Criticism of the Russian World concept in Ukraine




"Russian World", Orthodoxy, Russia, Ukraine, ideology, politics, Russian Orthodox Church, Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate, Patriarch Kyrylo


The paper looks into the phenomenon of criticism of the Russian World concept in contemporary Ukrainian religious, political and social discourses. It is shown that the propagandistic ideological narrative model, developed according to numerous historical analogs, is becoming a subject of critical analysis by specialists in many scientific areas. Experts' views coincide in many respects but there are also different stances on some disputable issues. The historical aspiration of Russia for domination and substantiation of its unique nature is considered the root of the concept. This explains the use of such narrative constructs as "Moscow is the third Rome", "specific civilization" etc. Based on evidence of competent authorities, the author proves that the concept was most likely developed by a group of leading Russian ideologists in the late 20th century. It acquired the modern conservative and nationalist form only after it had become an object of interest of Russian clerical circles and started spreading through church resources. The symbolic figure in this respect is the current Moscow Patriarch Kyrylo (Gundiaiev) who has been an active promoter of the Russian World concept from the early 21st century. After he had been voted into the Patriarch office, Kyrylo turned the Russian World into the leading church and political narrative. The wide use of the concept for political purposes was consistently criticized for undisguised militarism, aggressive and nationalistic ideas underpinning the Russian World. According to numerous experts, these ideas have no common root with Christianity, sometimes being in open contradiction with the latter. Critical studies also indicate that the basis of the Russian World is the belief that the Russian culture and language are culturally superior to historical achievements of numerous other peoples, including the Ukrainians.

As historical experience shows, the use of such ideological concepts as the Russian World results in consolidation of society around one national idea and expansion of aggressive state policy to neighboring countries.

Author Biography

Svitlana Shkil, National Bioresources and Nature Management University of Ukraine, Kyiv

Ph. D. in Philosophy, Assistant Professor of the Philosophical Department 


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How to Cite

Shkil, S. (2015). Criticism of the Russian World concept in Ukraine. Skhid, (4(136), 103–108.