Portnikov: A cup that cracked

Vitaly Portnikov

The Church of Greece became the first after the Patriarchate of Constantinople to recognize the Ukrainian autocephaly. At first glance, this is not the most important recent news – especially against the background of what is happening today in Ukraine itself, where the patriarchal tomos granting autocephaly to the Church of Ukraine is now remembered not as often as in the times of Petro Poroshenko – but it is the most iconic.

Because the perceived minuteness confirms a tendency that cannot be fully understood, not only by the Ukrainians who perceive their independence as something self-sufficient, but also by the Russians, residents of the former imperial metropole who cannot sense the inevitability of historical processes. Neither can sense the inevitability of the collapse of the empire, which broke apart, like an old cup, in 1917, but was glued together by rivers of blood, and yet it cracked again. And no “Russian world,” no Russian language, no Russian gas can hold the cup glued together any longer. And it concerns not only the state structures, but also the church. Because the Russian Church has spread into new territories as part of the Russian imperial expansion, now when the former empire has shrunk like Balzac’s shagreen skin, the church naturally is losing these former provinces too. And this is obvious to all except the hierarchs and parishioners of this shrinking church. Church processes are slower, more inertial, than political processes.

From Moscow – and possibly from Kyiv, as well as from other capitals of the former Soviet republics – it may seem that history can be turned backwards by electing another pro-Russian mediocrity to the presidency or by conspiring with church hierarchs to slow down the process of recognizing the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church. Or by militarily occupying Crimea and the Donbas as they did before with the Transnistria or with the Georgian autonomies. Yes, there is so much you can come up with! Only all this will change nothing.

Ukraine, like most other former Soviet republics, has been permanently lost to Russia as a country, as a nation and as a civilization. Every new day, month and year will only intensify this split – because new generations of people who have no experience of the Soviet past will come into adulthood, and Russia, which does not understand why the lost imperial territories do not return, will behave more aggressively and repel even those who are connected with it via a common cultural past and language. Just as it happened with many Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Ukrainian Russians after the occupation of Crimea and the war in the Donbas.

If Russia could accept the collapse of the empire, it would strengthen its influence in the post-Soviet space, strengthen the Russian state itself, preserve the chances for the Russian Church, which would not be seen as a hidden weapon of aggression. Instead, Putin’s Russia preserves the distant past in pieces of the land seized from its neighbors, blackmails them using its energy resources, sends saboteurs, “pours gasoline” on internal conflicts, sends its troops over its neighbors’ borders – and thus deprives not the Ukrainians nor the Georgians of the future, but itself.

(c) EuromaidanPress


  1. Putin has only himself to blame for Russia being a pariah state. He had two choices when he was given the presidency by the drunk Yeltsin. He could have built economic relations with his neighbours, on equal standings, or he could use invasions, terrorism, murder and blackmail. Unfortunately, he took the Russian option, and now he lost all respect with former Soviet slave states, he lost the Russian mafia church in Ukraine, and got booted out of a few organisations.

    • Unfortunately the poisonous little maggot has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams :
      Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are all run by tinpot dictators who run their shitholes on the putler business model and are de facto Russian vassals, with Armenia and Moldova not far behind. Only Pribaltika escaped and Georgia and Ukraine have still not broken free, continuing to suffer from putler-inflicted mass-murder and theft.

      • The more the merrier! At the moment our club is rather too exclusive! :- consisting of you, your girls, Focus, Red, Grumpy, Veth, English Mason, Tonto, me……
        Laggards: gmab, facts, Knut, Neckto, k.leen, alex9234.

          • Of course! Man, how did I forget star commenter clown? Hurry him back! I can manage without Bert and slavko though, as unfortunately they are cockroaches.

            • Slavko is an arrogant croat. I usually get along with all ex-Yugos, but not him. Slavko knows everything and can’t stand an opinion different to his own. Thus he’s an asshole. Concerning Clown, he is busy with his kids. They are growing up fast and need more care now. No more pacifier in the mouth and sleep well sweety while daddy is getting drunk, making fun on the internet. He will show up sooner or later. We all forgot Joe (Pisskopf). He is a difficult person, but sometimes he makes very good comments. And other than Slavko he can admit when in the wrong. He’s ugly on the outside, but a good boy on the inside for sure.

              • Do we need more administrators? We also have the option of making people Authors and Editors. I’m not sure what info you administrators get but Focusser said you guys have everything. If that’s the case then there is some personal information available and seems to me that should be limited. Vasyl’s great but concerning how he operates a microwave I’m not sure ;))
                As for Pisskopf, he still struggles with TDS. Every conversation ends up with rabid, vulgar insults unless you completely agree with him. He is about as tolerant as Hitler was.

                • Ok. Then let’s make Vasyl and Meow authors, in case they show up. You are the boss. (Did i really say that… 😊)

                  Anyway, as long as the gang survives, all is fine with me. BTW, our old channel is still online. 😇

                  • All I have is a veto, lol. I just want to focus on Ukraine. I know we have strong characters which is great. The last thing we need is a place with mute fish as Larissa calls them…LMAO!

                    • Yeah, poor Meow used to dread coming home from work to see if the house was still standing. 😂

                    • I decided to run my blogspot site, for the other guys who won’t come here. I may still post an article here also from time to time. As commenter i will stay so far. Time will tell which site most followers prefer. BTW, i see our Disqus site is still not deleted. Let’s hope the whole thing wasn’t fake news or a bad joke… 😊

What is your opinion?