Catholic Herald . co . uk : Priest: Ukrainian Catholics flee Crimea to escape threats of arrest
By Jonathan Luxmoore on Tuesday, 25 March 2014
The news is old. It is from 25 of March. I do not know if the situation is better or worse since then. Or same, also an option./HGL
The ethnic composition of Crimea as outlined in this report are from a national 2001 census. The statistics have changed considerably. The Russian are now 53%, Ukrainians 25%, Crimean Tatars 15% and 'others ethnic groups' 7%.
The Ukrainian government and many sociology and marketing organizations routinely polled the population about their separatist feelings. The highest level was in Crimea at 41%. Given that Russians represent 53% of the population, it's clear that not even all the Russians wanted to separate. The reason is that many young Russians like Ukraine and they too have their eyes on uniting with Europe not Russia.
Don't forge the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-KP (loyal to the Kyvian Patriarchate) is equally being persecuted. This is the branch of Orthodoxy which is NOT anti-Catholic and is working for global Christian unity. On the other side of the spectrum are Russian Orthodox priests who are visiting the UOC-KP parishes with armed militias and ordering the priests to hand over the keys to their churches and parish property. The UOC-KP are being harassed at work and leaving the peninsula for the 'Greater Ukrainian Mainland'.
Worth noting that other Christians, Muslims and Jews are being persecuted and leaving as well. The Chief Rabbi of Sevastopol has to leave because he was an American and Many Muslim Tatars have fled as well.
Response next day:
Two figures in response Michael. Referendum turnout: 81%.
Pro-Russian integration vote: 96.7%
Report of international observers' reactions:
RT : Crimean ‘referendum at gunpoint’ is a myth – intl observers
Published time: March 16, 2014 16:30
Edited time: March 17, 2014 07:53
Further, if people are being asked to leave it is not official and is in contravention of several articles in Russian Constitution chapter 2, therefore they will have legal recourse to protect their rights should they wish to exercise it. Russia tolerates ethnic and religious minorities. Of course, we have problems with far right groups, but officially and among the majority there is no ill feeling towards them. Unhappily many things will happen that are not legal; this is inevitable result of illegal US meddling in Ukrainian affairs in which many innocent people do get caught up. Any student of eastern European history knows the US State Dept were playing with fire with their interventionist policy in Ukraine. The Americans no longer study history seriously, that is why they invoked these forces about which they know nothing. Pray for peace between all please. It would be good for Pope Francis to intervene on Catholic side and Patriarch Kyrill to intervene on Orthodox side.
Reminds me of Black-Feet in Algeria, 1962. Some were told - and it happened rather often, according to those getting back to France - "Suitcase or Coffin?" Others were obviously not told so, since they stayed. The question is what happens more often. Here is btw an answer from the first commenter:
Crimea was invaded by a very large number of soldiers of the Russian military.
Russia then organized a pseudo-referendum to justify it's annexation of Crimea. There was no choice on the ballot to remain part of Ukraine. The choices were to join Russia or separate from Ukraine then join Russia. The "referendum" results mean nothing when there is no choice and when soldiers are pointing guns at your head". For the record, foreign monitors where not allowed to participate clearly because it was not legal.
The Ukrainians have taken a decision to live a normal democratic non corrupt country something the Russians find repulsive. Russians believe they must be servants to Czars or Commissars. Americans and Europeans did not instigate this choice for freedom which the ENTIRE world supported - except for Russia. Ukrainians have fought for their freedom from Russians for centuries and this is yet another chapter in their national liberation movement.
Ukrainians want to live in a country where the people worship God in a free and independent church NOT like Russia where the Russian Orthodox Church is lead by a former KGB agent and acts as a department of the government.
Pope Francis has let the world know that he supports the Ukrainian people. Many Roman Catholic Cardinals and Archbishops have done the same notably the Cardinals of New York, Boston, Vienna, Warsaw, Paris and many other jurisdictions.
All the countries of the world have supported Ukrainian territorial integrity, including all the members of the EU, Canada, Australia, the USA even Iran and China. Nobody believes that Russia has the right to annex a neighbor's territory.
Finally, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch never expressed any support for the Ukrainian peoples and instead he has promoted the idea of 'Ruskij Mir' which roughly translated is an "Expanded Russian Empire" to which obviously Ukraine should belong.
Ruskij Mir might be more literally translated as "Russian Peace" or "Pax Ruthena". Ukraina was the earliest part of Russia. Kiev is the very cradle of Sv'ataja Rus. But since then there has been a religious division between at least parts of Ukraine and Novgorod / Suzdal / Moscow. It has not yet been healed./HGL
- We should take Father Milchakovskyi's statements with a large grain of salt. The Ukrainian Catholic church is hugely politicized. His statement that he and his family are fond Crimean patriots sounds false considering that the Crimea has been Russian for most of its history. On the other hand, are Catholics fairly treated in the West? Do we not suffer discrimination, derision, abuse and active hate propaganda from the media, politicians and so called intellectuals? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
- Same as twice above
- Alaska all the way down to California "use to be Russian lands". The same Russian "radicals" who advocated the "return" of Crimea to "mother Russia" are also advocating the return of the USA West coast to "mother Russia".
- Crimea may have been "Russian" in that it was part of the russian (Poland and Finland were also "Russian" like this, but Crimea has only had an ethnic Russian majority since 1944.
Also, he did not say that they were "Crimean patriots" He said that they were "patriotic Ukrainians who love their Crimean homeland."