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Russia continues to use religion as a weapon


Russia carries on to weaponize religion to perpetuate lengthy-standing anti-Ukrainian disinformation functions and discredit Ukraine.

The U.S.-primarily based Institute for the Research of War (ISW) claimed this in its most current Russian offensive marketing campaign evaluation, Ukrinform stories.

American analysts pay out notice to the reaction of Russian milbloggers to footage posted on January 7 of uniformed Ukrainian servicemen attending Orthodox Xmas companies at the Kyiv-Perchesk Lavra, which the Russians decried as a reprisal and open war on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP). Many milbloggers referred to the footage as proof that the Lavra has been “captured” by “heretics and schismatics.”

“The Russian reaction to the Ukrainian government’s conclusion to transfer command of the Lavra to the OCU exemplifies Moscow’s ongoing weaponization of faith in purchase to frame Ukraine as evil and placement Russia as the protector of Orthodox Christian values,” ISW stated.

At the exact same time, American industry experts extra that the Ukrainian authorities did not prevent all believers from celebrating Orthodox Christmas in Ukraine, as Russian propagandists tried to current, and Orthodox expert services ongoing all over Ukraine, together with at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, on January 7.

“Russian milbloggers falsely offered the legal transfer of the Kyiv-Perchesk Lavra from the UOC MP, which the Ukrainian government maintains has explicit backlinks to the Kremlin and has provided material and spiritual support to the Russian war in Ukraine, to the OCU as an attack on the ability of observers of Orthodox custom to celebrate Christmas,” the ISW report examine.

ISW sees as reasonable the Ukrainian government’s decision to remove the UOC-MP from manage above the Lavra as proof was uncovered of its genuine assistance for the insurance policies of Russian President Putin, who, among the other things, in his Orthodox Xmas speech thanked the Russian Orthodox Church for its ongoing assist for Russian troops in Ukraine.

“Ukraine is not suppressing the religious liberties of Orthodox Christians, opposite to the Russian information and facts operation, and is as an alternative using the actions it deems needed to length Ukrainian cultural heritage from spiritual components it asserts are connected to the Kremlin and its conduct of the war,” ISW explained.

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