I love the morning smell of Russian propaganda set ablaze. After all, what can be more beautiful when, in an attempt to keep a good face in a disgusting game, hybrid infowar soldiers go about incinerating themselves.
Today, the Russian media span pieces with rather eloquent headlines and one single narrative: during the meeting of heads and representatives of local Orthodox churches in Amman, the fate of Ukrainian Orthodoxy "will be decided." Indeed, who else should resolve the "crisis provoked by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew" rather than clerics representing a few local churches, led by Moscow which has lost its total religious monopoly in Ukraine, right?
It is worth noting that the Russian Orthodox Church, and more precisely, its chief, Patriarch Kirill, had long and, to some extent, painstakingly been hatching the idea of a convening a religious meeting in Amman, realizing that it could become the last resort measure in the wake of the unfolding scenario where Putin’s spiritual mentor, Metropolitan Tikhon, is all set to replace Kirill at the ROC top post.
Against the backdrop of an endless series of ROC failures both in Ukraine and in the international arena, with significant financial and human resources involved and minimal results yielded, the Kremlin has been seeing Patriarch Kirill as a clinical failure for quite some time already. Clearly, the strategy chosen by the Danilov Monastery toward preserving Ukraine in the orbit of its influence and preventing the granting of a tomos of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine has failed completely. And the next steps being taken don't inspire optimism among Moscow strategists, either.
The status of the meeting, which will be held in Amman today, was initially called into question by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, where the event is seen as illegitimate.
As a result, the Russian Orthodox Church and Patriarch Kirill personally only managed to secure support of Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, Patriarch Irenaeus of Serbia and... that's actually it. None of the remaining 12 patriarchs of local Orthodox churches will attend the Amman event. That is, three patriarchs with a rather dubious reputation, acting as conspirators... You see, it's no surprise that the Serbian church backed the ROC. In fact, it's a spineless religious institution following Moscow's commands as a pet animal.
The situation with Theofilos is also quite unambiguous as his position in supporting the Russian Orthodox Church is exclusively due to the financial component.
Meanwhile, the Russian media are trying to expand this trio, reporting on the attendance of certain representatives of other Orthodox churches. Allegedly, some kind of a delegation of the Polish and Romanian churches arrived in Amman, as well as the metropolitan of the Czech lands. "Bless your heart," I would tell the Russians who are so desperately trying to attach greater significance to the Amman event. See, none of the delegations listed were formally delegated to attend by their respective patriarchs so they have no official status whatsoever.
This is not the first time we're facing a situation where a large number of certain foreign "officials" are invited to various kinds of propaganda events set up by Russia, and this invitation gets wide coverage in Russian media. But in fact, almost all of the invitees are representatives of the peripheral, marginal strata, ready to perform certain assignments of their hybrid employers for a humble fee.
Today's meeting in Amman belongs precisely to this category of events. The two puppets of Patriarch Kirill and some cameos played by visiting guest artists – wow, what a "historic" event of an epic scale! So, all propaganda efforts to boost the meeting's importance and weight in the Orthodox world look just a bit too cringy. But hey, what could be better than the smell of Russian propaganda set ablaze?