Russian and Ukrainian community leaders differ greatly for the reasons behind the war

Ukrainians and Russians share similar languages, ancestors, and basic religious principles, and there is a theory about the basic political and / or religious reasons that caused the armed conflict. , For its historical, doctrinal, and geographical reasons. Political Convolution — Mostly limited speculation.

Many of both dislike war, but the specific understanding between different members depends on the degree. The Epoch Times reached out to some Russians and Ukrainian Americans who have a leading role in getting their ideas.

Leon Nektarov, President of the Bukharan Jews Community, represents a group of about 50,000 Russian-speaking people who emigrated to New York from both the former Soviet Union and Central Asia.

“Many innocent people have died and many have fled Ukraine and Russia,” Nektarov told The Epoch Times.

He believes the war has begun because of Russian politics related to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

“Russia was trying to protect the Russian citizens of Ukraine [who are located] In Donbus and Luhansk. This has been a problem for the last eight years and no one has done anything. “

In a speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin on March 16, a “real genocide” of people took place in the Donbas region of Ukraine, which lasted almost eight years and exposed people to the “most barbaric way”. Said that. Blockades and massive disciplinary actions imposed by the Ukrainian government, and their constant bombardment and execution of “terrorist attacks”.

“That’s why Russia decided to move [but] Their way — bombing real innocent people, not just military complexes … that’s causing problems in Ukraine, “said real estate agent 62-year-old Nectarov. ..

“Ukraine has become like a second Iraq. They are only bombing and bombing it, and infrastructure is being destroyed in Ukraine. I don’t know what will happen.”

He believes Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is “a good man, but he is not a politician.”

“He’s not a diplomat. If he was more active while they shot and bombed Donbas and Luhansk, I don’t think Russia started bombing them, so he sits down and talks. It was Zelensky’s fault that he didn’t talk about what to do with them, “Nektarov said. “He should have gone to Putin before discussing things.”

According to Nectarov, NATO and the United States are “trying to do what Ukraine wants to do. They don’t want to go to war. They say,” We’re going to give you a weapon, you’re on your own. I will fight. “

“Zelensky, if something happens, it’s [the United States and NATO] They will jump in and take the war in their hands and fight themselves, and perhaps Russia will not fight the United Nations. “

In addition, Bukharan Jewish community leaders believe that the war would have been thwarted by religious authorities if the 2018 Orthodox division had not occurred.

In 2019, the Independent Church Tomos founded the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This document enabled the creation of an autonomous Ukrainian church that is no longer ruled by the Patriarchate of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church. By giving this document to the Bishops of Ukraine, Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, ended the centuries-old relationship between Moscow and Kyiv.

As a result, the Patriarch of Moscow decided not to commemorate Constantinople during the liturgy, and also ordered Christians of the Russian Orthodox Church to avoid the new Ukrainian churches and many that recognized them.

In the midst of these ecclesiological disagreements, Ukrainian troops reportedly seized Russian Orthodox monasteries and regarded them as the property of the new church.

“If the church had been united as before, they would not have gone to Ukraine and bombed this way,” Nektarov said. “The Russian Church would have stopped them.”

But he believes that political reasons outweigh religious reasons.

Last week, the Russian Orthodox Church issued a statement calling for efforts to address some controversial aspects of unity, love, and conflict.

“In a war, civilians should be protected as much as possible. According to the media, this war is immorally carried out by only one side. This is never the case. We take military action on both sides. I call on you to stop immediately, “said Archbishop Peter. I have written..

“Our priests report hearing discussions to stop commemorating Patriarch Kirill. In essence, this is a division, and the sin that St. Johannes Crusostom says is martyrdom. It will not be washed away by the blood of the martyr. “

Patriarch Kirill of Russia celebrates Christmas worship at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on January 7, 2015. Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7th in the Middle East, Russia, and other Orthodox churches that use the old Julian calendar instead of the 17th.  -A century Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics, Protestants, and the Greek Orthodox Church and commonly used in secular life around the world.  (Kirill Kudryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images)
Patriarch Kirill of Russia celebrates Christmas worship at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow on January 7, 2015. (Cyrillic Dryavtsev / AFP / Getty Images)

In addition, Archbishop Peter said that Patriarch Kirill is in a very problematic situation because he is on both sides of the battle.

Last week, Ukrainian Orthodox Butler Adrian Mazur held a prayer rally at Elizabeth Gardens in New York to “pray for fallen soldiers, and especially children. [because] They suffer from traumatic pain, “he told The Epoch Times.

“We also see that God sheds light on the Ukrainian people and protects them from all visible and invisible enemies, and the leaders of Russian oppressors come to their senses. And pray to make sure this is a meaningless war. We are killing innocent people. “

Epoch Times Photo
Adrian Mazur, Butler of the Orthodox Church of Holy Trinity in New York on March 5, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso / The Epoch Times)

Mazur is a second generation Ukrainian born in Romania.

“Stalin, who was starving our people at Holodomor, the entire village flew from Romania and walked to Romania,” Mazur pointed to the monument on the wall of the cathedral and died during the man-made. Just placed there to remember all the millions of people. A famine in Ukraine in the early 1930s, known as Holodomor, caused by the Soviet Union (USSR).

Mazur believes that the current Russian invasion is “culture, the same spirit to wipe out Ukrainian culture.”

For Zelensky, who has a career as an actor, Mazur initially “realized the weakness of politics.” But “later, when the war began, I saw the courage to confront what he believed. Like my grandfather, I myself would die for my country, his Ukrainian roots. I saw. Who will come to my land, my house, and my house and tell me what to do? “

Epoch Times Photo
On March 2, 2014, outside the Ukrainian military base in the village of Perevalinoe, outside Simferopol, Ukraine, Russian soldiers can be seen behind Bishop Clement (front) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. (Ivan Sekretarev / AP photo)

In addition, Mazur believes NATO and the United States are “playing very good chess games” and wants more support, but “sooner or later, slowly and steadily win the race. think. [Putin’s] My person is going to turn his back on him, and I think it’s spirituality. And I know that the Ukrainian people are standing strong. “

Mazur calls Russia’s allegations of invasion of Ukraine, the so-called genocide in the Donbus area, “propaganda,” which is just an unreasonable excuse.

Roman Mashav came from Russia to the United States over 40 years ago. He is the owner of Mr. Diamonds USA, a jewelry store in Manhattan.

“Usually I don’t give an opinion [on the war.] Politics is a very dirty game. A very, very dirty game, “Masyaf said.

“Zelensky and Putin, they both need to sit down and talk. Stop fighting now.”

“Zelensky and Putin are smart people, but they aren’t fighting anything,” he added.

“If America wasn’t pushing its nose like various countries, it would have tried to destroy Russia for over 200 years. First, they tried to destroy Georgia, now they [are trying to] Destroy Ukraine. That’s my opinion, “Masyaf said.

Epoch Times Photo
Rome Masyaf, at his store in New York on March 5, 2022. (Enrico Trigoso / The Epoch Times)

Chris Bob and Naveen Athrappully contributed to this report.

Enrico Trigoso


Enrico Trigoso is an Epoch Times reporter focused on the New York area.