Europe’s return to religious conflict

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As simple, as it is to portray the Russian government’s conduct as cartoonish terrible and absolutely beyond the realm of reasonableness. The reality is that life isn’t a cartoon. In order to achieve their goals, both the people of the Donetsk region and those of the Russian Federation are willing to go to great length. Even if it means putting their lives on the line. Because of this, folks in the West should not simply write them off as backward and irrational. But rather learn to appreciate where they are coming from.

Current turmoil in Ukraine

While many causes have contributed to the current turmoil in Ukraine, one of the most overlooked is the religious strife at the heart of the conflict. Russia and Vladimir Putin are definitely aware of the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO. But the conflict  roots in the perceive fragmentation of the Russian ethnoreligious identity by Ukrainian nationalists at the demand of Western powers. Read More

The Church has fallen apart.

Nobody knows for sure, but it seems evident that Putin’s calculations regarding Ukraine now include the Russian Orthodox Church’s 2019 schism. Putin has been preaching an Orthodox-fused nationalism for the past few years. Russian Orthodoxy began in Kiev, and its secession from Russia’s second spiritual capital. Moscow, has long been an affront to the country’s most radical nationalists and to Kirill, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church of Ukraine declare its independence from the Moscow Patriarchate in 2019. Displacing millions of members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had previously  link with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov

Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, called the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (the one who recognize Ukraine’s split from Russia). A puppet” who was “actively cooperating” with the United States and said that “his mission is obviously.  Prepare by the Americans and they do not hide that they are actively cooperating with him, using the slogan of ‘freedom of religion and belief'” (Athens Bureau).

Despite the fact that Russia

Despite the fact that Russia often points the finger at the United States whenever something bad happens, in this instance they have good reason to be angry. Secretary of State Pompeo welcome OCU after the split, which was swiftly praise by the US embassy in Kiev. “… it’s worth asking why the State Department felt compelled to take a public opinion on any of this,” says former NSA analyst John Schindler. Sunni or Shia, which is Foggy Bottom? What about Lutheranism and Methodism?” When Putin, with his dreams of imperial legacy, ran with their concerns, nationalist hardliners. Who control the intellectual arena took this affront to heart despite Russia being increasingly post-Christian like the rest of Europe. Read more

Nationalism in Russia

Nationalists who romanticise the glory of the Russian Empire and seek a restoration to its principles. If not its former borders are obsess with the concept of “Russkiy mir,” or “Russian World,” in their minds. Igor Strelkov, a former FSB officer, is one of the most important non-government figures in Ukraine’s conflict. Strelkov is a well-known Orthodox monarchist and proponent of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine’s reunification who has written extensively for nationalist publications.

Pro-Russian militias

One of the commanders of the pro-Russian militias in Crimea that welcomed in Russian military in 2014 was Strelkov. Who had served as a volunteer in Transnistria and as a Chechen soldier. Because of Putin’s condemnation of him, Strelkov was given permission to lead fifty-two volunteers from Russia across the border into Slavyansk. And begin an insurgency against the Ukrainian government in the Donbas. It is said that Strelkov refuse to speak with anyone until the Kremlin’s headquarters in Slavyansk took. Because he was so commit to Russia’s cause and his own dreams to be a great man of history.

Crush the Ukrainian army

On and off, he has warned Russia that if it doesn’t destroy Ukraine quickly and block the West from interfering further. He would be wiped out. Putin should declare the fight a “existential war to the death”. And mobilize the public to crush the Ukrainian army, liberate the Donbas, and seize Kiev, he said. Strelkov and other extreme nationalists believe that . The west’s vengeance will tear Russia apart, returning the country to the chaos of the 1990s.

Strelkov is radical

It doesn’t matter if Strelkov is radical, because his warnings resonate powerfully with Russians. Who dread a return to the 1990s and want to restore Russia’s greatness and unify the Slavic world. As evidenced by his infamous article on the “Ukrainian Question” last summer. Putin’s full embrace of Russkiy Mir and his rejection of separate Russian and Ukrainian identities. Putin claimed that Soviet policies led to today’s current goal for reintegrating the areas that once comprised Novorossiya. It is evident that Putin will not back down and will have to carry the battle through to its violent conclusion. Ushering in a new period of hatred between Russia and the West, even as the Russian onslaught draws to a halt

When Kurt Gmunder isn’t studying at George Mason University. You can find him working as a security analyst for the Department of Homeland Security. He will be an intern at the Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy this summer.

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