The Cossack church, the journalist continues, view Ivan Mazepa as a hero, want to canonize Bohdan Khmelnitsky, and insist on the rehabilitation of Grigory Semenov, Gerasim Vdovenko, Petr and Semen Krasnov, Andrey Shkuro, Gelmut von Pannwitz and “many other Cossack heroes killed by the Bolsheviks.”
The Cossack church expects to receive autocephaly “on the model of Ukraine via Constantinople Patriarch Bartholemew. “The main population of Ukraine consists of ethnic Cossacks,” the leaders of this church movement say. “The Cossack church will not interfere in Ukrainian affairs,” they add.
They say that the Cossacks of the Russian Federation are now ready “to conclude an alliance with any political force which calls for the recognition of the rights of the Cossack people,” a nation which some estimate to include as many as five million in all. That makes the Cossacks the third largest nation in Russia, after the ethnic Russians and the Tatars.
The Cossack church does not yet have its own building but plans to erect one in Podolsk “not far from the private Museum of the Anti-Bolshevik Resistance,” which is largely devoted to the efforts of the Cossacks to defeat Stalin during World War II. “The first Cossack liturgy is planned for the evening of January 6, on the eve of Christmas 2019,” Priymak says.