Translated by Angelina Siard & Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
6th July, 2016
Special thanks to Svetlana Sheludko
Svetlana Sheludko: “My poor people… they must have been driven to despair in order to feel it necessary to go by feet to Kiev. God keep them safe on their path. I believe they will reach their destination.”
The following article consists of 2 translations – one from 1TV, and another from Newsfront. The former is an explanation of the purpose of the march, and the latter shows the reaction of Ukrainian nationalists to this rally.
Let’s see who in Ukraine really wants peace, and who doesn’t…
Believers, the participants of the religious procession for peace in Ukraine, are carrying the greatest relic – the Svyatogorsk Icon of the Mother of God. And already on Saturday, in the West of the country a reciprocal-movement began. Common prayer – at the end of the month in Kiev.
From the ancient walls of the Holy Dormition Svyatogorsk Lavra, the solemn column has already completed tens of kilometers. There are still hundreds ahead for the first all-Ukrainian religious procession for the unification of the country. About 1000 Orthodox believers already responded to the appeal of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy.
“The whole plan is very symbolic – in order to unite not only all three shrines, monasteries, but to bring people together from different parts of the country to take part in common prayer, thereby to unite the West and East of the country,” said the head of the administrative apparatus of the Kiev metropolitanate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate Archimandrite Victor (Kotsaba).
The large-scale solemn procession began on Sunday in the East. The path from the Holy mount of the Donetsk region via Kharkov, Poltava to Kiev is 750 kilometers. The believers from Western Ukraine will accomplish about 400 kilometers more – because they will come from Pochayev Lavra in the Ternopil region this Saturday to meet with believers from the East in the end of July .
“We are praying for peace and accord in Ukraine between the West and the East; if there was no hope, we would not participate,” said one of the believers.
How long to walk together in this way, everyone decides themselves. To Kiev its a long way, but the pilgrims are determined. Seven-year-old Gleb hails from Donetsk, in the column he is alongside his mother, brother, and very young sister. “Until we reach somewhere,” said the child.
To forget our discord and reunite in common prayer – the organizers of the religious procession call for peace in every village and town on the path. At the head of the procession the priests of the Moscow Patriarchate carry the greatest relic of Donbass – the Svyatogorsk Icon of the Mother of God. Everywhere the miraculous icon is met by believers who are ready to join them and participate in this long three-week journey.
“For the believer to walk with a prayer is not a burden but a joy,” said a participant of the procession.
There are overnight stops and short breaks to recharge. In order to meet the deadline, the pilgrims must walk about 35 kilometers per day. The procession is escorted by police and medics.
“People feel good, there is little demand for treatment. We were ready for more work. So hot, such a long way, but people walk,” said the Deputy chief doctor of fast-response Slavic ambulance Eleanor Sterlyatkina.
The participants of the rally begin their path nearly before sunrise and finish close to night, in time for July 27th. On the eve of the day of the baptism of Rus and the memory of St. Prince Vladimir, two columns of the procession will walk on the streets of Kiev to the heart of the Ukrainian Orthodoxy. It is expected that tens of thousands of believers will take part in a prayer at the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra.
Ukrainian political analyst Yuri Romanenko suggested to inform all TV channels of Ukraine that crucifixion on a cross awaits the participants of the peace procession from Donbass, which started yesterday, July 5th.
According to Romanenko, this procession was organized by “the Kremlin with the support of the Moscow priests”.
In particular, Romanenko wrote on his page the following:
“Moscow priests are trying to organize a procession from LDPR (Lugansk-Donetsk People’s Republic – O.R) to Kiev. It is more correct to say not the Moscow priests, but the Kremlin with the support of the Moscow priests. How should we act? Firstly, on all Ukraiian channels need to say that all participants behind the front line of the religious processon will be put on the cross. Secondly, beforehand, arrange the crosses on the roadsides. The effect will sweep people off their feet”.
It should be noted that Romanenko’s ideas were liked by commentators on his post:
|It’s impossible to crucify Priest. His attire isn’t suitable. It’s easier to put impale him. And in this way it is even possible to put many at the same time.|
It is better to put this on the roadside.
On the 5th July, by the initiative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchy, an all over Ukraine religious procession of peace began. More than 300 orthodox believers from eastern Ukraine left for Kiev. And on 9th July, the column from western Ukraine will go to meet them. There the column will start from Svyato-Uspenskaya Pochaevskaya Lavra. They will join them on 27th July, afterwards they will do a common ceremony of mass in Kiev-Pecherskaya Lavra, which will be devoted to the celebration of baptism of Kievan Rus.
The main idea, according to the organiser of this action, is the implementation of peace of Ukraine.