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New offensive by Western Ukraine and NATO against Donetsk in the making

Hidden from view by the mainstream Western media, plans seem to be taking shape for a Ukrainian / NATO offensive against Donetsk.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS News agency reports that Ukraine military forces are massing for an offensive against the breakaway republic, with an attack possible by around September 14.

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Ukraine’s army command is preparing an offensive on positions of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) with the use of three army brigades and the Azov paramilitary battalion under control of foreign instructors, Daniil Bezsonov, a spokesman for the DPR operations command, said on Sunday.

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, after assault drills, Ukraine’s 79th assault airborne brigade is about to be pulled from the Nikolayev region to the conflict zone in Donbass. The Azov group, formally a unit of Ukraine’s National Guard, is engaged in exercises to drill the skills of combat actions in populated localities.

“So, it seems that the command of Ukraine’s ‘unified forces operation’ allocates the central role in an offensive to the 36th marines brigade, 56th mechanized infantry and 79th assault airborne brigades. Nazis from the Azov group will be tasked to back the offensive in the rear. All these operations will be commanded by the military from the United States and Canada, or, in other words, by NATO military,” the Donetsk News Agency quoted him as saying.

According to Bezsonov, a big number of Ukrainian servicemen have reportedly reached the village of Urzuf on the Sea of Azov’s coast, while high-ranking US and Canadian military arrived to the command of Ukraine’s Vostok army group. “We don’t rule out that foreign servicemen will take part in the planned offensive,” he said.

On September 1, the DPR operations command said citing reconnaissance data that Ukrainian army had begun preparations for an offensive to be launched on September 14.

The Azov battalion is largely comprised of neo-Nazis and indeed uses the early symbolism of the Nazi Party, with the Wolfsangel sign adorning their uniforms.

RT offered a corresponding piece noting that the recent assassination of Donetsk Leader Aleksandr Zakharchenko “most plausibly” carried out by Kyivan operatives suggests that Kyiv’s new strategy is to eliminate Donetsk by force:

Zakharchenko’s murder benefits Ukrainian hardliners in the first place, [as they] are not interested in the Minsk process or any sort of peace settlement with the people of the Donbass region,”Aleksandar Pavic, a political analyst, said, commenting on the assassination. He believes the hardliners are “headed by the Ukrainian president [Petro] Poroshenko himself” and thus constitute the backbone of the current government.

Kiev has always considered the Ukrainian conflict a “zero sum game,” former US diplomat Jim Jatras told RT, adding that “anything that weakens the leadership of the Donetsk and Lugansk republics has to be considered a plus for Kiev.” He pointed out that this murder “fits into a pattern of earlier attacks” that Kiev launched against the self-proclaimed republics.

Zakharchenko’s murder clearly shows that the Kiev government has always regarded the situation in eastern Ukraine “as an issue to be settled by force,” John Laughland, British philosopher, historian and author told RT.

Kiev always referred to the forces of the self-proclaimed republics as “Russian and not Ukrainian fighters,” Laughland said. “If you believe that the people on your territory are invaders from a foreign state, which is what Ukraine is saying about the people of the Donbass, then that shows that you are not interested in a political settlement, you do not regard them as your own citizens,” he added.

Zakharchenko’s murder “must show to the whole world what some people may have known … for some time, which is that Ukraine is not interested in a political settlement,” Laughland said. He also said that Poroshenko stated just recently that he is “adamantly opposed” to the idea of Ukraine’s federalization, which effectively means that he is against any autonomy for the eastern Ukrainian regions and is not eager to fulfill the Minsk Agreements.

His words were echoed by Jatras, who said that “if anyone had any doubt that the Minsk process was absolutely dead, this should end all such doubts.” Pavic, meanwhile, said that the murder was apparently “intended to undermine the new impetus given to the Minsk process after the latest Putin-Merkel meeting.”

The Putin-Merkel meeting and the finalization of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, as well as France’s expressed interest in having Russian assistance for European security and most recently Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian-made S-400 air-defense systems all suggest a de facto disintegration of NATO as an instrument of European Unity with the US. For this reason, it is suspected that the remaining active supportive powers in NATO are trying to tighten their grip on Ukraine. To that end, Western media created and still maintains a very powerful propaganda net for its consumers about Ukraine. RT continues:

However, all these facts are unlikely to change the attitude towards the Ukrainian conflict in the West partly because western countries care more about their own vested interests than the truth, the analysts warned.

The European policymakers “have invested a lot of political capital into saying that Russia has invaded Ukraine in the Donbass,” Laughland said, adding that it is now the official position of the EU. Even if they understand what the real situation is, it will still “take a long time before they change their mind on that,” he warned.

Jatras believes that US and European officials might even pledge increased support to Ukraine, playing right into the hands of Kiev that wants to “ensure that there is no rapprochement between Washington and Moscow” and sees “anything that cranks up tensions further as beneficial.”

This incident benefits all “foreign actors interested in keeping Russo-Ukrainian tensions high, headed by the US deep state, the liberal-interventionist leadership of NATO” and even the UK, which has been waging a reckless anti-Russian campaign for quite some time by now, Pavic said.

The West will eventually attempt to pin the blame for Zakharchenko’s murder on some local actors or frame it as a result of some sort of internal power struggle, the analyst predicted. He went on to say that this incident could also “boost Poroshenko’s standing with the promoters of the hysterical anti-Russian campaign in the US, many of whom will be present at John McCain’s funeral, which Poroshenko is scheduled to attend.”

Mainstream media is, meanwhile, likely to downplay the whole issue or even simply ignore it, Laughland said, warning that this murder could have disastrous consequences for the situation in the region. “This assassination could potentially destroy every possibility of a political settlement and we will be back to the worst period of the Ukrainian conflict. It will destroy the political process,” he said.

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batavianvethtomAM HantsJames Johnson Recent comment authors
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veth
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veth

Russia invaded Donbass in June 2014. Under Minsk Agreements they must leave. 20.000 Ukrainians in Donbass are killed by Russia. Russia downed MH17. 2,5 MILLION REFUGEES AFTER THE rUSSIAN iNVASION. SO UKRAINE HAS THE RIGHT TO TAKE THEIR OWN LEGAL LAND BACK BY ANY FORCE, INCL.OCCUPIED CRIMEA.

tom
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tom

” The Azov group, formally a unit of Ukraine’s National Guard, is engaged in exercises to drill the skills of combat actions in populated localities”.

The Kiev junta doesn’t think the Azov creatures kill enough civilians – they want them trained to kill them all?

veth
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veth

BECAUSE OF THE RUSSIAN OCCUPATION OF DONBASS THE FRIENDSHIP TREATY WILL BE CANCELLED BY UKRAINE PER 30 SEPTEMBER. ALSO TRAINS TO RUSSIA WILL BES TOPPED. IN TIMES OF WAR WITH RUSSIA, THESE ARE SMALL STEPS. ALSO THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH IN UKRAINE WILL BE OUTLAWED.

batavian
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batavian

The Friendship Treaty with Ukraine is useless. Go nuts, cancel away. From what I’ve read, trains to Russia will be stopped soon, but not because of war. They’ll be stopped to keep Ukies from leaving the country by the millions. The manpower pool is depleting rapidly. The Russian Orthodox church will not be outlawed but Porky has plans for stealing its assets. You should really keep up because you don’t seem to know what’s happening in your own country, assuming you are not some flag waving Russia hater commenting from Mom’s couch far away from any war that might kick… Read more »

AM Hants
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AM Hants

Minsk II – non-Nato nation, getting support from Nato, in order to violate Minsk II? Wonder what instruction Porkie received, when attending McCain’s funeral?

James Johnson
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James Johnson

The US seems to be very sure they could defeat Russia in a war.
My feeling is even if the US won it would be a painful victory.
The Chinese might also attack US . Sun Tzu might advise against it but China might see an exception in this case

batavian
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batavian

The USA could not defeat Russia on its own. They would need NATO support, all of it, and then some. Military wisdom is that if you plan to attack an enemy on its own turf you need to outnumber it 3 to 1. Immediately following WWII (1945), Churchill and the usual tea sippers drew up a secret plan to attack Russia. It was to be called Operation Unthinkable. He had illegally maintained an army of 100,000 defeated German soldiers in uniform to spearhead the attack. The Americans bought in as well but when the number crunchers realized that Russia would… Read more »

AmericanCossack
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AmericanCossack

It was my opinion from the beginning that Moscow’s biggest blunder was to not take the initiative as soon as Yanukovych was overthrown by the West and take the Oblast of Kiev and all the territory East of the Dnieper and all along the Black Sea Coast from Mariupol to Odessa. They could have still incorporated Crimea into Russia proper as well as set up a large and strong Novorossiyan state with Kiev as the capital. NATO could have and would have done absolutely nothing to stop it at that time.

Taras77
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Taras77

If it happens, I would think that there are a few waiting to bring it to take some revenge for the murder of Zack, a respected leader which is unknown type of leader in the west, particularly in Kiev and d.c.

Maybe volker and some other neo cons will lead the charge.

BTW. i have blocked the idiot in jammies, veth.

ColinNZ
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ColinNZ

Fort Russ are reporting the same. US & Canadian senior military are with the Ukrop forces. Let’s hope the Novorussian forces send them back in body-bags.

Taras77
Guest
Taras77

For those following this, I provide a link from Cassad for the alleged plan (scroll down, it is in Russian but can be translated via google -ugh): (Cassad has amazing access, current photos, videos!)

https://colonelcassad.livejournal.com/

Plan says 12,000 ukies and nato merc’s-I do think it would be wise for the ukes to move up to the Russian border!

batavian
Guest
batavian

So they can drop their weapons and run for their lives claiming asylum?

veth
Guest
veth

comment image?w=640

Destroyed Russian Army tank in Donbass 2015

batavian
Guest
batavian

Wanna see some photos of Ukie scrap metal? Lookup Debaltseve cauldron. Fascinating photos of destroyed Ukie battlefield equipment and dead Ukie conscripts. Just use a search engine if you know how.

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Fusion GPS founder trapped in legal jeopardy, bets on Democrat midterm win to bury Russiagate hoax (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 135.

Alex Christoforou

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Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr and ex-FBI official James Baker are set to testify before Congress, but Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.

The man at the center of the Russiagate hoax, Glenn Simpson, headed the espionage/PR smear firm Fusion GPS, which ordered the discredited and fake Trump ‘dossier’, which John McCain handed to the FBI, and which Buzzfeed News published as actual news.

Simpson has a lot of explaining to do, and now appears trapped in his “under oath” lies.

Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with DOJ official Bruce Ohr, husband to Fusion GPS researcher Nellie Ohr.

Simpson also stated under oath that he never discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application, which was used to spy on Carter Page and kick off the ‘Russiagate hoax’.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the legal jeopardy entangling Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. Republicans are close to breaking the ‘Russiagate hoax’ wide open, but Simpson is betting on delay tactics, and a subsequent Democrat midterm House victory, to save his ass from prosecution, and bury his involvement in a brazen attempt to discredit and remove an elected US President.

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According to Zerohedge, Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson may be in “real legal jeopardy” over inconsistent testimony given to Congress regarding his involvement in a massive counterintelligence effort against then-candidate Donald Trump, including the infamous Steele dossier.

Speaking with Fox News Maria Bartiromo, John Ratcliffe (R-TX) said…

“I’m not surprised that Glenn Simpson is taking the Fifth.”

“He probably should. He’s in real legal jeopardy. Very clearly someone is not telling the truth.”

Via The Daily Caller… 

Simpson, who investigated the Trump campaign on behalf of the DNC and Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, informed Congress on Thursday that he will plead the Fifth to avoid speaking with members of the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Committee in an interview set for Tuesday.

“The reason for that … is that Glenn Simpson had previously testified under oath to the House Intelligence Committee that he never met with Bruce Ohr or discussed with Bruce Ohr the Steele dossier prior to the October FISA application in 2016 or the 2016 presidential election,” said Ratcliffe, a member of the House Judiciary panel.

Via Fox News ‘Sunday Morning Futures’

Via Zerohedge

Ohr told the Judiciary and Oversight & Government Reform Committees in an August 28 interview that he met with Simpson in August and December of 2016 to discuss Fusion GPS’s opposition research into Donald Trump.

Bruce’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was hired by Fusion GPS for the anti-Trump effort at the time.

Simpson, however, told a different story to the House Intelligence Committee on November 14, 2017, when he said that he hadn’t been in contact with anyone from the DOJ or FBI until after the election. While he did acknowledge meeting with Bruce Ohr (meetings which would result in Ohr’s demotion), Simpson never disclosed his wife’s employment.

“Ohr, who has been demoted twice since December, was also in frequent contact with Christopher Steele, the author of the infamous anti-Trump dossier. Steele, a former British spy, was hired by Fusion GPS in June 2016 to investigate the Trump campaign’s possible links to the Kremlin.

Steele met with the Ohrs on July 30, 2016, a day before the FBI opened its counterintelligence investigation into the Trump team. Ohr met just after with FBI deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” – Daily Caller

Following the 2016 election, Steel and Ohr met over a dozen times, despite the FBI having blacklisted Steele for improper media disclosures concerning his work.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Patriarch Bartholomew lifts anathemas on schismatics in Ukraine (VIDEO)

Most of the Orthodox world is in strong opposition to this move by Patriarch Bartholomew, whose motivations seem not to be of Christ.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The biggest news in the Eastern Orthodox world in recent times occurred on Thursday, October 11, 2018. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, lifted the anathemas against two schismatic Ukrainian Churches and their leaders, paving the way to the creation of a fully independent Ukrainian national Orthodox Church.

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This announcement was given in English and is shown here in video with the textual transcript following:

“Presided by His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy and Sacred Synod convened for its regular session from October 9 to 11, 2018 in order to examine and discuss items on its agenda. The Holy Synod discussed in particular and at length, the ecclesiastical mater of Ukraine in the presence of His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon and His Grace Bishp Ilarion of Edmonon, Patriarchal Exarchs to Ukraine, and following extensive deliberations decreed (emphasis added):

First, to renew the decision already made, that the Ecumenical Patriarchate proceed to the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine;

Second, to re-establish at this moment the stavropegion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Kiev—one of its many starvorpegion in Ukraine that existed there always;

Third, to accept and review the petitions of appeal of Philaret Denisenko and Makary Maletich and their followers who found themselves in schism not for dogmatic reasons, in accordance with the canonical prerogatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to receive such petitions by hierarchs and other clergy of all the autocephalous Churches. Thus, the above mentioned have been canonically reinstated to their hierarchical or priestly rank, and their faithful have been restored to communion with the Church;

Fourth, to revoke the legal binding of the Synodal letter of the year 1686, issued for the circumstances of that time, which granted the right through economia to the Patriarch of Moscow to ordain the Metropolitan of Kiev elected by the clergy-laity assembly of his eparchy, who would commemorate the Ecumenical Patriarch as the first hierarch at any celebration, proclaiming and affirming his canonical dependence to the Mother Church of Constantinople;

Fifth, to appeal to all sides involved that they avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties as well as every other act of violence and retaliation so that he peace and love of Christ may prevail.”

There are a few things that must be said about what this declaration is not before we get to the matter of what the points of actually are. The point of reference is the strict letter of the text above itself.

  • This is not a granting of autocephaly (full independent self-rule status) like the fourteen universally canonical Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. However, it is a huge step towards this status.
  • As far as Constantinople is concerned, Filaret Denisenko, the leader and “Patriarch” of the “Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church” and Makary, the “Metropolitan” of the “Ukrainian Orthodox Autocephalous Church”, and all their faithful are now restored to communion. The statement says that this applies to “The Church” which may be trying to state that these two men (and all the faithful that they lead), are now in communion with the entirety of canonical Orthodoxy, but more likely, this may be a carefully worded statement to say they now are in communion with Constantinople alone.
  • There is an official call for the cessation of the violence directed against the Moscow Patriarchate parishes and communities, who are the only canonically recognized Orthodox Church in Ukraine, and who are also the largest by far in that country. The Kyiv Patriarchate and Uniate (Roman oriented) Greek Catholics in Ukraine have gone on record for seizing MP church properties, often by force, with neo-Nazi sympathizers and other radical Ukrainian nationalists. So this official call to cease the violence is now a matter of public record.

However, the reaction has been far less civil than the clergy wished for.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko: “Expressing his view of the Moscow Patriarchate, Poroshenko added, “This is a great victory of the God-loving Ukrainian people over the Moscow demons, the victory of Good over Evil, the victory of Light over Darkness.”’

Perhaps this is the reason Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine (exarch under the Moscow Patriarchate) has been labeled an enemy of Ukraine and is now receiving death threats. Very civil.

Poroshenko’s statement is all the more bizarre, considering that it has been Ukrainian ultra-nationalists that have been violently attacking Moscow – related parishes in Ukraine. This has been corroborated by news sources eager to pin the blame on Russia, such as the U.K. Guardian.

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, based in Kiev and supportive of the Moscow Patriarchate, has been under intense cyber attack since October 11th, when the EP’s announcement was issued.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary: “What happened at the Synod in Istanbul yesterday shocked the entire Orthodox world. It seems the Patriarchate of Constantinople is consciously embarking on a path of schism in world Orthodoxy. Patriarch Bartholomew ignored the calls of the Local Churches to convene a meeting of the primates to work out a common and conciliar solution to the Ukrainian Church issue and unilaterally made very serious but erroneous decisions. I hope the Orthodox world will give this action an objective evaluation… Having received the schismatics into communion, Patriarch Bartholomew did not make them canonical, but has himself embarked on the path of schism. The schismatics remain schismatics. They did not receive any autocephaly or tomos. It seems they have lost even that independence, although non-canonical, that they had and which they always emphasized.”

Metropolitan Rostislav of the Czech Lands and Slovakia:“The Orthodox world recognizes the only canonical primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church—His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. This fact was repeatedly mentioned and confirmed by the primate of the Great Church of Christ His Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew on behalf of all present at the Synaxis of the Primates of the Local Orthodox Churches that was held in Chambésy (Switzerland) from January 21 to 27, 2016. Therefore, any attempt to legalize the Ukrainian schismatics by the state authorities should be strongly condemned by all the primates of the Local Orthodox Churches.

Patriarch Irinej of Serbia wrote two letters to the Ecumenical Patriarch, advocating that the provision of a new autocephaly is possible only with the consent of all local Orthodox Churches. According to Sedmitza.ru (Translation by Pravoslavie.ru),

“In these letters, it was very clearly stated that the granting of autocephaly cannot be the prerogative the Patriarchate of Constantinople alone, that new autocephalies must be created only with the consent of all the Local Orthodox Churches, as the Holy Synod of Antioch also said in its recent statement.”

Pat. Irinej also warned the Patriarchate of Constantinople against making such major decisions unilaterally, because “it will not bring harmony and peace to the Ukrainian land, but, on the contrary, will cause new divisions and new schisms.”

The Holy Synod of Antioch, the oldest Orthodox Church, and actually the very first place where the disciples of Christ were even called “Christians” weighed in on the issue as well and they had several things to say:

“The fathers examined the general Orthodox situation. They stressed that the Church of Antioch expresses her deep worries about the attempts to change the boundaries of the Orthodox Churches through a new reading of history. She considers that resorting to a unilateral reading of history does not serve Orthodox unity. It rather contributes to the fueling of the dissensions and quarrels within the one Church. Thus, the Church of Antioch refuses the principle of establishing parallel jurisdictions within the canonical boundaries of the Patriarchates and the autocephalous Churches as a way to solve conflicts, or as a de facto situation in the Orthodox world.

To summarize, this move by Constantinople is not being warmly received by many, many people. Most of the local Churches are on record giving their reaction to this process. In brief, here is the list most of the Local Churches and a one or two word summary of their reactions.

Patriarchate of Georgia: Unilateral action is wrong; Constantinople and Moscow must cooperate and find a solution together.

Patriarchate of Jerusalem: recognizes Ukraine as a canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church alone, as do all other local Churches

Patriarchate of Alexandria and all Africa: The Church does not bow to politicians. Moscow-led church is the only canonical Church in Ukraine.

Archbishop of Cyprus: Decries the Ukrainian situation but offered to mediate a discussion between Moscow and Constantinople

Bulgarian Patriarchate: Interference of the State in Church affairs leads to serious and negative consequences for both.

Polish Orthodox Church: Metropolitan Sawa called for a council of Orthodox ruling hierarchs to discuss this situation.

Estonian Orthodox Church: Condemns Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

Greek Archdiocese of America: Supports Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine.

The Orthodox Church of Greece (Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus quoted): “Schismatics, as we know, are not the Church, and communion with them is forbidden by the Divine and holy canons and the Apostolic and Ecumenical Councils. Why then this persistence of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in recognizing schismatics as an autocephalous Church? To provoke schisms and divisions in the one universal and Apostolic Church of Christ?”

Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR): Ceased commemoration of Constantinople, ceased concelebration with Constantinople.

This issue has also rocked the secular geopolitical world.

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