Oped: Zelensky’s crackdown on 1,000-year-old Church cannot be beyond scrutiny


Save the UOC Editor

Robert Amsterdam has published a new oped on the platform CapX, which is a publication of the British think tank, Centre for Policy Studies. An excerpt follows below:

In the case of our client, the Holy Synod, key leaders of the church have been jailed on charges that do not even meet the standards of callousness and farce normally associated with the aggressor.

In its persecution of these religious leaders – men of culture, spirituality and advanced age – the Ukrainian Government, in the complete absence of compelling evidence, has both fabricated criminal charges and applied baseless sanctions that violate Ukraine’s own Constitution.

But the attack on this church is only one example of a broader assault on anything or anyone with even a historic connection to Moscow or those willing to raise a dissenting voice against government policy. The Ukrainian Government is applying sanctions to its own citizens who have any dissenting views on government policy whatsoever, branding them domestic enemies. After the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, what is left of the independent business community has become the primary target of these extrajudicial sanctions. Ukraine’s newest oligarchs who unquestioningly support the government’s policies – now known as Zelensky’s ‘siloviki’ – are of course protected. But the broad targeting of Ukraine’s business leaders for merely questioning aspects of government policy represents not a step forward for democracy, but rather a step backward toward a form of clan rule buttressed by the government’s control over the media, the courts and martial law.

I write this sadly as someone who supports Ukraine, both with respect to its victimhood, and with respect to their demands for ongoing western support. That support however, should be given with eyes wide open and not eyes wide shut. Properly framed, foreign assistance can help put Ukraine back on the right course toward democracy and the rule of law.

To embrace Ukraine as we should and must, it is necessary to state strongly that those steps contrary to rule of law and democracy cannot be tolerated.

Read the full oped by Robert Amsterdam on CapX.

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