Ukrainian MP and leader of the Information Resistance OSINT group Dmytro Tymchuk says head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is scheduled to meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the end of August 2018.
He says the Russian patriarch will visit Constantinople to discuss "problems" related to granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Local Orthodox Church, according to the Greek church publication Vima Orthodoxias, Tymchuk wrote on Facebook.
The visit is nothing but a show-off before the Kremlin on the eve of the meeting of the Council of the Episcopate of the Ecumenical Patriarchate scheduled for September 1-3, according to the MP, who adds that the meeting has "no chance" of putting any pressure on Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew or intimidating him on the "Ukrainian issue."
The visit points at the fact that Moscow has already exhausted all arguments and perfectly understands that they lost this "chess game."
Tymchuk adds: "Besides, the Kremlin is not really satisfied with the Russian Orthodox Church and FSB for their failure in such a strategic direction, thus dealing a crushing blow to the 'Russian world' in Ukraine."
The Russian Orthodox Church and FSB represented by [Patriarch Kirill] Gundyayev and Bortnikov underestimated the threat for them at the very initial stage, because the "Orthodox fifth column" in Ukraine in the person of MP Vadym Novinsky and the exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine claimed everything was under control and the efforts were another "farce" of Ukrainian authorities.
"When Moscow understood that the threat to their influence was real, they had already lost strategic initiative, so all of their ecclesiastical and secular assets (Russian diplomacy and intelligence), information, propaganda and financial potential was thrown into the infobattle, but it was too late," Tymchuk said.
The expert stresses: "But, as we see, during the last three months, the Russian 'hybrid efforts' failed to break down the position of Fener and that of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew," he said.
This is confirmed by a recent statement by Constantinople on "Mother Church" issue and that of "Moscow has nothing to do with the Baptism of Kievan Rus." Besides, the Constantinople delegation chose to accept invitation of the Ukrainian side, not Moscow-controlled patriarchate or Moscow, to take part in the 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus on July 28.
Speaking of Patriarch Kirill's upcoming meeting with Bartholomew, Tymchuk says: "What can he [Kirill] offer the Ecumenical Patriarch? Nothing new. Anything from the kit of 'Russian hybrid Orthodoxy': crazy money, 'civil war' in Ukraine on religious grounds, or split in world Orthodoxy."
Therefore, Gundyayev's visit is more about trying to justify himself before the Kremlin, claiming "I've done all I could."
According to Tymchuk, there could be all sorts of provocations in Ukraine on the eve of the visit of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Ecumenical Patriarch, as Gundyayev will need "arguments" and "relevant picture," ranging from vandalism and attacks on Moscow-controlled temples claims of "oppression of believers."
"The Ecumenical Patriarch and his team should also be careful about receiving any "gifts" from Moscow! After all, as noted by the British media, Ukraine will receive Tomos if "Novichok" doesn't get in the way..." Tymchuk concludes.