Professional-Russia Ukrainian Orthodox Church splits from Moscow patriarch in ‘big blow to Putin’

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The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has formally separated itself from Moscow Patriarch Kirill, a key ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in what one analyst calls a “huge blow to Putin.”

Greater than 100 church buildings in Ukraine had rejected the UOC in favor of the Kyiv-based Othodox Church Ukraine (OCU), which had break up from Moscow in 2019. But the UOC itself declared “full independence” from Moscow Friday.

Kirill appeared to downplay the transfer in feedback Sunday.

“We fully understand how the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is suffering today,” the pinnacle of the Russian Orthodox Church said within the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in central Moscow. He warned that “spirits of malice” wished to divide the Orthodox folks of Russia and Ukraine however declared that they’d not succeed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during the Victory Day military parade marking the 77th anniversary of the end of World War II in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, May 9.

Russian President Vladimir Putin seems on in the course of the Victory Day army parade marking the 77th anniversary of the tip of World Struggle II in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Might 9.
(Mikhail Metzel, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Picture through AP)

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Yet Rebekah Koffler, former DIA intelligence officer and author of “Putin’s Playbook,” described the transfer as a “huge blow” to Putin.

“This is a huge blow to Putin,” Koffler informed Day by day Put up Digital Sunday.

“Kirill and Putin are buddies,” she defined, noting that the Russian president “has weaponized the Russian Orthodox religion as a geopolitical tool.”

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill conducts the Easter service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, April 23.

Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill conducts the Easter service on the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday, April 23.
(Sergei Vlasov, Russian Orthodox Church Press Service through AP)

“The idea of Putin unifying the Russian world, including Ukraine and other post-Soviet states, hinges on the idea that Russia is the center of Christianity and the center of the unique Eurasian civilization that the Russians believe is exceptional just like Americans think America is exceptional,” Koffler added. “Once the church splits, it takes the whole divinity idea out of it.”

The analyst steered that it was unlikely that the newly impartial UOC would be part of the OCU. She did predict, nevertheless, that some UOC church buildings would elect to stay with Moscow, towards the council of the denomination.

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“With Russian forces gradually but steadily establishing control over Eastern and Southern Ukraine – Putin’s primary goal at this phase of the war – they have to balance their parishioners’ interests,” Koffler defined. “Some of the priests may decide to stick with Moscow, in order to survive a possible new regime if Putin succeeds in securing full control of Donbas and establish the so-called ‘Novorossiya’ (new Russia).”

Koffler attributed the break up to Putin’s army technique, which she mentioned entails straight concentrating on civilians and civilian infrastructure to be able to stress Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to finish the struggling.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Easter service in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 24, 2022. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Orthodox Easter service within the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 24, 2022. 
(AP Picture/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)

“Regardless of whose side you’re on, even if you buy into Putin’s explanation for why he’s doing it, you can’t, as a spiritual person, condone civilian deaths,” she mentioned. 

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“Bottom line, the split punches a hole in Putin’s narrative that the Russians and Ukrainians are spiritually and ethnically one people and therefore Ukraine should not exist as a separate country,” she concluded.

 

A 2018 survey discovered that about 67.3% of Ukraine’s inhabitants identifies as one or one other strand of Orthodox Christianity, with 28.7% a part of the Kyiv-based OCU, 23.4% merely “Orthodox,” and 12.8% UOC. One other 7.7% of the inhabitants identifies as broadly Christian, whereas Ukrainian Byzantine Ceremony Catholics make up 9.4%, Protestants make up 2.2%, Latin Ceremony Catholics make up 0.8%, Muslims make up 2.5%, and Judaism makes up 0.4%. One other 11% declared themselves non-religious or unaffiliated.

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