Chronicles of standing for the Lavra: April 2
We offer a chronicle of the prayerful standing of UOC believers for the Lavra on April 2.
April 2, 2023 began for the believers of the UOC in the same way as every Sunday begins – with Divine Liturgy. On that day, there were no radicals in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in the morning either because of fatigue or because it began drizzling. Many parishioners prayed on the street, since no temple can accommodate such a large number of people. There were 20 police officers on duty at the entrance to the monastery. For a moment, it seemed that the believers of the UOC were left alone. But in fact, they were left in relative peace in Kyiv and only in the morning.
The fact is that having flopped the "Lavra task", the radicals and provocateurs decided to change tactics and switch to the regions.
At about 9 am, almost simultaneously, information appeared on all pro-state telegram channels that the priests of the UOC “beat” a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Khmelnytsky. Evidence of the incident was a video in which several people (among them, according to the orarion, was Vladyka Anthony's subdeacon) twisted a man dressed in a military uniform. The video was posted by the deputy of the regional council of Khmelnytsky Viktor Burlyk. He accompanied his publication with angry words that “at a time when the whole country is watching the situation in the Lavra, a soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine went personally to the Moscow church to ask the question, ‘How many people still have to die so that you stopped going to the Moscow church?’” True, later, according to eyewitnesses, it became clear that the ‘soldier’ Arthur Ananiev came to the temple not only to “ask questions”: he attacked the protodeacon, pouring water over him, shouting out some words, turning over the candlesticks. Four (!) police squads arrived at the temple. The law enforcement officers recorded an offense on the part of Ananiev and drew up a report on him for "petty hooliganism." Also, a protocol was drawn up for the subdeacon (for those who are not in the know, we note that a subdeacon is not a priest, but an assistant to a bishop). Such actions of the police outraged not only Burlyk, but also the mayor of the city of Khmelnytsky, Burlyk’s party member in Svoboda, Oleksandr Simchyshyn, who promised that the law enforcement officers who drew up the report on the brawler would be fired, and all churches of the UOC of Khmelnytsky and the region would be deprived of the right to use land.
The ordered nature of the “beating” in the cathedral of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Khmelnytsky was clear from the very beginning – from the synchronous, as if on cue, appearance of publications in all media, one way or another affiliated with the authorities. Also, before the soldier of the Armed Forces of Ukraine paid his visit to the temple of the UOC, the same Burlyk posted a video in which he called on "to drive out the Moscow priests."
However, the order for everything that was happening was vividly confirmed when the leader of the radicals, Yevhen Karas, published his photo with the soldier “injured” as a result of the “beating”. Karas wrote “glory to the brave” on a joint photo with Ananiev. In addition, the entire "incident" in the Khmelnytsky Cathedral took place according to the instructions of Karas, which appeared on the Web two days earlier. Literally a carbon copy: one person arranges a provocation, and the other films the reaction of believers on the phone.
Closer to 11 o'clock in the afternoon, publications began to appear in Khmelnytsky's local public pages calling for the seizure of the cathedral. The capture was scheduled for 18.00, and it immediately seemed that it was unlikely that something would come of it. But closer to the appointed time, it became clear how wrong this opinion was. At six in the evening, a group of 50 aggressive thugs first appeared near the cathedral, and after half an hour a huge crowd of “angry” residents of Khmelnytsky, “fueled” by the media, entered the territory of the temple, among which, by the way, were some provocateurs who were “spotted” a day earlier in Lavra.
Immediately, in the courtyard of the cathedral, tables appeared as if “out of nowhere”, a “commission” was formed, and within 30 minutes, to the “Death to the enemies!” cries, the "community" voted for the "transition" of the UOC temple to the OCU.
In total, based on the Khmelnytsky chronicles, the following raiding scheme is applied:
- You let two or three people into the temple during the service, who pretend not to know each other. One of them must be in camouflage. The "military", in order to disrupt the service, begins to shout about "Moscow priests", "FSB church" and so on. If he is ignored, he attacks the clergy: pushes, beats, etc. The task is to cause the most violent response and scandal.
- The accomplice (accomplices) film all this on their phones, along the way lamenting how cruelly the “Moscow priests” treat the Ukrainian military hero.
- This video is posted on the social network by some local politician with an emotional comment in the vein of "how long shall we endure this." The post is dispersed as much as possible across all groups and controlled media.
- People are called to a specific hour and place to gather and revealingly “punish the Russian world”.
- Professional provocateurs gather at the venue, who know how to stir up the crowd and have experience in forceful seizures.
- The temple is seized.
This scheme is not a theory but quite a working model, which was tested in Khmelnytsky. Unfortunately, it worked.
Let's get back to the monastery. At about 11 am, radical children again pulled up to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Almost simultaneously, a man with pagan runes on his face showed up near the monastery. While on the first day of their action, the radicals were still hiding behind the Ukrainian people, saying that they wanted the OCU to be in the Lavra, then on the fourth day the masks were dropped, and “Glory to Satan!” shouts sounded near the monastery.
The Satanist with pagan runes on his face, using obscenities, told the reporters that all the monks of the Lavra had to be beaten and “driven out of here, there should be no talk. Either you are Ukrainian, or you are a traitor. Nothing else is given. No provocation! We came to see how many narrow-minded people are still left who do not understand what is happening,” said the Satanist.
When asked by the journalist about the legality of house arrest for the abbot of the Lavra, the Satanist replied, “We need to put him on his knees in the forest and shoot him in the head, and let this video out on all Russian media. There can be no talk, no house arrests. We are not Christians, we are ancient pagans.”
At noon, the defenders of the Lavra received information that near the Mystetsky Arsenal, i.e. opposite the main entrance to the monastery, several dozen young guys in balaclavas had gathered. However, this time the police did an excellent job, and the radicals dispersed. Later, in one of the telegram channels supervised by the radicals, they wrote that they were representatives of the youth wing of the Right Sector, who were very upset by the actions of the police.
After lunch, the “great magician Belial” appeared near the holy monastery (recall that Belial is one of the names of Satan), known not only for his “greatness”, but also for his non-traditional sexual orientation. There are noticeably more radicals, but their methods have not changed – all the same screams, grimaces and dances. A novelty, perhaps, was an appeal to the believers of the UOC with a call "not to respond to Russian propaganda." But such tools are not new. Especially after the war of 1941-1945.
The evening found the defenders of the Lavra praying in the same way as the morning – praying. Believers generally keep praying all this time. Every day. Everyone, to the best they can, but praying.
Because these people know that only the Lord can change the situation. “Thy will be done.”