16 January 2017
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The Ukrainian Crisis


24/05/2014
Ukrainian elections, settling scores with history, listening to Solzhenitsyn
The favorite for the presidency is the tycoon and former oligarch Petro Poroshenko, who has worked with Timoshenko and later Janoukovich . The urgent need to begin a dialogue with Russia and propose some form of autonomy for the Ukrainian regions . The prophecy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on resurgent nationalism . Putin must negotiate with the outgoing president , after bravado over the Crimea .

15/05/2014
Scandal erupts between Moscow and Kiev: Metropolitan Hilarion "persona non grata" in Ukraine
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Moscow Patriarchate was refused entry at the border. Protest of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs : "A provocative and unprecedented act". The Metropolitan of Odessa leaves town.

12/05/2014
East Ukraine chooses independence and waits for Moscow’s acknowledgment
The preliminary results of the "referendum" show 89% vote "yes" and a turnout of over 75 %. The Kremlin must now express its position. Voting also took place in a polling station in Moscow, an implicit signal of Russian support despite Putin 's appeal for a postponement .

08/05/2014
Concerned about weapons supplies, Putin halts referendum, supports Ukraine
The Russian president also announced that he is pulling troops from the borders, a claim not confirmed by an independent verification. Moscow's dependence on Ukrainian-made weapons appears to be behind Putin's change of heart. Russia is in fact Ukraine's fourth largest weapons export market. About 80 per cent of Russian nuclear warheads need parts made in the Ukraine.

06/05/2014
Odessa is not the Crimea: this war is about Europe
Clashes continue between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian forces in the east of the country. Moscow declares a "humanitarian catastrophe" and the risks to peace in Europe; Kiev blames "terrorists" for trying to overthrow the government. No one understands that the Ukrainian people are trying to affirm themselves, while the international community fumbles from a distance.

03/05/2014
Ukraine, OECD observers released: all in good health
The group - made up of 7 foreigners and 5 Ukrainians – had been held by pro-Russian separatist militias in the eastern part of the country for a week. The release took place "without conditions": the observers are in good condition. Moscow blames Kiev for Odessa violence, which resulted in approximately 40 deaths, and announces: "We no longer have any influence over the separatists".

26/04/2014
Ukrainian crisis: G7 announces new sanctions against Russia
The countries of the group express "deep concern at the continued attempts by pro-Russian separatists to destabilize Eastern Ukraine". The measures take effect on April 28. Meanwhile, 13 OSCE international observers are still in the hands of pro-Russian militias, accused of being spies .

23/04/2014
Fear of freedom is killing the future of Russia
Serghei Chapnin , director of the "Moscow Patriarchate Journal" speaks to AsiaNews about the challenges of contemporary Russian society and the contribution that Christianity can give to a real "moral change" in the country .

15/04/2014
Obama calls Putin over Ukraine; Orthodox Church warns against separatism
Tension rises in the south-east of the former Soviet republic, while Moscow rejects accusations of interference. Metropolitan Atony of Boryspil and Brovary : we asked our priests to be patriots and not allow separatism to spread.

12/04/2014
Russian schools to teach new course on Crimean "reunification"
The topic is not yet in history books, but schools are already teaching kids about how the region was "donated" to the Ukraine in 1954, when the two countries were still part of the Soviet Union. A teacher complains about student "brainwashing".

08/04/2014
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church urges Putin to prevent war and the country's division
Metropolitan Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate talks about a message personally written by the Church's pro temp head Onufry to the Russian president. As Kyiv launches an anti-terrorist operation against pro-Russian groups in the east, Russia warns against "civil war."

04/04/2014
For Metropolitan Hilarion, Ukraine crisis ended preparations for meeting between pope and patriarch
According to the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, the two sides were working on preparations last fall, but the actions of the Greek-Catholic Church during Maidan Square protests Maidan "have thrown us much back".

26/03/2014
Moscow Patriarchate slams Ukrainian Catholic 'Uniates' for "meddling" in politics and taking a pro-West stance
Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Department for External Church Relations, slams Catholic Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kyiv for his positions. He also says he asked the Holy See for explanations. Diplomacy is faltering over the religious divisions.

21/03/2014
Crimea annexation frightens Patriarch of Moscow
Kirill not present for Putin's great speech to the Duma. While Russia follows in the footsteps of the empire of Ivan the Terrible, the Orthodox Churches of Ukraine are pushed towards autonomy by Moscow. The Moscow Patriarchate risks being a minority in the next pan-Orthodox Council.



Editor's choices

CHINA – VATICAN
Old guard and illegitimate bishops dominate the new Catholic Assembly

Elizabeth Li

Ma Yinglin and Fang Xingyao are re-elected presidents of the Bishops Council and the Patriotic Association, respectively. The principles of independence, autonomy, self-management and sinicisation are extolled. There is no "positive signal" as hoped by the Vatican.


CHINA - VATICAN
Assembly of Chinese Catholic Representatives extolls "independence and autonomy"

Bernardo Cervellera

59 bishops present at assembly, as well as the state administration for religious affairs director and members of the United Front. Future changes in the leadership of the Council of Bishops and the Patriotic Association. Extolling of autonomy (from the Holy See), a non-positive sign. The Global Times reiterates preconditions for dialogue. A state church. The criticism of Card. Joseph Zen and Hong Kong’s Justice and Peace. One Catholic: This assembly is a slap in the face to the Vatican.


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