Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Russia’s refusal to recognize Ukraine makes dialogue impossible — church leader

Russia’s refusal to recognize Ukraine makes dialogue impossible — church leader
Translated by: Anna Mostovych

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, said he is convinced there is no alternative to a good neighborhood policy between Russia and Ukraine but that the refusal by Russian church and government leaders to recognize Ukrainians as a separate people makes dialogue between the two countries impossible.

Shevchuk shared his views in a presentation titled “Ukraine-Poland-Russia: are peace and reconciliation possible?” at the 10th Gniezno Conference in Poland, March 12, on the occasion of the 1050th anniversary of the Baptism of Poland, as reported by the department of Information of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

“By studying the present situation from the perspective of the French-German-Polish relations after World War II, we see that there is no alternative to good Russian-Ukrainian neighborhood policy. Both countries belong to the same geographic area of Eastern Europe, and no one can change the fact that they are neighbors,” he said.

However, Shevchuk admitted that significant ideological obstacles stand in the way.

“The Russian president has announced that the biggest tragedy of the last decade of the XX century was the collapse of the Soviet Union,” he explained. “The situation has escalated since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine in 2014. Russia continues to declare that the war in the Donbas is an internal conflict in Ukraine. The aggression against Ukraine has both a political and a cultural character. Its basis lies in differing worldviews. Russia’s political elites represent thinking based on the idea of building the ‘Russian World.’ This ideology of the ‘Russian World’ is, in my view, the latest legitimization of modern colonialism through the Christian  Church,” he said.

Referring to Russia’s position toward Ukraine, Shevchuk noted that Russian authorities deny Ukrainians the very right to exist as a separate people.

“Especially in recent years, senior (Russian) church and states officials keep claiming that Ukrainians and Russians are one people. This kind of position ensures that dialogue becomes impossible because it is not possible to conduct a conversation with someone who does not exist and who has no separate identity. Representatives of the government and the church authorities of the Moscow Patriarchate question the very existence of an independent Ukrainian state,” which they view as “aggression by the West and violence perpetrated against the Russian people,” he said.

According to Shevchuk, the government of the Russian Federation is trying to revive old Communist geopolitical claims and does not want to condemn the crimes of Communism not only in relation to the Russian and Ukrainian people, but against other people as well, including the Poles.

Translated by: Anna Mostovych
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Will the West continue to support Ukraine?
    • Know what moves the world.
    • Premium journalism from across Europe.
    • Tailored to your needs, translated into English.
    Special discount
    for Euromaidan Press readers
    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!

    Related Posts