It is obvious that the religious aspect of what happened in Kyiv on July 27 and 28 drowned in the political significance of the event. Simply put, pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian political demonstrations took place, and the anniversary of the baptism of Rus and religious processions as a form of manifestation of religious feelings for an absolute majority of the participants of the event became only an excuse for expressing a political position. (Those who came for a pro-Moscow rally for "200 hryvnias" are not taken into account; in the end, this can also be called a peculiar policy, which is used in Ukraine too often - both in the elections and during other mass rallies).
So let's proceed to the conclusions.
The first conclusion. The Ecumenical Patriarchate's refusal to take part in the ceremonies marking the anniversary of the baptism of Rus, which were organized in Moscow; his refusal to participate in a religious procession of the Moscow Patriarchate in Kyiv on July 27; the acceptance by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the invitation from the president of Ukraine to come to Kyiv on July 28 - the day when the Kyiv Patriarchate celebrated the Christianization of Kyivan Rus with a religious procession; a speech in Kyiv by the head of the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which clearly states the intention of the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church - all this together proved to be a powerful confirmation that the process of granting the Ukrainian Orthodox Church the status of a local (autocephalous) church became irreversible, and a final positive result for us is just a matter of time, nothing more.
The second important conclusion. Demonstrations on July 27 and 28 showed the number of participants in a pro-Ukrainian procession was several times higher than in a pro-Moscow rally. This convincingly confirmed the already established opinion of political scientists and sociologists that after Russia unleashed the war against Ukraine and after Crimea and parts of Donbas were taken away from Ukraine the Ukrainian-Russian electoral balance in the country, which was approximately equal before that, has changed significantly in favor of a pro-Ukrainian Ukraine. The stable advantage of Ukrainian electoral sympathy is now a well-established fact, which means that a frankly pro-Russian presidential candidate in a presidential election or a pro-Russian party in parliamentary elections has no chance of an absolute victory. In other words, the Kremlin will not be able to regain its influence on Ukraine as a result of the elections in Ukraine (as it happened in 2010).
Finally, one more, the third important conclusion. Demonstrations were peaceful, without provocations, without the slightest attempts of clashes between representatives of antagonistic political positions. Today, we often hear "prophecies" about the inevitability of bloody civil conflicts, some civil war, if Ukrainian Orthodoxy gets independence from Moscow and the Russian Orthodox Church will be expelled from Ukraine. Of course, we can and we must thank the Ukrainian police and our special services, however, in our opinion, there is a more valid reason why everything was quiet and peaceful on July 27, during a pro-Russian demonstration.
We are talking about a provocation that would "confirm" the inevitability of bloody events if the Ukrainian church is independent of Moscow. Roughly speaking, this should have been a provocation with victims and blood. Obviously, if the Russian FSB received an order from the Kremlin for such an operation, it would be very difficult for us to prevent it. When it comes to mass rallies in which tens of thousands of people take part, no police, no intelligence agencies can give a one hundred percent security guarantee. There is a more significant reason for the "peacefulness" of Russian special services.
The fact is that under these prevailing conditions, a terrorist rally will be not in favor of, but to the detriment of the Kremlin, and they are well aware of it. Nobody in the world will believe that pro-Ukrainian forces, even radicals from among Ukrainian nationalists, resorted to terror. They just do not need it. We confidently win in the case of providing independence to the Ukrainian Church, so only the loser, that is the Kremlin, can resort to the escalation of the situation. Therefore, in this situation, the terror will only provoke an angry reaction of the world and Ukraine against the Kremlin, and the reaction will be so powerful that the Russian church risks losing its chances of retaining the main holy places in Ukraine - Kyiv Pechersk Lavra and Pochayiv Lavra monasteries. And if we suddenly have a serious failure of the Russian special services (that is, there will be irrefutable evidence of the Russian "authorship" of a terrorist attack), then everything can end for the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine as a complete and rapid collapse.
The situation in Ukraine is objectively developing in such a way that Russia, gradually, slowly but inexorably, loses its political positions here. Time is on our side. That again confirms that the Kremlin has no other arguments against Ukraine other than brutal force. And where it cannot apply this force, or Ukraine holds it back - Russia will surely lose.
Yuriy Sandul. Kyiv
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