This anti-war appeal of Bishop Longin is especially popular amongst national minorities in the Ukrainian border regions. When the fourth wave of mobilisation began in Romanian villages in Chernovtsy Oblast, people snapped up copies of the Romanian-language newspaper Libertatea Cuvantului with an appeal of UPTs/MP Bishop Longin, the well-known Superior of Bachensky Monastery in Chernovtsy Oblast. This monastery and its superior are famous for the fact that it shelters hundreds of sick orphans, 200 of them personally adopted the abbot. The film Форпост (Forpost: Outpost) on the Vladyki Longin and his children is widely known. However, the Bishop addressed his appeal to yet-complete and happy families. He first released it in September, but the newspaper (owned by a member of the Chernovtsy Gorsoviet) printed it a day after the junta announced the mobilisation:
I ask you only one thing… come together and don’t send your children to die. Our Orthodox faith doesn’t allow us to kill each other. For the sake of their political interests, for the sake of defending their economic gain, for the sake of defending their leadership positions, they want to kill our people, who live peacefully with faith in God. My family, you don’t have the right to shoot and kill. God gives us life, and God takes it away. The overlords of the Ukraine said, “The Orthodox faith is the biggest enemy of the Ukraine”. That’s what they told outsiders, who can’t accept the truth due to their blindness.
How can you pick up a gun and shoot at the image of God? He has, as we have, a mother, wife, and children. What forces us to kill each other? True, they only scratch the surface… already, there are thousands and tens of thousands of dead, but they only talk about hundreds. I don’t bless the war. We call all of you to peace. There are about 10,000 dead soldiers; not even their mothers know that they’re no longer alive. I don’t involve myself in politics, but what hurts me is that this isn’t a war with an external enemy; it’s a war between us.
The USA wants to see Orthodox killing each other, they like to see us shooting at each other, whilst they drink, eat, and have fun… they glory in the blood shed on our holy land. Europe, of which the Holy Fathers said, “Do not worship the beast”, now stands on the sidelines and rejoices at our spilled Orthodox blood. Brothers! We all feel that we’re on the verge of World War III. That’s why I urge you… repent! Don’t give our children over to death!
During the Liturgy, I’ll never commemorate the damned leaders of our country… they’re unbelievers with no fear of God, who sit in their seats and wave their hands to command… “Kill!” I beg only one thing, “If you can, O Lord, enlighten them, as darkness covers them, and poison fills them. They have no taste for anything except spilled blood, which they enjoy. Satanists! They’re Servants of Satan! If they won’t stop, they’ll defy God, but that’ll bring down much grief!”
Equally disturbing is the situation in bordering Romania and, even more so, in multinational Bessarabia. In Belgorod-Dnestrovsky Raion, the local Voenkom cancelled the Constitution! It banned any reservist to leave the area unless they have permission. Lawyers noted in the Odessa newspaper Dumskaya that this order is contrary to the article of the Constitution which provides for freedom of movement (this limitation is possible only in case of emergency or martial law). It is also illegal to dismiss those called up as the law guarantees to every conscripted man continued employment and wages during the year. However, the local bosses see no crime in this. Yuri Piskun, the head of the Odessa Oblast Voenkom said, “If they see that people are leaving the area, then, what else should they do?” However, why should this surprise us when the actual mobilisation violates the Constitution?
However, in Bessarabia, not all “ran away”. Some “defended their rights” in upholding constitutional rights. Kulevcha rebelled against mobilisation. Six Voenkom members brought 240 subpoenas, in a rural locality of less than a thousand people. In response to the threat of criminal prosecution, the villagers chanted, “No to war!” and “We want peace!” With great audacity, they confronted the military officers, telling them that martial law wasn’t in force. Then, they expelled the Voenkom from the village. Standing there in the village square, they appealed to the local authorities, calling the mobilisation forced and illegal. They promised that the entire village would resist any attempt to seize their relatives. Similarly, residents of the Bulgarian village of Dmitrovka in Bolgrad Raion expelled the Voenkom, which brought 200 summonses. We don’t know if a Right Sector punitive expedition is going to descend on these Bessarabian villages.
Let’s look at another place where it didn’t happen either, Peregonsk in Kalush Raion in Ivano-Frankovsk Oblast. Supposedly, it was full of Galician National Consciousness, it had “vowed at war with the Raška”. So, on 19 January, right before the start of mobilisation, 26 buses left Peregonsk loaded with workers… bound for Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk Krai. Oleg Goncharuk, the Chairman of the Oblast OGA, stated, “In the region, the critics of the mobilisation are active, the Podkarpatski aren’t sufficiently aware of the need to replenish the Armed Forces”. However, he refused to admit that local activists resist the mobilisation. Rather, he believed, “It’s either an unprofessional Voenkom or its due to bribery of officials”. That is why the Right Sector decided to assume control of the mobilisation. In Galicia, they’ve gone to the forest… in Odessa, as usual, they go “underground”… but, of course, it’s much more tragic than funny.
29 January 2015
Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya