Pagan Regiment “Azov” Interferes in Church Affairs in Ukraine

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


Fighter-NeoNazis decided to support the schismatics demanding the blood of the residents of Donbass.

“Our activists are taking control of every temple, church, and chapel of the Kiev Patriarchate. Patrols and surveillance will be organized,” recently said the press service of the “Azov” civil corps, which have captured with their branches almost all regions of Ukraine.

Such support from the organization, which publicly demonstrates commitment to militant Neo-paganism (a very anti-Christian version, at the point of destroying crosses as symbols of “foreign faith imposed on Ukrainians”), and whose leader Andrey Biletsky calls himself a mitraist (a follower of the cult of the Invincible Sun, which was the professed persecutor of Christianity, the Emperor Julian the Apostate), at first glance looks surprising.

But only at first glance. In fact, according to representatives of “Azov”, “our Church (Kiev Patriarchate) works side-by-side with volunteers and the Ukrainian military, to save our Motherland from the Moscow horde.” Indeed, the head of the schismatic organization Filaret (Denisenko), in April 2014, called on the Ukrainian authorities to use force to suppress Donbass until the use of weapons, and recently again demanded “blood and suffering” of Donetsk.

Predecessors of “Azov” from the Social-National Party of Ukraine (SNPU, later the “Svoboda” party was formed from its basis) acting in 1990’s were professing the same logic.

“Both in Volyn and in Galicia we were standing up for Ukrainian churches,” declared the veteran leader of the Volyn branch Anatoly Vitiv in a 2011 film, released to mark the 20th anniversary of the nationalist party. “For us there was no difference between the Kiev Patriarchate and Greek Catholics. For us the main thing is for it not to be the Russian Church.”

Here in this film it is stated that “in 1992 taken under the defence of the SNPU were the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Lutsk, Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir-Volyn, and dozens of other Orthodox churches in villages and towns,” while in reality it was a takeover of churches by nationalists.

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Does it mean now the right-wing radicals under the guise of “taking under protection” are ready to seize the churches from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church? Earlier “Right sector” had worked in this field. But this well-known nationalist organization, after a series of splits in the past year, fell into disrepair, losing superiority in the right camp to “Azov”.

It is worth noting that the power resources of “Azov” already operate in support of schismatics. For example, on 15th September of this year, several dozen of its militants openly terrorized deputies of the City Council of Belgorod-Dniester directly during a conference, demanding land allocation in the city for two new churches of the Kiev Patriarchate. And the deputies caved in.

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