Goat hooves and "ears" of OCU in the attack on cross walkers in Nizhyn
The cross procession in Nizhyn was attacked by OCU activists who are engaged in church raiding. Why are the OCU "ears" sticking out in the radicals' actions again?
In 2016, during the time of Poroshenko, radicals attacked the participants in the All-Ukrainian Cross Procession of the UOC at the entrance to Boryspil. Then only desperate efforts of the police prevented the bloody massacre, but still some "activists" were able to reach out to the believers. These people threw eggs at the Sviatogorsk Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos. Five years have passed since then. The government has changed. But the attitude towards believers on the part of those who call themselves patriots has not changed in the slightest.
On June 23, 2021, a large-scale procession dedicated to the memory of St. John of Tobolsk took place in Nizhyn. Thousands of Orthodox Ukrainians took to the streets of the city. Banners were carried ahead, followed by children who threw rose petals in front of the icons of the Most Holy Theotokos and St. John. Can you fancy anything more peaceful and joyful? Hardly.
However, in one of the streets, the believers were encountered by a group of radicals with the flags of Ukraine, the Right Sector and ... the United States. And this was not a chance meeting. They were waiting for the believers. Moreover, they were not waiting on the square or the avenue – they had deliberately chosen a narrow street for an ambush, where it would be impossible to bypass them.
What did they want? The goal is simple and obvious – to block, stop the cross procession.
The activists began to push and beat the priests and participants in the procession. A scuffle ensued. A shirt of one of the cross walkers was torn completely.
Among others, a patriot with severed goat legs and hooves stood out and tried to beat the priests with them. He also demanded from the believers "not to dishonor the memory of the dead fellows." What the "memory of the dead fellows" could have to do with the prayer procession of the Nizhyn people, this person did not explain.
Another activist showed his patriotism by pouring urine from the bottle on believers.
The third one was indignant that the policeman had taken the knife away from him and demanded (!) to return it back.
Well, all these people were desperately yelling the standard “battle cries”: “Get out Moscow priests; Glory To Ukraine! Glory to the heroes; glory to the nation – death to the enemies; death to Muscovites, etc."
Obviously, it’s a usual provocation. But who participated in it? The most active is a man with goat hooves. Who is he? It turns out this is a certain activist Stanislav Proshchenko. In this region, he defends the interests of the OCU.
In 2019, he was one of the organizers of the illegal transfer of the UOC church to the OCU in Kruty. At the same time, he participates in the organization of an illegal meeting for the transition to the OCU in Parafiyivka. Here he is blocking access to the village club for believers of the UOC, where the fate of the temple was decided. In 2020, Proshchenko with other muscular men, titushki, participates in the seizure of a church in the village of Bilovizh, which had been restored by the UOC. In 2021, Proshchenko was already among the invaders of the UOC church in the village of Pryputni.
Soon he was already filming the "divine service" of Eustraty Zoria in the seized church. In a word, the provocation in Nizhyn was organized not just by an unknown patriot. This is a person who is professionally engaged in church raiding for the OCU in the Nizhyn region.
But let's see, maybe the OCU condemned the actions of its employees at the cross procession in Nizhyn?
A whole “hierarch” of the OCU, Afanasy Shkurupiy, left his comments under the video footage, which was broadcast by the organizers. Here is what he wrote: “Such cross processions must be violently dispersed so that there is no longer a desire to act on the side of the enemy. But there is no one to do it – all the authorities and law enforcement agencies are on the side of these Little Russian nits." In another commentary, Shkurupiy called the believers of the UOC “cattle”, for which the ATO soldiers unjustly give their lives.
What's the bottom line?
As a result, we can see a handful of marginals in Nizhyn trying to disrupt the peaceful prayer procession of Orthodox Ukrainians, to which they are entitled by the Ukrainian Constitution. We can see that this provocation was staged by supporters of the OCU. We can see that the hierarchs of the OCU support attacks on the cross walkers, moreover, these bishops excel in insulting the faithful Ukrainians and call on the authorities to violently disperse their processions.
But still, what is the main thing? Most importantly, the events in Nizhyn are highly symbolic and reflect the situation in the country as a whole. There are a lot of us, believers, but a pitiful handful of them. They keep hating and cursing us, whereas we keep smiling in return and singing "Christ is Risen."
And although all these cursers often annoy us, we feel sorry for them. It is very difficult to live this anger and hatred, when thousands are praying around with one heart. The best remark in this connection was given by the now familiar "hoof-bearer" Proshchenko, when miserable and distressed, he was pushed to the sidelines: "They arranged a Moscow Sabbath and on top of that are smiling."
But we will feel even more pitiful to these people on July 27, on the Day of the Baptism of Rus, when a religious procession is traditionally held in Kyiv. In 2018, 250,000 believers attended this procession, in 2019 – 300,000. There is no doubt that this year there will be no less. Sure, we will be annoyed by such supporters of the OCU with goat hooves, who will shout insults at us, perhaps even attack. But we, like in Nizhyn, will smile and sing prayers in response. Because we are Christians, because our Primate is His Beatitude Onuphry, because we are learning to love, not hate.