Father Alexander Volkov, executive editor of the official organ of the Moscow Patriarchate, called Ukraine a “phenomenon” rather than a “country.”
by Massimo Introvigne
Russian media are giving considerable prominence to a statement by Father Alexander Volkov, a prominent representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, who stated that Ukraine is a “phenomenon” (явление) rather than a country, and cannot be independent.
Father Volkov is the executive editor of the “Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate,” which is the official organ of the Russian Orthodox Church, and on November 26 he spoke in the TV program “The Church and the World” on “Russia 24,” which in turn regularly conveys the opinions of the Patriarchate.
It seems to be a new step, or a new low, in the anti-Ukrainian and pro-Putin propaganda campaign of the Moscow Patriarchate, whose excesses are widely regarded internationally as both ridiculous and tragic.
“You have to understand, Volkov said, that Ukraine in itself is a phenomenon that cannot be independent, it should be attached to something else.” Ukraine was a “positive” phenomenon, according to Volkov, when it was attached to the Czarist and then the Soviet Empire. “When Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, it was great: great culture, great economy, great people. Because they had something to be attached to.”
At that time, Volkov reminisced nostalgically, “How many beautiful things were connected with Ukraine!… How proud we [Russians] were of this land: it was our breadbasket and our health resort!”
It is “the essence of Ukraine,” Volkov explained, that to exist it should “stick to something else,” although Ukrainians “will never recognize it” and stubbornly remain in their false belief that they can exist independently.
But the result, Volkov concluded, is that if they refuse to acknowledge that they are part of Russia, they should “look around” and find something else to be part of. So, they decided to be part of Europe or rather, the Russian Orthodox Church representative said, a mere “appendage” of Europe. Ukrainian, however, will not succeed in their attempt to exist independently from Russia, Volkov said. “Europeans are snubbish,” he argued, and will never accept Russians such as the Ukrainians as truly part of their club.