Expert tells of masterminds behind pro-Russian Myriany NGO run by ROCinU

In other languages: UKRGR

On June 15, at 9:00 Kyiv time, a rally started outside the Verkhovna Rada, which deserves close attention.

A mass prayer stand against “anti-church laws” is held by the newly established Myryany (Laymen) NGO. Speaking of “anti-church laws,” the organization means the government’s requirement to practically stop deceiving believers and bring the name of the UOC-MP (Moscow Patriarchate) in line with its true essence, that is, to rename it into the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine. This is an actual visualized guide to how an anti-Ukrainian network is organized and maintained in the church orbit.

Let’s start with the fact that back in the winter, many who observed the efforts of the “fifth column” in Ukraine noted some unhealthy broiling in the pro-Russian church circles. There came some weird gatherings, then there were processions held in quite surprising regions, etc… There were expectations that on Easter, May 2, Russia would go for a bloody provocation.

In March and April, during the escalation period, the Russians openly prepared an act of provocation plotted in the style of a “crucified priest” narrative. Thanks to the fact that these plans were properly exposed, their realization was ultimately prevented. On May 2, petty propaganda pundits of the so-called “DPR” claimed that a Ukrainian drone was allegedly intercepted, which had allegedly been deployed to drop an explosive device on a temple in the town of Yasynuvata (Donbas).

That is, these masterminds highlighted the topic but stopped short of actually killing anyone – it would be too demonstrative, they might have been afraid. Moreover, they didn’t even bother to fabricate any “evidence” to back their claims.

So here we are. Some three months ago, the aforementioned Myriany NGO was registered, which suddenly “woke up from hibernation” late May. Vasyl Makarivsky, an “Orthodox media guy,” was assigned the group’s talking head.

A (pro-) Russian network of online media platforms, such as, is working to promote Makarivsky as an “initiator” and “creator” of a “large-scale project aimed at uniting pro-active believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who care about the future of the country and the Church.”

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, which has long gained notoriety in narrow circles, the one that’s so often cited by most propaganda dumpster outlets, is particularly vigorous in pushing this idea.

But if you scratch the outside layer of the Myriany initiative just a little bit, under the further layer of money and coal dust you will see the face of a real driver of all this hustle. So, please, take a close look.


The NGO has been founded by a pair of entities: LLC Union of Orthodox Lawyers and NGO Orthodox Brotherhood of the Holy Apostolic Prince Volodymyr.

At the same time, the founding entity for the Union of Orthodox Lawyers is… also the Orthodox Brotherhood of the Holy Apostolic Prince Volodymyr.

And in both entities, the leading role is assigned to Viktor Vyshnevetsky.

Incidentally, this is the same man who stood at the origins of the Union of Orthodox Journalists. So this is how the circle closes.

Now it’s apparent that Myriany is in fact Mr Vyshnevetsky’s project (a value judgment here).

And he is quite a character, indeed. Google is full of mentions of this man, dating to various periods of his career. I should mention a few.

Vyshnevetsky is what they call an “Orthodox oligarch” with Donetsk roots. He’s been a public figure since the mid-1990s, that’s when he created the Mechanic NGO (mine equipment repairs). He then bought a dozen mines and other businesses, merging them into Coal Energy.


By the way, he “decommunized” the names of his mines in the Orthodox manner – now they are mostly named after notable personalities in the Orthodox world, such as Sergius of Radonezh, Holy Matron of Moscow, and the like.

During a now-disgraced Viktor Yanukovych’s cadence, Vyshnevetsky surfaced in the list of the country’s wealthiest people. Forbes, Korrespondent, and other outlets said he owned a fortune worth $170-250 million.

In image publications, Vyshnevetsky’s success is explained by his personal talents and inventions. Evil tongues claim he owes his wealth to the patronage of Yanukovych’s eldest son, Oleksandr.

Vyshnevetsky is listed as one of the greatest benefactors and patrons of multiple churches in Donetsk, Horlivka, Izium, Berdyansk, Kherson, and other dioceses of the ROCinU. The scale of his investments and connections in the church circles is quite impressive – on both sides of the contact line in the war-torn Donbas.

After the war erupted, most of Vyshnevetsky’s assets remained in the occupied territories. By a strange coincidence, however, none of his assets were affected by hostilities or looting. Perhaps Russian proxies were too shy to grab property with godly names, who knows, right? But there is another version: allegedly due to the patronage of the ROC and the ROCinU, not only Vyshnevetsky managed to keep his assets intact, he also pursued a rather successful trade in coal, while paying taxes to the coffers of the “DPR” terrorist organization.

In this regard, Ukraine’s security agency, the SBU, even launched a criminal proceeding, which unfortunately saw no logical completion. Perhaps, it was due to the lack of corpus delicti. However, as per the alternative version, this is due to patronage from high offices and some new allies, among the media tip Ukrainian MP Maksym Yefimov.

But, again, it’s not that important what the media say about this. What’s critical is that a new anti-Ukrainian project is unfolding in the ROCinU orbit.

Now it is set to flex a bit and gain some publicity and weight. The group might take part in organizing processions on the Day of the Baptism of Kyiv Rus. But the main focus of their activity will undoubtedly remain on hindering Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s visit to Ukraine on the country’s Independence Day.

There is also a very high risk that the participants in mass rallies set up by the project will become targets of Russian provocations ultimately aimed against Ukraine.

In conclusion, it should be noted that the emergence of such new projects testifies to the fact that the Kremlin needs new faces and new organizations to further advance its interests in Ukraine. And that’s because the older ones proved to be a quite costly failure.



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