The Other War in Ukraine


In north eastern Italy an Orthodox Ukrainian Church leader in Budinay (SP) is leading a revolt by his flock of Ukrainian and Russian immigrants against its mother church in Moscow to join the Istanbul based Orthodox church instead whose leader has criticized the war. The leader of the Russian based church has taken a very different approach. There are roughly 100 million Russian Orthodox, the largest church within Orthodox Christianity. Their leader is “Patriarch Kirill who has framed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in holy terms.” Kirill has been publicly preaching against the decadence of the western world including its excess consumption, “gay pride parades.”  He said, in talking of the Ukraine war “we are talking about human salvation. Andrey Sonitsyn from Russia says “Krill is supporting the war in Ukraine.”


Father Cyril Hovorun said “the church is the main supplier of Putin’s ideology.”  He was ordained by Krill. He says the weapons for the war come from the Kremlin but the ideas come from the church. He believes that for Putin this was is  “a sacred operation…a mission from God to purge the world of the western ideas and western values.” He saw this ideology emerging when he worked in Russia. He protested against that but lost that battle.  During the Communist era, the church was required to push Soviet ideals and it is widely believed in Russia that Kirill was in fact a member of the KGB.


Hovorun believes that Krill was not enthusiastic about being part of the Soviet government. He calls it a “marriage of convenience not love.”  They have to tolerate each other because each uses the skills and resources of the other. Rather than fighting each other, they co-operate with each other, “each for their own end.”


The resources of each of those two major powers in Russia are vast. Sergei Chapnin  also worked for Kirill. According to him, Kirill is “by rough estimations a billionaire and is in fact one of the oligarchs.” He sees him as just like the other oligarchs with financial interests.  He also sees the church as “a state propaganda machine spreading Putin’s message as the defender of conservative values against a morally corrupt west. Chapnin even sees his expansionist ambitions as even exceeding those of Putin.”  He thinks Krill’s main goal is power and influence.

So power and influence is being purchased by a church leader joining forces in an unholy matrimony—sounds like Christian fascism to me as Timothy Snyder called it in his book The Road to Unfreedom.

All of this proves once again, that when politics and religion mate they can breed monsters.

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