Metropolitan of Kyiv and all Ukraine, head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine Epifaniy has said there is no state intervention in the church's affairs in Ukraine, unlike in Russia.
"[Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church] Kirill doesn't make any decisions on his own, let's say, with regard to Ukraine or foreign issues. They are subordinated to the Russian government. In Ukraine, there is no such thing," he said in an interview with the Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda.
Epifaniy said the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has good relations with the government because it contributed to the Orthodox churches uniting into one and because this is about religious security of the state.
"I think that Putin, when he made a decision whether to unleash a war with Ukraine or not, paid a lot of attention to the church factor. Patriarch Kirill had come to Ukraine several times, convening certain people. However, sometimes they were 'photoshopped in'. And, apparently, Putin got the impression that he has absolute support here and will be greeted with flowers. The Ukrainian people showed him a completely different picture. However, in the so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate there was, and still is, real support of Russia," Epifaniy said.