Bombed churches – cui bono?

Whilst my internet connection was down last week, I missed being able to research the Easter missile strike on a village church in Komyshuvakha, Zaporizhzhia oblast, in Ukraine. The Presearch search engine (allegedly private, but evidently programmed for MSM) only gives me pages upon pages about the dastardly Russian outrage, all of course taken uncritically from official Ukrainian sources. That’s the consensus, then, but “the majority is always wrong,” and it just takes a little thought to prove that to be so in this case.

The scene of the crime

If, as all the news reports say, “Putin done it” whilst “the dictator” was “hypocritically” celebrating his own Easter in church in Moscow, then let’s ask why. To waste expensive missiles on a village church served no strategic or tactical aims. Russia is fighting hard to gain control of Bakhmut, whilst moving forward on the rest of their front. Distant strikes have clearly been intended to degrade Ukraine’s power and transport infrastructure, or to take out control centres and air defences.

If Western sources are to be believed (and who would doubt them for a second?) Russia is almost out of munitions, so lobbing bombs at village churches can only have one purpose – that of purposeless violence born of desperation and malice. Which is odd when, without any doubt, they’re winning in Bakhmut.

Nothing was achieved by the attack (and thankfully the church was empty of worshippers, which may seem odd at Easter in itself – could it be that they were forbidden to meet?). But although the Mail’s articles and comment columns are full of remarks about Russia’s pretended Christianity masking ape-like savagery, the fact is that 70-80% of Russians are Orthodox, and could only see the deliberate destruction of an Orthodox church as deeply sacriligeous. Such an act would weaken morale at home, undermine support for Putin, and of course strengthen outrage and resistance in Ukraine. A pretty poor return for an act of petty spite.

This is especially relevant since Zaporizhzhia was part of Russia until 1922, supported the pro-Russian President Yanokovych with more than a 20% lead in 2010, and is largely already occupied by Russia.

On the other hand, consider the possibility (as claimed by locals on the ground) that the strike came from Ukraine itself. Ukraine is also an Orthodox country, but one that has been deliberately split in recent years by the establishment of a schism from the Russian Orthodox order as part of the right-wing nationalism dominant since the 2014 Maidan coup, greatly encouraged by the US. This very year, Zelensky and his merry men have denounced those congregations still loyal to the Moscow Patriarchate as traitors. He has evicted monks from ancient monasteries, burned down recalcitrant churches, and even put an ankle tag on the country’s most senior churchman. Last December, churches loyal to the old denomination were banned, though sadly few Christian organisations over here seem to have noticed.

I saw very little in the news reports to indicate the affiliation of that church in Komyshuvakha: for the informed Westerner, it’s sufficient to know that the bestial Russians bombed a church. But the Wikipedia page Файл:Saint Michael church in Komyshuvakha after Russian shelling helpfully tells us (or it did when I searched an hour ago – not now), in English, that it is, or rather was, “Saint Michael church of Moscow Patriarchate (1906).” So not only did the Russians bomb a church – they bombed one that, apparently, was holding out against Ukrainian state pressure, in order to remain loyal to the historical Moscow Patriarchate.

This biting-off-nose-to-spite-face phenomenon has been a pattern throughout this conflict, if the Western media is to be believed (and who would doubt them for a second?). At Bucha, the Ukrainian special forces sent in to clean up pro-Russian forces tragically encountered mutilated bodies left in the streets by retreating Russians – most with White Russian arm-bands.

The mysterious shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station, too muddly for the UN weapons inspectors to solve despite the Ukrainian missile-cases angled from the west, was widely blamed on Russia even though it holds the installation, and was keeping power going to Ukraine until the risk of nuclear accident became too much and it was shut down.

Then, of course, we have the mining of the Nordstream pipelines, for which nobody now really believes Russia could be to blame. But the cagey silence of Western nations about who might have done it leaves the average “informed reader of MSM” with his initial suspicions, fuelled by the early anti-Russian accusations, intact. Once again, their motives for trashing their own massive investment in a lucrative project don’t seem to interest such people. Incidentally, did you know that a journalist investigating the ridiculous “yacht” theory of the blasts was told by German and Swedish sources that the unexploded charge on Nordstream 2 could not be studied because the Americans got there first and removed it?

And so it goes on – I am expected to believe the unbelievable by sheer media pressure – now a familiar phenomenon on all fronts from climate change to COVID. If Ukraine did it, but has the apparatus of the Western goverments and press to transfer the blame to Moscow, they get both to add fuel to the fire of “Russian barbarity,” to persuade American and British Evangelicals that Russia is still a persecuting Communist power, and to demonstrate to the Russian Orthodox in their own country that they had better comply with the Kiev schismatics, because nobody in the world will support them in their persecution.

I suppose you could put it all down to the justified propaganda of war. Except that there is yet another contradiction there – we are blinded by the fog of war, and our special forces are killing and dying in it, though we are supposedly not at war… And the bloody Ukrainian security services have visited this blog 640 times in the last month, outstripping my British readers. Nothing to see here folks – move on to the BBC for the facts.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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6 Responses to Bombed churches – cui bono?

  1. Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

    Footnote on the inability of Westerners to grasp changes in the world – a YouTube video on the supposed difficulty in getting Russian cosmonauts home from the ISS has a thumbnail of a space helmet with “CCCP” painted on it. Guys, the Soviet Union abolished itself 22 years ago!

  2. shopwindows says:

    Cui bono?

    Those who envisage medicine, law, finance as delegatable to AI along with truck driving etc simultaneously require that thinking does not confuse compliance with government edict. But by definition that makes you a useless eater?

    To be a useless eater or a troublesome one, that is the question.

    We should all be concerned that it’s a Dad yolk.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      AI does seem an interesting case of people who think that their machines are thinking, actually not knowing how to think themselves. Were they to succeed in their ambitions, we would indeed have a world which, though it arose from the thought of God, ended up without thought.

      Fortunately, God is still thinking about the future of the world.

  3. Robert Byers says:

    Did I understand you know your blog was checked that many times by uKrainian authority? Or kidding?
    We have discussed before that its true the media is a monolopoly in conclusions of mist things. they are right putin is the evl invador. However I don;t believe they oppose him/them because he invaded and killed to impose a result. i say its truly a greater agenda that a elite establishment crossing boundaries are the ones to decide who imposes thier will across boundaries. Those who oppose Putin crossing boundary agreed with crossing S african boundary to impose upon them the majority of blacks gaining control etc etc. Its not putin invaded but he did not ask them for consent. this crowd never opposed the soviets back in the day. thats why they are so fantatical even husterical about Russia. Russia is in the wrong and unChristian indeed but only because of human life destruction and crossing accepted boundaries.

    • Avatar photo Jon Garvey says:

      The figure on Western Ukrainian views is correct. When a country usually has very few hits, and then suddenly hundreds from a few locations, then it’s a sure bet that there are government agencies involved – either directly, or sometimes (I suspect) covering their tracks by making their hits appear to be in a different country.

      It’s not the first time that my humble blog has been so targeted: a few years ago there used to be bursts of sudden activity from China, for example (where there is now a genuine readership), and at one stage, for whatever reason, France.

      Usually it’s been inexplicable, but when you’re writing on geopolitical issues and one of your focus-countries is doing the surveillance, it’s more comprehensible. And more concerning when that country likes sending out hit squads to kill its enemies… not that such efforts would have much effect if The Hump or its owner went down!

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