Split Orthodoxies: How Russia Portrayed Independence of Ukraine’s Church


Russia still has enormous influence over the information space of neighbouring countries. When Ukraine was seeking the Tomos (a decree on autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate) for its Orthodox Church, Russian propaganda went above and beyond to prevent this from happening. Now that a year has passed since the historic victory for Ukraine’s Church, let’s see how Russian propaganda on this issue has evolved.

On 30 September Internews Ukraine and Ukraine World published the study “Beyond Religion: What media outlets in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine say about the autocephaly of Ukrainian Orthodoxy”. Its findings are based on the cross-border monitoring of Russian propaganda messages in the local media outlets of the above-mentioned countries in their reporting on the establishment of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The period of 1 September-30 November 2018 was studied, as it was the time frame in which the Ecumenical Patriarchate was making its decision on whether to grant the Tomos to Ukraine.

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