I, Bohdan Oghulchanskij, a priest of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, am writing this text on February 27, 2022, the fourth day of the Russian mass invasion. I can’t know what will happen by the time this text gets published. I have poor mobile communication, and it is difficult to access the Internet. Many times a day, day and night, my family and I are forced to quickly descend into the shelter under the howl of an air raid siren. But I want to convey the truth to readers, especially those who are outside Ukraine, who do not understand the reasons for Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Why is this happening? What did Europe, the democratic world, the countries and people defending freedom, human dignity, and the value of human life do that allowed this terrible, brutal massacre in Europe, for the first time since 1945?
I am writing from the experience of my long-time observations. First, my observations of the information field created by Russia, which was very powerful in Ukraine before 2014. Even after 2014, Russia retained considerable influence. Secondly, having almost thirty years of experience of priesthood, including a long tenure in the Moscow Patriarchate, I can testify to how the rhetoric and narrative of the Russian Church have changed during this time. Its policies, in my opinion, made a great ideological contribution to the current tragedy.Continue reading