Robert Person
Articles by Robert Person

Conflict Between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Kremlin Authority, Part II

An independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church free from Moscow’s control has long been a goal for many in Ukraine, especially among Ukrainian nationalist organizations.  Demands for such a split from the Russian Orthodox Church have only intensified since Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea and its ongoing proxy war in the Donbas.  Today, many Ukrainian politicians, journalists and researchers accuse the Russian Orthodox Church of using its churches in Ukraine to support the Kremlin’s political-information warfare (often referred to as “hybrid war”) against Kyiv. There is also evidence that Russian clergy provided assistance to rebel forces in Ukraine’s East.

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Conflict Between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Kremlin Authority, Part I

On October 11, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I – considered the spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide – set in motion a process to grant independence (or “autocephaly”) to a Ukrainian Orthodox Church seated in Kyiv, thereby freeing it from the control of the Russian Orthodox Church based in Moscow.  Far more than a simple rearrangement of the religious furniture in the Orthodox house, the decision has touched off an intense political firestorm in Ukraine and Russia that threatens to open a new – and possibly violent – front in the ongoing conflict between the Ukrainian and Russian governments.

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Micromanaging Russia’s Elections

The message from the Kremlin is clear: Challenge the regime at your own risk

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