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Reconciliation in Ukraineis impossible until aggressor and victim are named, - Cyril Hovorun

21.03.2016, 10:17
Reconciliation in Ukraineis impossible until  aggressor and victim are named, - Cyril Hovorun - фото 1
The Havana Declaration, signed by the Pope of Rome and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in February 2016, provoked a large number of responses in church circles.

Архимандрит Кирилл (Говорун)The Havana Declaration, signed by the Pope of Rome and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in February 2016, provoked a large number of responses in church circles. According to religious analysts’ projections, the meeting in Havana and the Declaration as its outcome could have unpredicted consequences, especially in the ROC.

At the time, the ROC has suspended in officeBishop Diomede (Dzyuban) of Anadyr and Chukotka, but not so much for his extreme views as for the open agitation against the Russian Orthodox Church hierarchy, which “has fallen into heresy of ecumenism.” But it has only frozen the conflict inside the ROC betweeb the rigid hierarchical obedience and faithfulness ot one’s own antiecumenical views. In Ukraine, as we know, there are followers of the former Bishop Diomede as well. The Havana meeting and the forthcoming Council in Crete havebecome the trigger which unexpectedly released these contradictions. RISU discussed with a senior teacher at the Stockholm School of Theology and the National University of "Kyiv-Mohyla Academy", a research assistant at Yale and Columbia Universities (USA) Archimandrite Cyril (Hovorun) the effect of the Havana Declaration on ecclesiactic future of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the probability and conditions of reconciliation in Ukrainian society.

- Why did Patriarch Kirill go to Cuba?

- As it happens in the events of such scale, he had not a single, but several reasons. Generally, they have been stated several times in various comments. These are both religious and political reasons. This visit was important as the very fact of meeting, and the side effect was the known declaration, called the Havana Declaration.

 - Was Patriarch Kirill aware of the risk he was running when signing this text? First of all, in his own environment. Because the ROC identity has been built to a large extent on anti-Catholic theses.

 - Of course, everyone was well aware that the very meeting with the Pope is a risk. The main problem for opponents is not the declaration. The main problem is the meeting. So initially all the risks connected with the meeting were minimized. Its format was changed so that it had neither official nor ecclesiastical character: at the airport in Havana. This was done intentionally in order to demonstrate its negligibility, although, as I said, the fact of the meeting was its main real motivation.

Let me wind back a little. Every time before the Vatican came up with the initiative of meeting with the Primate of the Russian Church, the argument on the part of Orthodox was the fact that in Ukraine the Orthodox will feel indignant at the Greek Catholics. As we now see, in fact,there is no indignation on the part fo Orthodox in connection with the Greek Catholics. There is outrage of the Orthodox who oppose the meeting with the Pope as such. This outrage was not only on the part of Ukrainian Orthodox,it was also on the part ofRussian ultra conservatives. And the reason that was presented previously as an obstacle to a meeting between the two heads, proved to benegligeable.

 - Negligeable.

 - The real reason was always possible reactions of radical conservatives, especially in Russia. And in fact, now we are seeing exactly this reaction. Radical conservatives are a genie released from the bottle.

 - Are they the foundation of the Russian Church?

 - No, they arenot the foundation of the Russian Church. Most of the Russian Church does not belong in this group. They are just the loudest.

 - So, thestatements about spiritual bonds, traditions, etc. are not intended for them, but for other people, aren’t they?

 - They areintended mainly for secular people,for people who are neither radical nor conservative –they are nobody in the Russian Church. These are people who are nostalgic for the dominant ideology.

- But it is a kind of vicious circle –converting everyone to conservatives, and then not being able to even meet the Head of the Roman Catholic Church?

- Each church has its radical conservatives. Catholic, Orthodox, Greek Catholic, and Protestant Churches, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism - everywhere this type of religiosity is present. It has a universal character. Some churches try to counter radical conservatism. There are religious leaders who understand the limitations and even dangers of these groups, and try to keep them in check.

The Russian Church tried to benefit from radical conservatives and make them a tool to solve some specific problems. Ukraine was one of the assignments. All the people who walked along Khreschatyk holding banners with political slogans in the late 2000s and whom the Ukrainian Orthodox Church condemned as “political orthodox” under the tenure of the late Metropolitan Volodymyr, were the environment that can be manipulated to promote the agenda of the “Russian world.”Just remember awarding Kaurov in Moscow when he was condemnedin the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The UOC denounced radical conservatives as “political orthodox,”while the ROC supported them. They received such support primarily because they had an anti-Ukrainian political program. Then, when the war in eastern Ukraine broke out, many of them took up arms, such as Igor Druz, and continued doing exactly what they had been doing before – implementating the direct action policy. They first appeared on Khreshchatyk with slogans and direct action to influence the political events (and therefore were called “political orthodox”). Then, when new possibilities for direct action emerged –with Kalashnikov guns in hand, they took up those Kalashnikov guns and continued this policy of direct action in eastern Ukraine. But these are the same radical groups that speak against the Council today in Crete and against the meeting in Havana. In this sense there is a connection between the protests against Havana and protests against Crete.

 So, instead of trying to pacify those local madmen, to keep a rein on them as the UOC tried to do in the late Metropolitan Volodymyr’s tenure, the Russian Church made them instrumental. And it turns out that they are considering themselves as mainstream in the general Church context (and they were sent such messages, although they are not the mainstream), they speak out with more drive and with greater self-confidence, including on the Havana meeting. That is, their voice has acquired meaningfulness, including with the support of the Russian Orthodox Church. And this voice is directed against the policy of the Russian Orthodox Church in Havana. That is what I mean when I say that the genie was released from the bottle. This geniehas now turned against Aladdin.

 - But itwas so easy to predict. Could we have done without with declarations, only a personal meeting?

 - Such meetings are usually accompanied by declarations. The declaration was also issued at the meeting of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew at the Phanar in 2014.

 - In the Havana Declarations one can find numerousreonciliatory messages. Which of these messages are true and which can be regarded as a guise ofatrue meaning?

 - The Declaration text is multilayered. It is written in dual language. This language, which has two layers of semantics, two readings. This speech is read in the Russian context –in a context that was formed, figuratively speaking, by “Kiselev TV.” In this context, the conflict is evolving only inside Ukraine. And the Russian Church along with the Catholic Church are the peacemakers in this allegedly internal Ukrainian conflict. This is what it is like in terms of Russian informational context. In the different global context, in which the Roman Church operates and in which the Pope and his information officers need to explain the position and policy of the Pope, the Declaration also reads well. Because here everyone understands that the parties to the conflict are Russia and Ukraine, it turns out that the Pope forced the Patriarch to send the message, which even urges President Putin suspend Russia's participation in the conflict.

 - Will Putin understand that the message was addressed to him?

 - Putin will understand that this is a twofold message, which may be read in two ways.

 - Can the Kremlin read between the lines?

 - Yes, of course they can. They invented this equivocal language, gibberish. Honestly speaking, I am not sure they enjoy these messages in the Kremlin. On the other hand, they can be perceived with pleasure, because they do not irritate the Russian consumer of news.

 - Do you mean the Russian domestic consumer understands it the way it is presented and will not understand it in the global context?

 - Absolutely. He considers the global context distorted and his own realityas the only true one. This declaration can be considered a diplomatic achievement, because when the texts are written to satisfy both sides, while talking about different things – it is actually the great diplomatic success. But this is just where the Declaration’s duplicity lies. This duplicity was notices in Ukraine.

 - Yes, it was Ukrainians who had this cognitive dissonance!

 - Absolutely. And Ukrainians havegrapsed this double message, double semantics. They understood they are just played. They are used to the fact that Moscow is playing them, but it came as a shock for that the Vatican is too.

 - Did the Vatican do it occassionally?

 - I do not know. I think the Vatican was well aware that this declaration reads adequately in the global context. All this is enough. I do not think that the Vatican was worried that the declaration is being read just as well in the domestic context.

 - So, these undertones, which can be heard in Ukraine, have not been figured out in advance, have they?

 - No, I think that the situation in Ukraine is unlikely to be adequately figured out by anyone.

 - Why has not His Beatitude Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) been involved?

 - Because this meeting was prepared in very narrow circles. The Patriarch has more contact with the Congregation for the Oriental Churches –the Churches of the Eastern rite in communion with the Roman Church. This Congregation, to my knowledge, was not involved in the preparation of this document. The Congregation, which prepared the document, according to its official duties was not required to contact the Ukrainian Greek Catholics.

 - Frankly speaking, after the scandal that broke out in Ukraine in connection with the declaration, will Vatican somehow review its information policy in relation to the Greek Catholics?

 - I hope so. Measures shall be taken and conclusions shall be made.

 But this is the first of the Declaration’s ambiguities. The second ambiguity is a message of reconciliation.

 - To what extent the signatories of the declaration are sincere in their calls for reconciliation? How do they see this reconciliation, given the fact that in terms of the Vatican, Russia is one of the parties to the“internal Ukrainian conflict,” but in terms of Russia it is not a confclicting party at all?

 - Russia is not named a party to the conflict. Moreover, it is not named the main cause of the conflict, the aggressor who attacked a sovereign state. If we compare the text of the Havana Declaration with that of Phanar declaration signed by Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew, the second document does not name parties to the conflict, and this is the weakness of this declaration. But at least, it has given a minimum assessment of what is happening. Fanar declaration called to respect international law, which was an allusion to the annexation of Crimea. It was at least some assessment. The Havana Declaration does not contain such assessments. And here its problem lies as well. The reconciliation referred to in this declaration is only possible when the aggressor and the victim of the conflict are named.

 Numerous conflicts have always developed across the world, and in this sense, Ukraine is not unique. They include conflicts in Latin America after the fall of dictatorships, the Canadian conflict between migrant workers and Indians - the first people who inhabited the territory of Canada. This was South Africa because of apartheid. But nowhere in no country the reconciliation was ever reached through concealment of who is the conflict orogonator and those affected. Everywhere, in every conflict that needed reconciliation, first of allthe conflict initiator and the victims were named, the conflict initiator was given an assessment, the victim justified, then the parties were called to reconciliation. But not in the reverse order: first reconcile and then we will judge you. Yet it never happened without the conviction process, to begin with the Nuremberg Tribunal, which is the most radical form of reconciliation. How were the German people reconciled with the rest of Europe? Through the Nuremberg process. As reconciled with Canadian Indians immigrants? Also thought the trials, which are still ongoing, for example, on the boarding schools for Indians.

- Between Ukraine and Russia there is the unresolved historical conflict, the famine. Russia is still trying to end a civil war between the red and white, and they deal with this issue just in the same manner as in Ukraine, i.e. there is no one to blame, it just happened, the devil misled ... the moral evaluation is not given to anyone.

 - Right. By no means have I wanted to say that my analogies must confirm the idea that there is an internal conflict Ukraine. But I want to say that reconciliation process that envisages the restoration of justice must take place in Ukraine.

 Justice, whichour society is lacking now. The courts do not work, justice has become a business when law enforcement benefit from “forgiveness.”The power verticalhas actually privatized justice and is trying to do political bargaining and buy a loyalty on its basis. That is, even inside Ukraine there in no reconciliation process on the results of Yanukovich dictatorship, because the guilty party is not condemned. And the relationship between Russia and Ukraine is evolving by the same model. In other words, if we demand justice for ourselves because of the Russian aggression, we must first enforce justice for those who suffered from the regime of Yanukovych in the country.

 - But with regard to Crimea, Russia was named as aggressor state under law – there is such a law in Ukraine. As for Donbas, although it is considered a temporarily occupied territory, the occupying entity was not named.

- That is right, yes. But the declarations like the Havana one do not name Russia as the aggressor, and Ukraine is not named as a victim. Without this, any appeals for reconciliation - empty demagogy. This is simply an attempt to remove the responsibility and take the debate in another direction.

 - In other words, in this modelin order to reconcile somebody must swallow injusticeю. It is reconciliation at the expense of those who suffered losses.

- Absolutely, at the expense of the victim. Relatively speaking, it's like in India: girls get raped, and then prosecuted for having been raped.

-Is this the way it happens in India?

- Yes, it is. Such cases are covered in global press.

  “Because one can not be so beautiful?”

- Yes, because “it is your own fault.”This is just the case with Ukraine. Ukraine was raped, and now it is prosecuted for being raped.

  And why was it raped? Where is its“short skirt”?

  It merely wanted to be itself, wanted to be a free country.

  Why is it so hard for Russia to be in an environment of self-sufficient countries? Why is it difficult to accept the self-sufficiency of Ukraine? After all, no one denies “the shared font” – these are natural historical things no longer challenged by anyone?

 This is because it lacks self-sufficiency in itself. It compensates for this lack of self-sufficiency by destroying self-sufficiency of the neighbors. It is like in a society where there is a sociopath with complexes and he satisfieshis complexes due to the fact that just mocks his close circle, his neighbors.

I want to again emphasize that all the conciliatory process between countries, within countries, within society, always go through the process, first, the name of the victim and the aggressor, and secondly, condemn the aggressor. Only after this the process reconciliation may begin. And there the role of the Church may revel itself. Once all parties to the conflict will be named, the Church must call for reconciliation.

 Who should name these parties? The court? Is this a political process?

  Political process is only part of deeper processes.

- Does the Church play any role in this moral trial?

- Yes, it should definitely play a role.

- If it does not play its role of moral arbiter in society, it is salt without saltiness ...

- Yes, it loses its place in society. And meanwhile society looks for other arbiters and authorities. Ukraine has the Church which plays the role of an arbiter, and there are those who refuse from this role.

- The ones who play the role of arbiter are not ready for reconciliation. Those who refuse the role of arbiter are ready for reconciliation.

- Yes, and it is a problem. I think that the way out of this impasse is to first condemn the incident, to call a spade a spade – and call for reconciliation.

Again, we must ask for forgiveness, it is impossible to impose the apology mode on injured party. You can not issue a directive to make the sacrifice and forgive theabuser. No, you can only ask for it. Moreover, the party should ask the aggressor. Before one says“sorry,”the aggressor should be named. And then the victim may think over, whether to forgive or not. But it is right for the victim. Take any court proceedings. It is impossible to talk about the establishment of justice, if the offender is not convicted – then the crime will be repeated endlessly.

I want to give you an example - the attempt on Pope John Paul II. The person who attempted his murder was put to prison, was convicted, and only a few years later Pope visited and forgave him. The Pope forgave him not prior to the court. He did not demandthe perpetrator was not prosecuted. The Pope forgave him after he was convicted and was in prison. This is what the sequence of actions now should be like: first name the victim and the aggressor, then the court, and even the victim can forgive, but is not obliged to do so.

- So, it is not in the interests of the Church, because it flatly refuses to recognize Ukraine as victim. Moreover, the ROC created a movement of priests who believe it all started with Maidan. You accepted Maidan. Why the assessments of this event so radically diverge? Why is the other party incapable to accept the reasons of emergence of Maidan?

- It is due to propaganda. The aggression against Ukraine became a defensive reaction against Maidan. It was necessary to prevent the spread of the movement of people’s libration from the kleptocratic regime outside Ukraine –this is the first point. And secondly, it was necessary to show through the instruments of propaganda, if you want Maidan - then you will get a war. In the interpretation of Maidan by the Russian propaganda the causal link was changed. There was an attempt to show that Maidan is the cause of war, that war naturally, organically derived from Maidan. But this is not the case. The war that arose after Maidan was intended to suppress it, to silence it. In this sense, the war in Ukraine is not a post Maidan phenomenon as the propaganda tries toi present, but an anti-Maidan phenomenon. This war is not the will of the people who came to Maidan. This is the will of those in Russia who would like to silence Maidan. So this propaganda thesis is a way to deceive people, and this way works even in the Church. Here starts all false hermeneutics of Maidan: “You are to blame, because you went to Maidan, and so you get the war.” No! We have a war because we were attacked by those who do not like Maidan.

- Let's go back to the Havana Declaration. Could you explain the logic, why did Patriarch Kirill decide to seek Catholic allies in the struggle with some global issues, while waging war on two fronts inside the Orthodox Church? On the one hand, with the Ecumenical Patriarch, on the other - with co-religionists in Ukraine? How can it be logically linked?

- I do not know. I do not presume to explain the motivation of church leadership in Russia.

- In an interview concerning the declaration, Patriarch Kirill said he was very sorry that Ukraine so painfully reacted to his words that the Greek Catholics should move in line with the paradigm of which is fixed in the declaration, and then there will be peace between the Orthodox and Greek Catholics. That is, on the one hand, it is a meaningless document, on the other hand someone drew a road map of how to move in order to avoid problems.

- This is not a road map, but it is a sort of framework, which I think is a positive moment in this Declaration. Although the section devoted to Greek Catholicshas beencopied from a paragraph of Balamand agreements and contains nothing newat all, is not a breakthrough,but it is important to reiterate these points of Balamand Agreement 1993. And I think that it is positive that the Greek Catholics were given the right to exist. It is a self-evident thing.

- But it sounds so wild in the 21st century ...

- Yes, it is true. However, in the format of relations between the Orthodox and Catholics it sounds very optimistic. As on the rhetorical level this issue has so far been presented as an obstacle in most of the meeting between the Pope and the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Now there meeting took place, and it referred neutrally toGreek-Catholics, if it was the case - it is a breakthrough by itself. If we look at this process in the triangle of relationship of the Orthodox Church, the Catholic and Greek Catholic – there is dynamics. Yes, it seems quite anachronistic for the 21st century - well, how can a sufficiently large church community be denied the right to exist? However, I would like to stress once again the importance of the fact that the Pope and the Patriarch called to change rhetoric pitch from confrontational to moderate.

- Will the Ukrainian ultra orthodox hear it?

- If they are explained, then yes, definitely they will. Although, I do not know.

- Again, is this the accountability issue?

- You see, they are difficult to control. Yes, at some point they can be used when their interests coincide with those of church leadership.

- Do you mean, it is not the fact that these messages will be heard in radical circles?

- Not true. But it is important that this message was present in the declaration. I think this is a positive message anyway.

- The declaration says that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church split should be resolved on the canonical basis. In disputes about what is a canonical basis for resolving the split, many swords have been crossed. The Russian side, the side of the Russian Church places all the responsibility for this division on Patriarch Filaret. Why no one wants to take responsibility for the same Kharkiv Council, which began the division? Lots of people consider the refusal of some bishops from their signatures on the decision of the Local Council of 1991 to be treachery. Why is the UOC unwilling to assume the part of blame, as it also provoked this situation?

- I think the Declaration signatories, including the Pope, are not interested in such nuances.

- But logically, usually the way out is found where it all started, is it?

- This statement has the same dual semantics as the messages on the war in Ukraine. And the message of canonicity can be read in two ways as well.One side it has its own interpretation of the canonical order, and the other has its own, too.

 -“Everyone has their own truth”.

- Yes, even the canonical truth. Unfortunately, the situation of canon law in Ukraine is the same as that general situation of law. When the law is applied selectively, on the principle “everything for my friends – law to my enemies.” And the canon law, too. Here Ukraine is an absolutely post-Soviet country, not only in terms of political or civil, but even in the Church terms. And this selective use of canon law simply reflects this more global socio-political situation, unfortunately. And there is real selectivity with respect to the interpretation of the canonic rules–on both sides. I do not want to say that a certain side is right and the other is wrong. I think that both sides have interpreted these rules to their own advantage.

- But the split occurs when the two sides split. This is not a unilateral act. If the whole breaks, then each side is defective.

- Moreover, the narrative, which has developedover the years to justify the split and to justify why the split is a split, both these narratives aredeficient.

- On both sides?

- Yes. Both are based on the selective interpretation of the canonical tradition to their own advantage. But what is the canonical tradition? Any canonist can tell you how difficult it is and how selective it is, because we do not have the Code of Canon Law.

- It's like undergoing treatment under other person’s medical history?

- Absolutely, yes. Here you need to distinguish between the canons as such and narratives that have been built on the basis of these canons. One of them justifies the Kyiv Patriarchate and the other justifies the UOC.

- Those who left and those who stayed.

 - In any case it is ambivalence, ambiguity. It remains even regarding the existence of the canonical Ukrainian history. I think that both sides of the Havana Declaration securedsome freedom for themselves though this duality. In Rome there are great canonists who know, for example, what were the mistakes of the Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine - from the point of view of Orthodox canon law. On the other hand, this declaration rhetoric coincides with the antishismatic narrative that included the elements of canon law and made it in some sense even propaganda tool. Regarding the canon law is still the same dual semantics that fits in one narrative or the other.

- It is clear that people want some simple pointers where to go and where not to go. I want to return to Ukraine. What does the UOC want?

- I do not know.

- It sends some messages and thinks that society should hear these messages. But society hears them in a completely opposite way.

- It is a conversation with an imaginary society. The society, with which the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is trying ti establish dialogue is completely different from what it was like two years ago. Again, an attempt of conversation is not dialogue. Dialogue is always a desire not only to speak but also to listen. While the UOC still preaches from the pulpit. It soes not work with the current Ukrainian society.

- The level of confidence in the UOC does not allow it speak from the pulpit, does it?

- Both the level of trust is low, and the post-Maidan society has outgrown this communication format.

- But the situation will be driven to a standstill. The UOC is closed in itself, in its virtual world, and the second law of thermodynamics is effective –a closed system tends towards chaos. Is there information on how conservative circles of the UOC episcopate preceived the Havana Declaration? As it was Metropolitan Anthony who was in the delegation. Metropolitan Onufriy would look strange in Havana.

- As far as I know, Metropolitan Onufry avoids any contact with Catholics. He, unlike many in the hierarchy of the Church does not use conservatives,but is one of them. In this sense, his position is more honest. Another thing is that having such position it is difficult to be “everything to everyone," according to the Apostle Paul.

Conservatives, including radical, find overt or tacit support in hius person, and he, in fact, is the informal leader of conservatives of all the Russian Orthodox Church. It is in this environment of widening circle of conservative reaction against the declaration, and simultaneously against the forthcoming council in Crete. These two events, being similar in time, can have a cumulative effect when two reactions reinforce each other.

- What are the possible scenarios?

- Ukraine is already the epicenter of thiscumulative explosion. It began from the time of religious processions on Khreshchatyk with political slogans. I reiterate, they had the support of the hierarchy in Moscow.

- Wasthe Havana Declaration misleading for the Ukrainian “political orthodox”?

- I think it has brought them down to earth.

- They have to make a choice between obedience to hierarchy and adherence to their principles?

- Right. Regarding Ukraine, the hierarchy interests and their own views coincided. They have worked together for a long time. Thus, they have transformed from marginalized groups into the mainstream. And now, being already the mainstream, they are better able to oppose the hierarchy that nurtured them.

- Does the hierarchy has any methods to counter this influence?

- Much fewer than before they used them.

- So, the situation in Ukraine can become uncontrollable, can’t it?

- I think so.

- Do you think Ukrainian religious consciousness is non-judgemental, tolerant or totalitarian?

- Of course, it is more open, more inclusive. Moreover, I believe that the split that occurred in Ukraine is nonsense. For example, in Russia there were more grounds for split. In Ukraine it had almost no chance! Similarly, Ukraine had no chance for war. Ukraine is much more peace-loving state. Now we take the split as part of our lives. And actually the split in Ukraine is a fantastic scenario. After all, the bishops of the Kyiv and Moscow Patriarchatesstill communicate quite friendly. People meet, although informally. The artificiality of the split correlateswith the cognitive dissonance you are talking about. Ukraine, being completely peaceful country and nation, was drawn into the war.

- Who, in your opinion, should turn face, make concessions, change the rhetoric?

- Both sides.

- Do we have anyone in Ukraine able to generate positive meanings in religious field? People are radicalized. They are not interested in conciliatory slogans. We can blow up bridges, but we have not yet learned to build them.

- As I said, the international community have gained experience in conflict resolution, including religious conflicts, much severe ones than in Ukraine. This experience can be used In Ukraine. Conflict resolution is a technological thing. You do not need a lot of thinking to be some super brain.This technology should be brought here as know-how and used. I have been talking about this for two years. Take the experience of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission worked wherever such conflicts existed: Canada, Latin America, Poland, South Africa. In many cases they managed to do a great job. Ukraine also needs a similar commission. The same was created in times of Yushchenko and the Institute of National Remembrance was formed. But this is not what we need, because they are speaking about the past. We are talking about the present and the future. It is surprising that in Ukraine a commissiontoimplement a reconciliation technologyhas not been established.

- In Donbas they say that they can not live with Ukrainians, because there is blood between us. I always ask this question in search of an answer. But Ukrainianslived under the Russian Empire, although they were eliminated, Ukrainian lived in the Soviet Union, although there was an unprecedented famine. Why does the other side believe that their situation is the most desperate, and no one may forgive? And can the UOC, which says that itsflockis on both sides, just promote conciliation? After all, they also say that they pray for peace - but for the “just peace.”

- Once again, I want to go back to the first part of the conversation that no reconciliation is possible without indicating the victim and the aggressor. This also applies to those oon the Ukrainian side who commited crimes in Donbas. This is also part of the process of reconciliation. All the i's shall be dotted and the t's crossed. An international tribunal should be established, if you want to investigate the crimes that were committed in Ukraine. So no one could escape liability.

- Now Europe is trying to provide an opportunity for all sides to withdraw from the conflict, saving face. Why? It also contributes to revenge sentiment.

- Right. This was already done in 2008 in Georgia. There was a similar situation–they pretended that the issue is closed, not even having brought charges against the aggressor. I think it is the way to a standstill. The only way to reconciliation lies through justice.

- Russia will never recognize its role in the war,it started a hybrid war not for that purpose.

- Germany also seemed to never admit mistakes.

- Thank you very much!

Interviewed by Tetiana DERKACH