Ukraine is not afraid of Russia, and bloodshed is happening in the East of Ukraine because of Russia's hybrid aggression. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko commented on Russia’s reaction to the possible creation of an autocephalous church in Ukraine. He said this on the air of one of the TV channels on April 23.
In reply to the comment that Russia "is threatening with bloodshed if Ukrainian church separates from the Moscow Patriarchate," Poroshenko said that Ukraine was not afraid of Russia.
"First of all, we are Ukrainians and the state of Ukraine is not afraid of Russia. We have been proving it for four years during an absolutely bloody aggression. Russia sheds blood on Ukrainian soil, and today there are thousands and thousands of Ukrainians killed and wounded as a result of the Russian armed aggression. The world calls it a hybrid war, "the Ukrainian president said.
"Therefore, we do not need to be intimidated, we are a very responsible nation and do not let the situation inside the country be shaken when they want to spill the blood," Poroshenko stressed.
He noted that Ukraine needs to show that there is freedom of conscience and freedom of belief in the country.
"And if someone wants to attend a church whose centre is outside our country in Russia, it's their right. I am absolutely convinced that the decision to get an autocephaly or independence for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will greatly raise Ukrainian national spirit," he said.
As it was reported earlier, the Holy Synod, under the chairmanship of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, at a meeting on April 20 decided to begin the procedures necessary to provide autocephaly to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Earlier, on April 17, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko wrote a letter to the Ecumenical Patriarch asking to provide autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. Representatives of the UOC-Moscow Patriarchate, in turn, said that this is an excess of power and interference in church affairs.