Foreword by the Saker:
Today it is my very real pleasure to present to you an outstanding analysis of the role of the Latin Church in modern Ukraine. In the past, I have written about the role of the Vatican in the creation of the Ukraine and the development of Ukrainian nationalism (see here and here), but what Andrew Korybko does here is look at the modern role of the Papacy in the Ukraine. I now want to address an issue which, I believes, must be clarified:
I have been accused by some readers of being “anti-Catholic” or of refusing to “let let bygones be bygones”. This is incorrect and I want to clarify my position about that once and for all.
First, I have absolutely nothing against Latin Christians as people, nor do I hold them in any way individually or even collectively responsible for what others have done in the past. However, I claim the right to speak about that past, not to accuse anybody today, but to be a witness to the martyr of millions of innocent people whose memory I refuse to allow to be erased from our collective awareness.
Second, I do believe that “Roman Catholicism” (I reject both components of this term as fallacious and use “Latin Christianity” instead) is inherently aggressive, especially against the Orthodox Church. Simply put, whether it be by terror and torture, or by a “Ecumenical dialog of love” or by “dedicating Russia to the Virgin of Fatima” or my circulating rumors about “Putin asking for Papal blessings” – the Latins *always* wanted to convert the Orthodox and submit them to the Pope. 1000 years of history attest to that undeniable fact.
Third, I believe that “reconciliation” is most definitely possible between Latin Christians and Orthodox, but only to the degree that the former truly and sincerely give-up their attempts to either silence us about the past, or convert us in the present. That, of course, means that they would have to give up the very core of their religion (the belief that the Pope must rule over the entire Christian world), but if they can do that – then reconciliation if most definitely possible. If not – their choice.
In conclusion, I want to say that this topic (the 1000 year long war between the Latins and the Orthodox Church) is one to which I plan to return to in the near future with contributions from other authors, this time in the context of Serbia and WWII. There is no way to understand modern Russia (or modern Serbia, for that matter) without this historical and spiritual context. It is precisely because nobody else seems to think that this topic deserve any attention that I feel that I ought to be the one raising it on a regular basis.
This article was originally posted at the Oriental Review and I am re-posting it here by kind permission for the editor.
Pope Francis Is The World’s Most Influential Agent Of Ukrainian Nationalism
by Andrew Korybko
The Catholic pontiff does more than just spread the Vatican’s word across the world, as he also spreads the ‘gospel’ of Ukrainian nationalism and victimhood, too. Francis made headlines when he said the mass killing of ethnic Armenians in the last days of the Ottoman Empire was “the first genocide of the 20th century”. Largely lost amidst the ruckus is his follow-up statement that “the remaining two (genocides) were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism”, which was a strong allusion to Ukrainian nationalists’ decades-long campaign to have the Golodomor recognized as genocide, to which the Vatican, and especially Francis himself, are ardent proponents. President Putin remarked in his annual Q&A session that “Attempts to put [Nazism and Stalinism] in the same basket are absolutely baseless…As ugly as the Stalin regime was, with all its repressions and ethnic deportations, it never attempted to eradicate [an ethnic group] completely”, and although his words were likely in response to recent Ukrainian legislation that ludicrously equates the two, his comments are just as relevant to the Pope as they are to Poroshenko.
Part I of the article begins with an overview of the Vatican’s historic geopolitical antagonisms against Orthodox Russia, including the role that Catholicism and its Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth proxy played in the external construction of the Ukrainian state. It then explores how and why Ukraine is still a battlefield in this epic saga, as well as detailing the US’ geopolitical designs for the country in its quest to transform it into a forward-operating base against Russia. Part II dispels the “genocide” myth surrounding the Golodomor and shows how a handful of radical states have seized control of the conversation to further their Russophobic aims. The series then climaxes with an in-depth examination into Pope Francis’ claim that the Golodomor is “genocide” and his statements of inferred support for the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists, both of which serve historically revisionist anti-Russian ends and make Pope Francis poised to become one of the New Cold War’s most notorious actors.
The First Rome vs The Third Rome
Making The Move From Rome To Moscow:
Throughout the ages, the center of Christianity has shifted from West to East as result of certain geopolitical tectonic movements. Beginning with the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, the Byzantine Empire (or Eastern Roman Empire) centered on Constantinople took up the torch of worldwide Christian leadership, hence its designation as the “Second Rome”. Throughout the subsequent centuries, the differences between Western (Roman) and Eastern (Byzantine) Christianity widened to the point of a spiritual chasm, and when Rome unsuccessfully tried enforcing its views on Constantinople, the Schism of 1054 occurred. Since then, the Vatican has been consistently antagonist against the Orthodox Church, and it’s highly recommended that the reader reference Fort Russ’ epic examination on the topic, “The West against Russia: The Vatican against the Orthodox Church”, to gain a deeper understanding of the events that henceforth transpired.
To sum up events over next millennium (as difficult as it is to do so in brief), after Constantinople fell to the Turks in 1453, the center of Christianity once more shifted, albeit this time to Muscovy. Ever since the Baptism of Vladimir the Great in Crimea and the Christianization of Kievan Rus in 988, this civilizational sphere had vehemently ascribed to Orthodox Christianity, owing to its cultural and political affiliations with the Byzantine Empire. Following the fall of Constantinople, Moscow carried on the Christian torch and became the “Third Rome”, which created a major inferiority and sectarian complex back in the Catholic “First Rome”.
The Polish Proxy:
From thenceforth, the Vatican redirected its aggressive geopolitical calculus from the Sea of Marmara to the State of Muscovy, even going as far as supporting its Catholic client state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in its militant proselytization eastward. Other than having previously occupied and forcibly converted the historically Orthodox territory of the former Kievan Rus, Warsaw took its campaign all the way to Moscow during the Time of Troubles, even briefly occupying the Russian capital from 1610-1612 and imprisoning the Orthodox Patriarch, who they would later starve to death as a martyr. It wasn’t long after the Polish occupation began that the Russian people banded together (as they so often have during their most troubling historic periods) and began the campaign to purge the Poles from their land, in a moment of glory that is nowadays commemorated as National Unity Day every 4 November.
The Catholic Construction Of Modern-Day Ukraine:
The liberation of Muscovy from the Poles began the nearly two-centuries-long struggle that would see the Russians pushing the invading menace all the way back to its home territory (an historical prelude to what would later happen to Napoleon and Hitler, although in much shorter timeframes), all the while working to restore the civilizational heritage of Kievan Rus that the Polish occupiers had spent centuries trying to dismantle. Part of the Polish plan had been to spiritually partition the western reaches of this land from its central core, which led to the imposition of Catholicism over the Orthodox people that had originally inhabited modern-day Belarus and especially Ukraine.
One of the most novel forms that this took was the creation and promotion of the Uniate Church (also known as “Greek Catholicism”), an artificial religious construct created by Rome which fused many Orthodox practices with loyalty to the Catholic Pope. The effect of this religious manipulation served to de-facto spread Catholicism amongst the remaining Orthodox ‘holdouts’ in the region, thus fostering the myth of “identity separateness” among the population which could be strategically activated to increase resistance to Russia and aid in slowing down Moscow’s prolonged counter-offensive in liberating Kievan Rus from the Poles. In the coming centuries, the spiritual separateness of parts of modern-day Ukraine would be used as the foundation for the external construction of the “Ukrainian nation” by the German General Staff in 1918. Lenin’s recognition of a so-called Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1922 provided ex post facto legitimacy to this Vatican-Polish-German creation.
The greatest legacy of Lenin’s mistake was that he grouped together the Catholic-adhering /pro-Polish/”Ukrainian”-identifying western areas with the reawakened Russian- and Orthodox-affiliated east, which consequently created an unstable entity whose externally influenced western reaches could be used to destabilize the entire thing. Had he kept both parts separate and perhaps designated only the western portion of modern-day Ukraine as “Ukraine” owing to its foreign peculiarities, then the situation could have been dramatically different. Nonetheless, ever since the geopolitical designation of Ukraine (roughly translated as “borderland”) was unilaterally birthed by Lenin’s decree (only to grow under Stalin and Khrushchev), the entire territory has become a focal point of Western aggression waged by its associated political and spiritual powers.
Political and Spiritual Aggression:
A perfect example of political weaponization over the territory of Ukraine was the Polish-Soviet War, whereby Moscow attempted to finally liberate the last vestiges of Kievan Rus from foreign occupation (having switched from Polish to Austrian then back to Polish control). Warsaw refused to peacefully withdraw from the territory due to its understanding that centuries of Polonization and Catholic proselytization (political and spiritual factors) intrinsically made it a separate entity than it historically used to be, and the Poles were able to successfully extend their control over the region until 1939. Prior to that, Polish leader Josef Pilsudski preached the policy of Promtheism, whereby the Polish state encouraged ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union (especially Ukraine) to rise up against the central authority as a ‘celebration of their separateness’ and secede into a constellation of what would then become pro-Polish satellite states. It ultimately failed to achieve its ambitious goals, but the legacy of separating Ukraine from Russia continues into the present day via Zbigniew “without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an ‘empire’” Bzezinski and his Grand Chessboard strategies.
Enter the Vatican, which has made a concerted effort to pluck converts out of the confused Ukrainian territory since the end of the Soviet era and extend its reach ever eastward into originally Orthodox lands. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk visited the Vatican last year with a scheme for souls that amounted to an alliance proposal, but due to the fragility of the Kievan regime and the associated dim prospects for the partnership’s success, Francis turned it down. It’s not to say that he wouldn’t have accepted it had it been proposed on more solid political grounds, since the Vatican’s goal has always been to proselytize Catholicism eastward at the expense of the Orthodox Church. Not only that, but the Vatican has been opposed to Moscow in geopolitical manifestations as well, as can be seen by Pope John Paul II’s Cold War “Holy Alliance” (in the words of Time Magazine) with Ronald Reagan against the USSR. There is thus clearly an established precedent set in modern times for using the spiritual authority of the Catholic Church as a front to advance geopolitical objectives, meaning that, as it will later be argued, it’s not unreasonable to link Pope Francis’ support for the Holy Grail of Ukrainian nationalists, the Golodomor as “genocide”, to larger geopolitical plans directed from Washington.
Let’s look at what these aforementioned plans entail:
1. Decouple Ukraine From Russia
The first step is to prevent the reintegration of Ukraine into the Russian fold, be it economically through the Eurasian Union (as then-Secretary of State Hillary threatened one year before EuroMaidan) or militarily through the CSTO, by highlighting artificially imposed Ukrainian ‘separateness’ (Polish-enforced Catholicism and Vatican-constructed “Uniates”) and selectively emphasized victimhood (Golodomor as “genocide”). The Western idea is that if Ukraine, a fraternal and religiously related entity, can be made to hate Russia and turn against it, then so too can less intimately affiliated ones like Kyrgyzstan, or, as Brzezinski’s Eurasian Balkans asymmetrical attack plan suggests, even Tatarstan and Chechnya one day (again).
2. Eliminate Russia’s Strategic Depth
The second stage expands upon the ‘success’ of the first one in turning large segments of the population against Russia, but this time it includes a tangible military dimension. The concept here is to make Ukraine either a de-jure or de-facto (shadow) member of NATO, which in effect would eliminate the valuable strategic depth that Russia has through the country’s neutrality. It needs to be mentioned at this point that the Color Revolutionary authorities in Kiev already revised the country’s constitution in order to eliminate its previous references to neutrality, thus meaning that NATO membership (be it de-jure or de-facto) can continue moving forward at full speed. The more strategic depth that NATO is able to successfully chip away from Russia, the more likely it is to tip the military balance away from parity and towards a first strike scenario, which would then place Russia in a position of nuclear blackmail.
3. The Reverse Brzezinski
The final phase of the US’ weaponization of the Ukrainian state is to have Kiev stage provocative actions that would elicit a Russian military response, preferably rash, hurried, and not thought out to the end. The Reverse Brzezinski, as the author calls it, sees the Polish-American strategist reverting back to his Afghan War roots in goading Moscow into a quagmire, but thankfully, President Putin appears to have caught on to the ruse and reaffirmed during his Q&A session that he war between the two states is “impossible”. No matter the President’s intention, however, the US will certainly continue trying to create the tempting pretext for a Russian military intervention, hoping perhaps that yet another slaughter of Russian-affiliated Eastern Ukrainians might be the tripwire for tricking Moscow into conventionally responding one of these days.
The ‘Good’ That Comes From A Golodomor “Genocide”
The ‘glue’ that holds the US’ plans together is the ability to rally Ukrainians against Russia, and this is where the Golodomor “genocide” myth is absolutely pivotal. It provides the underpinning of popular support and ‘legitimacy’ for rabid Ukrainian nationalism (the modern-day ideology of the state) and its anti-Russian authorities, as well as altering Ukraine’s natural trajectory away from Russia and diverting it towards the West. If the myth can be deconstructed, then the entire Western plan is endangered, but so long as it’s believed, propagated, and even ‘legitimized’ via the ‘authority’ of the Pope, then it presents the single-greatest obstacle to Ukrainian-Russian reconciliation and serves as the fuel for forwarding the US’ grand strategy against Russia vis-à-vis Ukraine. This is the ultimate strategic benefit that the politicization of the 1930s famine and its nationalist focus on solely one victim demographic attains, hence why it’s so heavily promoted in the Western world.
Russia has never refuted the fact that the Golodomor tragically occurred, but it has refused to label the events as genocide because many other groups besides Ukrainians were also adversely affected. Kirill Frolov, head of the Ukraine Department at the Institute of CIS Countries, explains:
“Russia shares the opinion that it was a terrible tragedy… It is well-known that the hunger of the 1930s was the reason for the deaths of millions of Ukrainians but also millions of villagers living along the Volga River, in the Ural Mountains, West Siberia, Kazakhstan, the North Caucasus and other regions. Every nation should remember its victims but it is high time to forget Yushchenko’s ideology (of designating the Golodomor as “genocide”). We also mean the attempt to interpret the hunger in Ukraine in the 1930s as the genocide of the Ukrainian people alone.
Recall that in the 1920s the Bolsheviks carried out the genocide of Russians and the elimination of the Russian Orthodox Church and actively supported the idea of the so-called Ukrainisation. It was an attempt to separate Ukrainians from Russians and make a thousand years of our common history null and void. As for the hunger, it was a consequence of Stalin’s industrialization policy. It was a conflict between the city and the countryside which involved the entire territory of the Soviet Union, including Russians and Ukrainians. It was not genocide but sociocide associated with the industrialisation policy.”
RT summarized the official explanation by relating that:
“Russia argues that the famine was caused by a combination of bad management, unfavourable weather and disastrous collectivization policies, which lead to the tragic events and cost numerous lives of many ethnic groups over several territories and not just Ukraine alone.”
Additionally, it has come out that some of the numbers being cited by the Ukrainian government to account for its associated victims have been faked:
“As quoted by the Russian Izvestia newspaper, Vladimir Kornilov of the Kiev branch of the Institute of CIS Countries has discovered why the official number of alleged Holodomor victims has significantly increased since the launch of Yushchenko’s campaign. According to Kornilov, the so-called “Book of Memory”, published in Ukraine’s regions, is full of falsifications. Instead of real victims of famine, one can find in the book alcoholics, different crash victims, and even those who weren’t alive in 1932-1933.”
Furthermore, some of the photographic ‘evidence’ that has been passed around as supposedly confirming the “genocide” is also falsified:
““Here’s a photo by Dorothy Lang, shot in 1936 in Oklahoma. And here’s a photo by Fritof Nansen made in Russia’s Povolzhe region in 1921. But both of those pictures and other falsified photos were displayed at Sevastopol’s exhibition on the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933,” (Sevastopol city council deputy) Merkulov says, demonstrating aged photographs…“We go to the Ukrainian president’s official website. Click on the photo gallery. Click on public events. And we see this picture – Yushchenko looking at pictures of the Ukrainian famine of the 1930’s. But the picture he’s looking at is this one, also shot by Nansen in Russia’s Povolzhie region. It is written here: Famine in Russia.”
“We have declassified all documents on the famine in Ukraine and there are only two genuine pictures from that time. The rest are very much distantly related and are not necessarily shot in Ukraine,” Olga Ginzburg the head of Ukraine’s State Archive told RT.”
Rejecting The Lie:
The claims of “genocide” are so dubious that the Council of Europe, generally pro-Western (despite Russia’s membership), refused to use such a label, opting instead to drop the false description from their draft resolution on the topic. Instead, their 2010 commemorative report, while mentioning that Kiev does call the tragedy “genocide”, recognizes all of the victims of the Golodomor, not just Ukrainians, specifying that:
“In Kazakhstan, too, millions fell victim to the mass famine, and the ratio of the dead to the whole population is believed to be the highest among all peoples of the former Soviet Union. Traditionally nomads, the cattle-raising Kazakhs were forced to settle down and were deprived of livestock. The Great Famine is remembered as the greatest tragedy of the Kazakh people.
In the grain-producing areas of Russia (the Middle and Lower Volga, the North Caucasus, the Central Black Soil region, the Southern Urals, Western Siberia and some other regions), the famine caused by “collectivisation” and dispossession of individual farmers took millions of lives in rural and urban areas. In absolute figures, it is estimated that the population of Russia had the heaviest death toll as a result of the Soviet agricultural policies.
Hundreds of thousands of farmers also died in Belarus and the Republic of Moldova.
While these events may have had particularities in various regions, the results were the same everywhere: millions of human lives were mercilessly sacrificed to the fulfilment of the policies and plans of the Stalinist regime.”
What’s more, even the pro-Western ‘human rights’ group, Memorial, notorious for lambasting Russia’s Soviet-era heritage and labeled a “foreign agent” in accordance with Russian law, surprisingly presented a strong argument against calling the Golodomor a “genocide” back in 2010. Voice of Russia quotes Interfax as reporting that:
“Ukraine was right to make a legal assessment of the Soviet leadership’s crimes, but the famine of the 1930s was not genocide against Ukrainians, Arseny Roginsky, head of Russia’s Memorial human rights and history society, has told Interfax. On Wednesday, the Kiev Court of Appeals declared Soviet and Ukrainian Bolshevik leaders guilty of organizing the Holodomor, or famine, in Ukraine in 1932-1933, which it qualified as genocide. The court ruled the criminal case to be dropped because the defendants, among them Joseph Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov and the then Ukrainian leadership, were already dead.
“Still, I don’t understand what documents were used to prove that the famine in Ukraine was genocide,” Memorial’s leader said. In his firm belief, the “famine of the 1930s is a common tragedy that befell Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan and therefore, instead of driving them apart, it should bring them closer together.” Memorial, a major nongovernmental human rights organization in the post-Soviet space, conducts research into the history of Stalinist repressions and the rehabilitation of victims of political terror in the former USSR.”
Who Goes Gaga For “Genocide”?:
If the Council of Europe and pro-Western foreign agents inside Russia itself refuse to bite the bait of politicization over the Golodomor, who then subscribes to and perpetrates this myth? First and foremost, it’s the Ukrainian government, which actually made denial of the Golodomor as “genocide” a crime per a piece of legislation passed in 2006 under the Orange Revolutionary government. While the law carried with it no “criminal responsibility”, it symbolically elevated the hoax to the level of national myth and part of the official Ukrainian identity, thereby facilitating the implementation of the US’ aforementioned geopolitical designs against Russia.
Prominent neo-conservative icon and famous anti-Russian author Anne Applebaum is another “genocide” activist and plans to pen a book about the “very, very well managed cover-up” behind the Golodomor, alleging that there has been a vast conspiracy to hide the truth about what happened. In actuality, the real cover-up is that certain parties are hiding the fact that other nationalities besides Ukrainians were also victims of the 1930s famine and that it was not “genocide”, but describing Applebaum’s personal life might shed some valuable light into why she would so actively want to politicize this tragedy. Her husband just so happens to be Radoslaw Sikorski, the rapidly pro-Western former Foreign Minister of Poland and current speaker of the Polish Parliament, who was also the co-author of the EU’s 2009 Eastern Partnership initiative that ultimately forced Ukraine into the doldrums that it’s currently in. It should go without saying that just as Victoria Nuland and her neo-conservative husband Robert Kagan coordinate their anti-Russian activity as a couple, so too do Anne Applebaum and Radoslaw Sikorski act as a singular unit in attacking Russia in every means available to them.
Adding a geopolitical aspect to the discussion is that Poland and the Baltic States, the most anti-Russian entities in the world today aside from the current Ukrainian authorities, are among the handful of countries which label the Golodomor as “genocide”. These states’ political establishments have a vested interest in promoting Russophobia in any and all of its iterations, including historical revisionism, and they’ve been some of the most enthusiastic supporters of Ukraine’s ultra-nationalist government since it seized power in the coup last year. Additionally, these are also the states which have become most heavily fortified by NATO since the Ukrainian Crisis began, which underlines their anti-Russian strategic dispositions.
The True ‘Francis Effect’
Smoke And Mirrors:
The world’s most influential supporter of the Ukrainian nationalist myth that the Golodomor was “genocide” and the individual most capable of cementing this concept into the global imagination is none other than Pope Francis. Unlike Poland and the Baltic States, which have minimal if no influence whatsoever worldwide in propagating this tale, Francis has a global congregation of over 1 billion people who eagerly listen to his words and understand them as being representative of the will of God Himself. Not only is he the world’s most prominent religious leader, he’s also something of a global celebrity too, attracting the attention of millions of non-Christians all across the world who are interested in what he has to say. The media-driven ‘Francis Effect’, however, has elevated the Pope to such an esteemed level of popular culture and furthered his cult of personality to such extreme extents that it’s become impossible for anyone to criticize or accuse him of any wrongdoing without coming off as ill-spirited and self-serving. Essentially, he’s become an unassailable actor that can operate with impunity and away from any mainstream media scrutiny over the intentions.
The Real Deal:
Through his association with the Catholic Church, he’s assumed to be ‘infallible’ and a ‘man of God’ (much as the Dalai Lama is seen to be in relation to Buddhism), with the underlying idea that such an individual would never be guided by political motivations. This idea is absolutely misguided, since it’s been proven that both Pope John Paul II and the current Dalai Lama have both been ultra-politicized throughout their ‘religious’ careers, being weaponized by the US for use against the Soviet Union and China’s interests, respectively. The same is shaping up to be true about Francis, who is now beating the drums of Ukrainian “genocide” to advance the agenda of the US, Ukrainian nationalists, and his own organization’s proselytization interests.
Prior to becoming the leader of the Catholic Church, Francis spoke about his views on the Golodomor in his 2010 book, “On Heaven and Earth”, in which he wrote that “People who suffered massacres and persecution – as they did during the three biggest genocides of the last century, the Armenians, Jews and Ukrainians – struggled for their freedom.” From this bombshell of a quote, the future Pope is telling the world that the deaths of Ukrainians during the Golodomor is on par with the events that befell the Armenians and Jews during their associated tragedies. When compared with his recent news-making quote about how “the remaining two (genocides) were perpetrated by Nazism and Stalinism”, it’s clear that he’s equating Nazism with the genocide of Jews and Stalinism with the genocide of Ukrainians.
Addressing another very important point, Francis also falsely stated that the Ukrainians suffered from their supposed “genocide” because they “struggled for their freedom”. To put everything into perspective, the alleged “genocide” didn’t occur until the early 1930s, and the only Ukrainian ‘freedom’ organization (as the West sadly views it) active at the time was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. To bring unaware readers up to speed, this group was the forerunner to the actual genocidal Ukrainian Insurgent Army (responsible for the targeted slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Poles) and the ideological cradle of notorious Nazi Stepan Bandera. What Francis is plainly doing here is defending the seed of Ukrainian Fascism and perverting history to paint the proto-Nazi group as the ‘good guys’, after which he imagines that the Soviet government’s only response to their ‘struggle for freedom’ was to commit “genocide” against all of their ethnic kin.
At this point it’s relevant to reference Putin’s response that was noted at the beginning of Part I, in which the Russian President declared during his annual Q&A that “Attempts to put [Nazism and Stalinism] in the same basket are absolutely baseless…As ugly as the Stalin regime was, with all its repressions and ethnic deportations, it never attempted to eradicate [an ethnic group] completely.” This puts him at absolute odds with Francis, who had earlier used his global pulpit to preach the exact opposite. While it may seem strange to some that Argentinian Francis would try to involve himself in former Soviet affairs and potentially butt heads with Putin, the reasoning is that the pontiff is actually fulfilling a very important role in the context of the New Cold War.
New Cold War Context:
Historical revisionism is one of the postmodern battlefields of the New Cold War, and Francis is set to make himself one of its most ‘celebrated’ pro-Western fighters as he moves closer to openly promoting his Golodomor “genocide” campaign. Although not emphasizing it at the moment (and with the media currently obsessed with his Armenian commentary and Erodgan’s reaction), it’s expected that he’ll certainly become more active on this front in the future, which will further the three following anti-Russian objectives that are pivotal components of the West’s strategy in the New Cold War:
Misleadingly Tarnish Russia’s Reputation
The Soviet Union and its darker historical events are falsely associated with the Russian Federation in many uneducated circles across the world (especially in the West), and one of the lies pervasive of this inaccuracy is that the communist state was essentially a ‘Russian’ state. By drawing greater attention to the Golodomor as “genocide”, Francis is passively allowing this inaccurate association to take runaway root in people’s minds, with all of the negative implications thereof in the context of current tensions. This could predictably include a spike in anti-Russian sentiment throughout the West, as well as the vile assumption prodded on by Ukrainian nationalists that the tragic events were a ‘Russian-managed genocide’ against Ukrainians.
Legitimize And Secure Ukrainian Nationalism
The ‘authority’ and ‘legitimacy’ that Francis’ words hold in the minds of millions makes him the world’s most dangerous proselytizer of Ukrainian nationalism, in that he secures the foundations of this ideology and makes it ‘acceptable’ to the global public. The myth of “genocide” and the absolutely false statement that this alleged crime occurred because of Ukrainians’ “struggle for their freedom” (led at that time by the proto-Nazi Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) does more to support modern-day Fascism in Ukraine than Nuland’s celebrated $5 billion ever could hope to do.
Propagating the concept of Ukrainians being the most victimized and oppressed demographic in the former Soviet Union and forgetting about the other 150+ nationalities is geopolitically dangerous as well, since it promotes “Ukrainian Exceptionalism” and ‘justifies’ its nationalist consequences in the modern day. The Pope’s blessing of and sympathy for Ukrainian nationalism stabilizes the core of the US’ geopolitical imperative in Eastern Europe by laying the framework for Washington’s socio-political engineering operations that aim to turn all of Ukraine against Russia.
Create A Clash Of Christian Civilizations
One of the most often overlooked details of Samuel Huntington’s ‘Clash of Civilizations’ theory is the division of the traditionally Christian World into East and West. While there certainly are cultural and historical differences between Huntington’s defined realms of both religious denominations, sectarian understandings are in no way the primary driver of any sort of their contemporary geopolitical competition. Rather, religion is being weaponized by the West as an asset in promoting pre-established geopolitical ends, such as the destruction of Russia’s soft power potential as the spiritual center of the Orthodox faith.
The Catholic Church’s recognition of the Golodomor as “genocide” and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and its spawn as ‘freedom fighters’ is meant to attract more Ukrainian converts to the Vatican, hoping that their nationalist fervor overrides their Orthodox obligations (which does not recognize the previous in the same manner). This Western-based ‘spiritual’ seduction is meant to complement the already existing Western political and social sentiments that have invaded the country and institutionalize Ukraine’s division between East and West. Francis’ end goal is to aggressively expand Huntington’s previously defined boundaries of Western Civilization, conform to his theories of a possible clash between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds, and firmly divide the Christian faith into geopolitical spheres vis-à-vis their political leaders’ relationship to the West.
Francis’ sectarian plans in the Christian world mirror those of Saudi Arabia in the Islamic one, in that the Catholic/Sunni strands of belief are seen as being on the ‘right’ side of the geopolitical spectrum while the Orthodox/Shia ones are seen as being on the ‘wrong’ one. It’s important to underline that geopolitical identification has nothing whatsoever to do with religion, and although certain denominations happen to be a prevailing demographic characteristic in certain Resistant & Defiant (R&D) states, it is by no means a cause of their strategic dispositions or in any way exclusive to any sort of political belief. Atheist China, for example, is just as opposed to the US’ unipolar hegemony as predominantly Orthodox Russia and majority Shiite Iran, just as Orthodox Romania and Shiite Azerbaijan are currently aligned with the US (with Bucharest being deep in Washington’s pocket and Azerbaijan on the potential verge of pivoting). Dividing religious spheres along sectarian beliefs and falsely attaching a political connotation to one’s faith only serves the geopolitical dividends of those who are drawing the lines, in this case, the Vatican, Saudi Arabia, and their allied American strategists.
Catholicism has historically been used by the Vatican to subvert predominantly Orthodox areas, especially as a means of geopolitically countering Russia. While the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is long gone (despite efforts by Warsaw to contemporaneously revive it), the strategic goal of Catholic proselytization in the East still remains, with the battlefield continuing to center on Ukraine. The Papacy’s centuries-long goal of poaching Ukrainian converts has undergone a tactical modification through its promotion of Ukrainian nationalism, which both serves the Vatican’s own interests and complements the geostrategic ones of the US. Francis’ push to have the Golodomor recognized as “genocide” against Ukrainians, as well as his inference that this mythical crime occurred as punishment because the proto-Nazi Ukrainian Organization of Nationalists’ “struggled for their freedom”, is indicative of the strategic confluence currently underway between Rome and Washington. While Francis has yet to fully play his hand in this regard, the fact that he’s still crying wolf about “genocide” since being elected two years ago shows that he may be testing the waters in anticipation of a full-fledged information offensive in the near future. Should he continue behaving as the world’s most influential agent of Ukrainian nationalism, then Francis’ antics are expected to further ‘legitimize’ and institutionalize this hateful ideology, which would in turn have exceptionally dire consequences for the memory of historical truth as well as facilitate the US’ geopolitical plans against Russia in the New Cold War.
Andrew Korybko was born, raised, and educated in the US, but permanently relocated to Russia in the summer of 2013. He plans to receive his master’s in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in June and works as a political analyst and journalist at Sputnik. His areas of expertise include American grand strategy towards Eurasia, Color Revolutions, and Unconventional Warfare, but he also explores African and Latin American geopolitics in his spare time. He welcomes you to follow him on Facebook.