Right Sector calls again to hit UOC: what believers should be ready for
The Right Sector leaders held a series of actions and declared they would fight against the UOC churches, built to replace the ones they had "transferred" to the OCU.
In Ukraine, the radicals are demanding to strike at the new churches having been built by the communities of the UOC instead of those seized by the OCU.
Vasily Labaychuk, deputy head of the Volunteer Ukrainian Corps (VUC) Right Sector: "The time has come for the Ukrainians to strike another blow at the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and at their financial and economic efforts."
Taras Bobanich, deputy head of the VUC Right Sector: "It is not excluded that we will resort to some radical measures."
Mikhail Gavryliv, fighter of the VUС Right Sector: "And then we will work in our own way."
Vasily Labaychuk: "If there is no reaction, we will be forced to change the methods of influencing specific enemies."
In Lviv and Ternopil, the leadership of the Right Sector is holding actions against the owner of the BRSM petrol station network Andrey Biba, claiming that he is a criminal because he finances the construction of churches for the communities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Taras Bobanich: “There was picketing of the BRSM gas station, the owners of which were involved in financing the construction of churches of the Moscow Patriarchate, agents of influence, which are the fifth column of Moscow in Ukraine.”
Mikhail Gavryliv: “He (Andrey Biba – Ed.) is engaged in anti-Ukrainian financing. This is a collaborator."
So, what is Right Sector unhappy with? The radicals complain that their painstaking work to destroy the communities of the UOC is going down the drain, since the patron Andrei Biba is building new temples instead of the seized ones.
Vasily Labaychuk: “In particular, Biba financed the construction of new churches for the communities, which were transferred to the OCU. The villages of Kuty, Bashuky, Liudvyshche, Gnezdychne. Actually, these are the settlements in which the Right Sector helped to leave this bosom of the Moscow occupation structure of the ROC.”
In a similar manner Labaychuk "helped" the communities to leave their Church in the village of Katerynivka, where he led the seizure. One can see how “voluntarily” and “prayerfully” this happened.
The deputy head of the Right Sector party says directly that the construction of new churches of the UOC is a matter of the wounded pride of his organization.
Vasily Labaychuk: “For us, for the Right Sector, this is quite a point of principle, because we have made a lot of efforts to wrest each of these communities out of the influence of the Moscow fifth column. About 50 communities, in varying degrees, received our help in the confrontation with the occupier church. But then there appears the one who spoils the whole story."
The radicals even openly lie that Andrei Biba builds churches where there are no UOC communities at all: “And here Andrei Biba appears and finances the construction in those villages where there no longer communities of the Moscow Patriarchate. We mean the villages that entirely passed to the OCU."
What can be said about all this? If there are no communities, then what are these hundreds and thousands of people who come to services in the rebuilt churches?
Most recently, the UOJ presented the film "Faithful 2" about the believers of Katerynivka, who were able to build a new church after the schismatics took the old one away from them with the forceful support of the "Right Sector". A little earlier, a film about Bashuky was released, where the situation is identical – the right-wing people helped the schismatics to seize the church of the UOC, but the community managed to build a new one in a few years. Moreover, the number of such examples, where a church after having been seized from a community was replaced by a new one, has long gone into dozens. Only Andrei Biba took part in the construction of more than 50 such churches; besides, there is also the Favor Foundation, other patrons, there are cases when the community independently raises funds for the construction of a new temple.
That's not even the point.
Let's approach the situation from the point of view of a patriot. After all, the word "patriotism" means love for your country and your fellow citizens, creative work for its well-being.
Nearly 150 temples were seized by force from the UOC. All this happened in villages where everyone knows each other. Each seizure is a conflict, enmity and hatred between acquaintances, neighbors, and even relatives. But believers who have suffered from church raiding are, first of all, Christians, who, by definition, cannot live in a state of enmity. They strive for peace and love, and therefore yield to the raiders the temple where they prayed all their lives, and build a new one for themselves. It would seem that the conflict is over. Peace and understanding can reign in society again.
But the leaders of the Right Sector do not favor peace between Ukrainians. It is not enough for them to take away a church from believers; in their opinion, the UOC communities should not exist at all. It means they are not even for the OCU, they are against the canonical Church, they are against the Ukrainians, who consider themselves its parishioners.
Therefore, if someone builds churches for such Ukrainians, it means he has no right to do business on the territory of Ukraine.
Taras Bobanich: “Actually, such people, their networks, business entities cannot carry out their activities here in our peaceful territory. We must constantly pay attention to all those who exercise this criminal influence on Ukrainian hearts, on Ukrainian minds."
In other words, members of the Right Sector hence promote an ideology where there is a "titular nation" to which they attribute themselves, and there are non-citizens in the person of the believers of the UOC and all those who assist them. The latter in this case is Andrei Biba.
But should this be the activity of real patriots? Do we see love and creation in the actions of the Right Sector? Let's just compare what the activities of the main fighter against the Church from the Right Sector, "patriot" Vasily Labaychuk, and unpatriot Andrey Biba bring to the country.
So, Vasyl Labaychuk became famous when he led the seizure of the Ternopil Regional State Administration during the Euromaidan. Having honed his skills there, Labaychuk has coordinated the seizures of dozens of UOC churches since 2014. Such seizures entailed conflicts, enmity and hatred in the villages affected.
Andrey Biba, in turn, built 50 new churches in these villages. What does this mean for Ukrainian society? That the conflict has been resolved, that people in the villages can again live, if not in love, then at least in peace with each other.
These are the words of the parishioners of the UOC in Kuty after the construction of a new church.
Female parishioners of Kuty village: “We are very happy to have it built on our own. Am I right? – Yes, you’ve got that right. Strife was prevented. We retreated, built a temple for ourselves, so let them leave us alone, and let’s leave them alone. That’s all."
Labaychuk says that the state exists on the taxes paid to it, and therefore it is obliged to listen to the Right Sector: "We will have enough forces and means to convey to those government agencies that live on our taxes that they must respond to this."
The remark is fair, but let’s see how many taxes “patriot” Labaychuk has paid to the treasury?
The Chesno site says that Labaychuk's education is secondary specialized, but he "is not temporarily employed." The declaration states that his activities in the Right Sector are not paid. Where does Labaychuk earn money to pay taxes for the development of the Ukrainian state to be in a position to appeal to government agencies? It remains a mystery.
At the same time, the “bad guy” Andrey Biba has created several thousand workplaces at the BRSM refuelling network and pays tens of millions of hryvnias in taxes annually to the treasury.
In addition to the fact that Biba built a lot of temples of the UOC, he also supports the students of the Small Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, finances youth regattas in Kherson, and Ukrainian weightlifting championships. Besides, he sponsors a center for social and psychological rehabilitation of children in Uman, Berdychiv special boarding school, Krasnosilka orphanage boarding school in the Odessa region.
In addition, during the pandemic, Biba refueled ambulances for free.
Nevertheless, Labaychuk is believed to be a patriot, while Biba is not.
And the most important thing – should we take threats uttered by Right Sector seriously?
In 2014, an explosion occurred at a BRSM gas station in Pereyaslav. Biba is confident that it was a terrorist attack to convince him to give up part of his business.
Andrey Biba: “Two craters and the trotyl remains were found on the site. After that, five more gas stations were blown up, followed by another five gas stations in less than six months, which were blown up too. More precisely, two were saved by the Lord God. In one case it did not work by accident, but in another case, in Brovary, there was 1 kg. 200 gr. of trotyl – I’m not making it up, this is a pure fact. If I am not mistaken, there are 35 grams in a grenade, viz. this is more than 30 grenades. Sappers arrived, sorted everything out, and drew up an act. The blast wave would be within a radius of 500 meters."
Of course, nothing indicates that the Right Sector could have anything to do with this. But in modern Ukraine, awash with weapons, the threat of a terrorist attack is far from a fanciful outlook. Even if the leadership of the Right Sector does not give its soldiers the command to attack the churches, someone who has weapons at home may well believe the words of the radicals that the churches of the UOC are hostile centers, and begin to act independently.
In any case, calls for actions against the UOC do not fit into Ukrainian legislation in any way, and law enforcement officers must respond to them. Yet, the Right Sector is a special caste in Ukraine. Therefore, the question of our government’s response remains open.