Russian Church Against Ukraine-Style Uprising

MOSCOW: Russia’s church said yesterday that a Ukraine-style revolution would rip the country apart – the latest top institution to warn Russians against an uprising.

Last year’s “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine and 2003’s “Rose Revolution” in Georgia have worried many Russian officials, who say pro-democracy movements in ex-Soviet states are a Western plot to undermine Moscow’s influence.

“Russia has already lived through a coloured revolution – a red one ... Russia will not survive another revolution,” Interfax news agency quoted Orthodox church spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin as telling members of the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi. “If our country falls apart, it will not become a group of little Switzerlands but one big Yugoslavia pulled apart by bloody chaos, which no foreign peace-keepers could deal with.”

The bloodless revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine were sparked by government attempts to rig elections, and some Russian officials have mobilised to prevent such an uprising in Russia.

The main KGB successor agencies of the ex-Soviet states have met to co-ordinate steps to stop the pro-democracy movement spreading, and Russia’s FSB has demanded tighter controls on non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that foreigners were meddling in Russia’s politics by financing NGOs, and offered to fund them himself from Kremlin coffers.

“We understand that he who pays the piper calls the tune,” Putin told NGO leaders.

“The defence of the country’s unity, its independence and its spiritual freedom must be the business of all society and every one of us,” Chaplin told the camp.

The Orthodox church was oppressed under the Soviet Union, with many churches demolished or used as factories and warehouses.

Since 1991, it has established a cosy relationship with the Kremlin and former KGB spy Putin frequently attends major religious events.

Source: Reuters