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Ukraine: Moscow Branch of Kyiv’s Orthodox Church Cuts Ties With Moscow, Severdonetsk Loses ‘Critical Infrastructure

Ukraine: Moscow Branch of Kyiv’s Orthodox Church Cuts Ties With Moscow, Severdonetsk Loses ‘Critical Infrastructure

“all the city’s critical infrastructure is destroyed… More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock is destroyed.”

Day 96 of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russia took a huge blow off the battlefield when the Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cut ties with Moscow.

EU Cannot Come to Oil Sanctions Agreement

Another example of why the EU is such a bad idea. You lose your sovereignty. The ambassadors wanted an oil sanctions deal before EU leaders meet in Brussels on Monday afternoon. It did not happen:

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the EU is “not there yet” with regards to an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions, including a potential ban on Russian oil imports.

“It’s never been easy. It’s the same now with the sixth package,” she told reporters as she arrived ahead of a summit of the 27 EU leaders.

“It is very important to have fairness for all, we haven’t found a solution for that yet.

“My expectations are low that it will be solved in the next 48 hours. But I’m confident that thereafter there will be a possibility,” she said.

The EU requires the approval of all member states to introduce the sanctions, despite announcing them nearly a month ago.

As we’ve been reporting, Hungary, which relies heavily on Russian oil, is the main opponent of a ban in imports.

Hungary is an obstacle but Slovakia and the Czech Republic. both landlocked countries, need “loner phase-out periods.” They rely on Russia oil too much to simply turn it off.

Russia Stores Dead Bodies in Mariupol Supermarket


Russian soldiers have dumped the bodies of dozens of Ukrainian civilians in a supermarket in Mariupol and left them to rot.

The corpses were washed above ground by Russia’s attempts to restore running water to the ruined city, according to an adviser to the mayor.

Photographs from the Shchyryi kum supermarket, which are too graphic to publish, show decomposing and discoloured bodies in civilian clothes littered across the floor.

Petro Andryushchenko, the Mariupol mayor’s adviser, said that so many bodies were being washed out of the ground Russia was unable to bury them.

“The Russians are bringing the bodies of the dead here [in the supermarket], bodies which were washed out of graves and partially exhumed in an attempt to restore water supply,” Mr Andryushchenko said on his Telegram channel. “They are just dumping them like garbage.”

He claimed that Russia had launched a campaign to recruit gravediggers and pathologists.

“There is a catastrophic shortage of people to bury the corpses and of power for even makeshift mortuaries,” he said. “To such an extent that a separate recruitment campaign for pathologists has been launched in Moscow. ”

Zelenskyy Visited Kharkiv, Fired City’s Security Service Head

Ukraine holds Kharkiv, but it’s still on shaky ground:

President Volodymyr Zelensky visited frontline troops in northeastern Ukraine on Sunday, marking a success for his forces who this month pushed Russian forces back from the outskirts of the country’s second-largest city, after months of shelling that killed many civilians and forced tens of thousands to flee.

Mr. Zelensky received an operational update on the situation in the city, Kharkiv, and presented awards to troops, according to a statement from his office.

“I want to thank each of you for your service,” Mr. Zelensky said. “You risk your life for all of us and our state.”

Kharkiv, which is close to the Russian border, was a focus of a two-pronged strategy by Moscow in the north of the country when it invaded on Feb. 24, aiming to seize the city as well as the capital, Kyiv. Within weeks, Ukrainian forces had repelled Russian troops from towns north of Kyiv, but widespread shelling of Kharkiv ended only this month.

Then he fired Roman Dudin, who Zelenskyy appointed head of the security service in Kharkiv in 2020:

Quote: “I convened a meeting with the leadership of the [Kharkiv] oblast and the city [of Kharkiv]. I thanked them for having stood and continuing to stand with Kharkiv residents, with Ukraine, and – what’s particularly important right now – with one another. There is perfect cooperation between the army, the police, the mayor of Kharkiv, and the oblast state administration – they are all truly working to bring our victory closer and are doing so very effectively.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the local leadership of the Security Service of Ukraine. When I got here, I looked into it, and I fired the head of the Security Service in the oblast for selfishly caring only about his own interests rather than working to defend the city from the first days of the full-scale war. Law enforcement officers will find out what his motivations were.”

Shelling of Severdonetsk Continues

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russian shelling cost Sievierodonetsk its “critical infrastructure“:

Russian shelling has destroyed all of the critical infrastructure in the Ukrainian city of Severdonetsk, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday, describing the taking of the city as Russia’s “principal aim” right now.

“As a result of Russian strikes on Sievierodonetsk, all the city’s critical infrastructure is destroyed… More than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock is destroyed,” Zelenskiy said in a televised speech.

“Taking Sievierodonetsk is the principal aim of the occupying contingents,” he added.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said officials cannot “assess casualties and damage” due to the intense shelling:

“The situation has extremely escalated,” Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk region, said on Sunday. Witnesses said the city was being bombed “200 times an hour” as Russian forces try to cut off reinforcement lines and surround its remaining defenders.

Ukrainian authorities have described conditions in Sievierodonetsk as reminiscent of Mariupol, the southern port city that fell on 20 May after almost three months of relentless assault.

The intensified fighting came as Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, visited Ukrainian troops on the front lines in the north-eastern Kharkiv region, in his first official appearance outside the Kyiv area since the start of the war. “You risk your lives for us all and for our country,” Zelenskiy told soldiers there.

He added that Russian shelling has destroyed all of the city’s critical infrastructure and more than two-thirds of its housing stock. Taking Sievierodonetsk was Russia’s “principal aim” right now, the president said.

Putin Loses the Moscow Branch of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church

I don’t have time for the history lesson but there is a Moscow branch of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church. A conflict brewed in 2014, which led to a schism in 2019. Orthodox Christian leaders gave Ukraine permission to form its own church independent of Moscow.

A lot of the churches in the east chose to belong to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate.

It’s odd because the disconnect happened due to Russia’s invasion in 2014. But I guess this full-scale is too much even though Russia is now sticking to the east?

You can read the full statement here.

I don’t get it:

The Moscow branch of Kyiv’s Orthodox Church said on Friday it was cutting ties with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, declaring “full independence” in a historic move against Russia’s spiritual authorities.

“We disagree with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow… on the war,” the church said in a statement after holding a council focused on Russia’s “aggression” and declaring the “full independence and autonomy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.

The Moscow branch of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church has until now formally pledged allegiance to Russia’s Patriarch Kirill, who has expressed clear support for President Vladimir Putin’s offensive in Ukraine.

“The Council condemns war as a violation of God’s commandment ‘You shall not kill!’ and expresses condolences to all those who are suffering in the war,” it said.

It said its relations with the Moscow leadership had been “complicated or absent” since martial law was declared in Ukraine.


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Remember that Ukraine prosecutor who investigated crackhead Hunter Biden’s money launder corruption as a big shot oil & gas exec that then-VP daddy Joe Biden got fired by threatening to withhold foreign aid to Ukraine?

Good times, my friends, Good times.

AnAdultInDiapers | May 30, 2022 at 10:27 am

re: Sievierodonetsk, it’ll be interesting to see whether Ukraine withdraw (as they largely did from Lyman) or continue to fight there. They have a difficult choice: sacrifice the forces there to tie down enough Russians for long enough to retake Kherson, or withdraw and rely on their extensive fortifications in depth at Slovyansk.

If they can provide (or already have) enough supplies they could make crossing the river at Severodonetsk extremely painful – that river’s already cost Russia horrific losses.

What I’m really confused by is how to spell Severodonetsk, and whether those Is are needed.

On a lighter note:

The issue within the Church goes back a lot longer than 2014. This isn’t just a blow, it’s devastating, for a couple of reasons.

1. A big part of the Muscovite (“Russian”) worldview is taken up by a sort of ethnopolitical messianic self-understanding. Moscow is the “third Rome,” Muscovy is “the new Golgotha,” anything and everything that goes wrong within Muscovy is the result of a plot originating outside of Muscovy (usually in the shape of a Jewish-freemasonic plot invading as a “foul” or “black wind blowing from the West”). This view is literally centuries old. It is not merely one random thread of thought – it’s a deeply embedded worldview that may manifest in different ways and to different degrees but it runs through pretty much all of Muscovite culture. Essentially, Muscovites see themselves as a new chosen people, even compared to other Orthodox, who are meant to save the world. Anyone who stops them, or tries to, is evil.

Losing the Church in Ukraine is devastating to the mythos. It would mean that *that* particular justification for the war – to save fellow “true Orthodox” – has failed and the devil won. They failed as “the new chosen people.”

2. The churches in Ukraine make up a plurality of the Moscow Patriarchate’s “numbers.” From the Moscow Patriarchate’s view, this is a terrible loss of “strength” in its attempt to snatch the role of Ecumenical Patriarch away from Constantinople (another centuries old habit).

3. Related to number 2, Moscow has been using its churches around the world as soft power centers for the Kremlin going back to Stalin’s rapprochement with the Church in the face of WWII. As late as 1989 the Central Committee had documents speaking of “the Church completing its latest assignment” satisfactorily. Current Patriarch Kirill chaired a conference at which it was approvingly argued that churches of the Moscow Patriarchate around the world SHOULD be used as soft power centers for the Kremlin’s policies. I’ve seen these effects first hand.

The loss of the churches in Ukraine is a severe propaganda outlet/source/channel blow to the Kremlin.

    henrybowman in reply to Patrick74. | May 31, 2022 at 11:30 pm

    “Losing the Church in Ukraine is devastating to the mythos.”

    Is this really what has happened? Because the headline and the reportage is inexplicable.

    It says, “the Moscow branch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church cut ties with Moscow.” In other words, a Church based in Ukraine had a “branch” in Moscow, which has cut ties with… Moscow. I cant even understand how a church located in Moscow could cut ties with Moscow. It’s the Chewbacca Church Defense — “it makes no sense at all!”

“…Hungary, which relies heavily on Russian oil, is the main opponent of a ban in imports…Hungary is an obstacle but Slovakia and the Czech Republic. both landlocked countries, need “loner phase-out periods.” They rely on Russia oil too much to simply turn it off.”

The Company they are talking about, MOL Group, had 21% of it’s stock owned by the Hungarian Government. Stock they bought to take it out of the hands of the Russian Company, Surgutneftgas in May 2011.

Upstream, MOL Group has oil production and extraction in 13 countries with production activities in 8, only one of which is Russia. This Russian connection bothers them a lot, I know because my Brother-In-Law is on the Supervisory Board of Directors at MOL.

MOL Group is probably the largest oil and gas refiner in Central Europe and operates assets with a total of 20.9 mtpa (metric rons per annum) refining and 2.2 mtpa petrochemicals capacity. Its downstream asset base includes 6 production units: 4 refineries and 2 petrochemical sites, and an extended regional logistics and wholesales network as an integrated value chain.

With over 2,000 service stations under six brands across ten countries in Central Eastern Europe: Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. making them one of the largest retailers of gasoline and fuel products in Central Europe. They also own retail chains in Italy and Austria.

MOL Group is also a large producer of plastic resins.

MOL Group has been working since 2014 to get out of the Russian orbit as a strategic goal, MOL started investigating the solutions of diversifying its crude oil supply and to adapt its refineries to process non-Russian alternative crude oil, in order to reach greater flexibility. Until 2022 MOL invested more than USD 170 million on building up the alternative logistic solution on the Adria pipeline. This allows more seaborne deliveries to supply the Duna and Slovnaft refineries in Hungary and Slovakia. Due to the crude diversification efforts, Duna refinery can currently process about 35% of non-REB feedstock, mixed in with Urals crude. The war in Ukraine has accelerated this process of planning. MOL needs an investment-cycle of up to $700million and at least 2-4 years to be able to switch to 100% alternative crude processing.