Photo from UNIAN

Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya) of Chernihiv and Nizhyn has said Russia started waging hybrid warfare against the Ukrainian church in 1991.

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"If Ukraine faced open hybrid warfare in 2014, the Ukrainian church encountered this hybrid war in 1991, immediately after the declaration of independence," he said during a round table in Kyiv.

According to the archbishop, this happened immediately after the "council of the Ukrainian church in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra unanimously decided that, based on the canons of historical tradition and the fact that Ukraine became an independent state, the Ukrainian church should be autocephalous, i.e. administratively independent."

Yevstratiy said that everything had been done right after that council to "stage a coup against the leaders of the church according to the same scenario [later] used to seize Crimea and create fake republics in Donetsk and Luhansk; Moscow used the same scenario to partly seize the Ukrainian church and it still firmly controls it."

The archbishop is convinced Moscow continues controlling part of the Orthodox parishes "to prevent the sacred recognition that the Ukrainian people are a separate nation, that Ukraine is a real state, since these are two mainstays for the existence of the local church."