both Poroshenko and Zelensky.
The situation is similar in Zaporizhia. They also turned a blind eye to the anti-Ukrainian activities of the local diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church and its bishop Luke. The Metropolitan was forgiven for anathema to the rector of the OCU, Metropolitan Epifaniy, and a media attack on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, whom Luke called “an apostle of Satan and a loyal subject of the devil.”
The problem of the absolutely pro-Russian near-Church Organization Radomir, known in Zaporizhia as the” battle wing “of the Diocese of Zaporizhia the UOC-MP, has not been solved either. Metropolitan Luka coordinates the militants directly. In 2018, during searches at the Radomir base, security forces seized unregistered weapons and even insignia from the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation.
But even after such evidence, no one banned the work of the organization. Therefore, it is already clear that the threat of a repeat of 2014 in Zaporizhzhia has definitely not disappeared anywhere.
There was a very high threat of creating a “Zaporizhia People's Republic” here. Because this area was strategically necessary. And we still know that there is tension over this land passage to Crimea. These are Mariupol, Berdyansk, Melitopol and Kherson region. So that there is access to Crimea," said Fotiy (Davidenko), administrator of the Diocese of Zaporizhia of the OCU.
The situation in Dnipro is completely different. Here, clerics of the Moscow Patriarchate also opposed Euromaidan, coordinated the work of pro-Russian organizations and the security structure of the Katerynoslav Cossack District. But in 2015, the city was headed by the representative of the pro-Ukrainian “Petro Poroshenko Bloc”, Boris Filatov.
No one knew where he was before the revolution of dignity began, but he rode the million-plus city on patriotic rhetoric. It seemed that pro-Russian forces would never get a second chance in Dnipro again. But as it turned out, Filatov is a long-time parishioner of the Moscow Patriarchate, with honors from Patriarch Kirill himself, which he received in 2010.
“In Dnipro, it is no secret that Mr. Filatov is the headman of the parish of the Moscow Church. Therefore, of course, he maintains very close ties with them and does everything specifically for the Moscow Church. And vice versa – against the Ukrainian Church in Dnipro,” said Dnipro activist Hennadiy Butenko.
Now Filatov is defiantly dissociating himself from his ecclesiastical past. Tries to clean up any references to differences from Kirill, they say in Dnipro. But the patriotic mayor is still in close contact with the Russian Church.
When people gathered on Sunday, the priests of the Moscow church conducted awareness-raising activities among the faithful. Not publicly, somewhere so that they support Filatov because this is the right person, the right candidate for mayor, " Butenko said.
Now the Russian Orthodox Church in Dnipro has a strong position, just like it did 10 years ago. No one has dissolved or persecuted pro-Russian organizations. Hidden, but always ready and Cossacks from the ”Katerynoslav Cossack District". Which, according to media reports, now have a powerful partner – the security company “Leon”. The owner of which is Mykhailo Koshlyak, a deputy of the Regional Council from the OPBfL and a long–time business partner of Filatov and Hennadiy Korban himself.
There is still a risk of a repeat of 2014 in three regions
In each of the three regions, there is still a risk of a repeat of 2014. Because the Russian Orthodox Church has the same strong positions, and the leaders of regional centers and regions play along with it. Meanwhile, the state leadership should remember that the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine is the only effective structure for Moscow that remained after the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
And demonstratively ignoring signals from frontline regions can cost the state both its own territories and the overall security crisis.