It is noticeable that the speakers of the OCU have somewhat changed their rhetoric and shifted accents. Previously, they focused mainly on the fact that no conflicts in general concern the OCU, because this is all happening within the communities of the UOC and they have nothing to do with it.
Now they are making statements that are more aggressive and are already talking about the “seizure of the temples” of their communities and that they are allegedly “protecting their property.”
Obviously, this is done ahead of the visit of Patriarch Bartholomew and is part of an information campaign to whiten the image of the OCU, which, despite all their efforts, turned out to be pretty tarnished (if not destroyed) by a huge amount of facts about physical violence against the UOC believers.
Now they are trying to prove that when supporters of the “OCU” (often visiting militants of the “Right Sector” and other paramilitary organizations) beat the believers of the UOC (sometimes with knuckle dusters and clubs), spray gas in their eyes, pour foam from a fire extinguisher, then this is “protection” their property from the “mercenaries”. This way they represent ordinary believers and priests of the UOC, who do not hide their faces behind masks and camouflage.
Feeling the weakness and absurdity of their argumentation, they try to add “threatening” epithets and labels. For example, the priests of the UOC are no longer just priests, but “assault priests”. Believers of the UOC are not ordinary believers who expressed solidarity with their fellow believers, but “agents of the FSB,” etc. Then, as if violence is no longer violence and a crime, but “defense of the homeland”, relatively speaking. In addition, the trained militants from the Right Sector are, so to speak, no longer hired raiders, but “agents of national security”.
In addition, the head of the OCU himself, Epiphany Dumenko, uses the same classical method of manipulation that we mentioned in the previous post – the introduction of stereotypes and clichés.
He recently announced that most of the monks in the Pochayiv Lavra were allegedly imported from other countries! He does not bother to provide any evidence, which in principle, of course, cannot be, because all this is easily refuted by an elementary appeal to the passport office.
Dumenko’s words are pure technology of “black PR” and manipulation. All his interviews are literally crammed with similar techniques. This proves once again that the OCU is more a political structure than a religious one.