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FrolovLeaks VIII: The Orthodox Melancholy

In the end of 2016 the activists of the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance (UCA [1]) gained access to the mail box of Kirill Frolov, Head of Department in the Institute of the CIS Countries (Director of the Institute is Konstantin Zatulin, Deputy of the State Duma), leader of the Association of Orthodox Experts and spokesman of the Union of Orthodox Citizens. InformNapalm’s analysis of this mail dump became the subject of seven preceding articles on the connections between the Russian Orthodox Church, the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation on the one side and their agents and terrorists operating in Ukraine on the other side. This article completes the saga.

Russia has always interfered in the Ukrainian politics, and rather aggressively, too. However, after the first Maidan, Russia sensed the real danger of Ukraine slipping from its sphere of influence and stepped up its activity in Ukraine stopping at nothing at all. The gross ensuing interference in the domestic politics of a sovereign state can be rightfully called an act of war.

At a first glance, Frolov seems insane with his manic program of building churches no one needs in Moscow, his friendship with Surgeon the biker and his eccentricities on TV, but Russia loves a good fool, making him the most popular character in Russian fairy tales. And our “fool” is well connected, with acquaintances spanning from a political expert Stanislav Belkovsky to the official spokesman of the Russian Orthodox Church Vsevolod Chaplin.

In 2004, [2] Frolov supports the separatist congress in Severodonetsk, Ukraine, and establishes connections with those who will eventually become armed separatists. Among his new connections, we can see Valerij Kaurov [3], Igor Druz [4], Sergei Moiseev [5], Vladimir Kornilov (there are reasons to believe that he interfered with the referendum on the Ukraine – EU Association in the Netherlands) and many others. Frolov uses his connections to influence the politics via the church channels (Frolov: “The network of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate is perfect for mass anti-NATO propaganda”).

In 2007, [6] the connections with Donetsk Republic social movement are established, such terms as “Novorossia” begin to circulate. Frolov begins corresponding with Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation Sergey Glazyev [7] and Aleksander Dugin, “Putin’s philosopher”. Moscow selects the most prominent politicians that it is going to put its money on: Azarov, Kolesnychenko, Tsaryov, Tabachnyk and Korolevska. There are various promotional activities and missionary rock concerts featuring Yuri Shevchuk, Konstantin Kinchev, and deacon Andrey Kuraev. Frolov says that they should “bring” Yanukovych to Metropolitan Agaphangel (Savin) of Odesa and “threaten Tihipko with anathema to prevent him from defecting to Yulia [Tymoshenko]”.

All this frenzied activity [8] is supported by the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation. One of the key matters is who is going to succeed the Metropolitan of Kyiv. Kremlin does not want to lose this powerful leverage point in the Ukrainian politics. Frolov’s recommendations and personal descriptions of the Ukrainian bishops are sent to another advisor to the President of Russia, Vladislav Surkov [9]. Kirill Frolov is also communicating with Vladimir Gundyayev [10] (Partiarch Kirill of Moscow). They are corresponding through the Patriarch’s secretaries – Mikhail Kuksov and nun Varvara (Merkulova). Frolov meets the Patriarch on several occasions and acts as an intermediary in the church squabbles. So far, it is still soft power, but he sets a rather ambitious task, such as building a “top-down church power structure”.

In 2011, [11] the fusion of the church and the state gets stronger. Frolov no longer minds his language and switches to the openly military and propagandist rhetoric. To the spokesperson for the Russian Orthodox Church Vladimir Legoyda [12], Frolov suggests to “become a Goebbels for our spiritual Fuhrer, the Patriarch”. The pro-Russian movement in Ukraine gains momentum. Gradually, [13] the protest activity is developing. At times, church hierarchs and people around them go over the top causing scandals: “the Patriarch’s watch”, the “dusty case”, and the “Pussy Riot case”. Then, Frolov steps in helping to calm the uproar.

In 2013, [14] under Sergey Glazyev’s guidance and using the existing Orthodox separatist network, a large number of events intended to sabotage the Ukraine-EU trade agreement are held: rallies, rock concerts, the Patriarch’s visit to Ukraine. Russia is doing everything to prevent Ukraine from joining the “Eurosodom”. In the autumn of 2013, Frolov starts working for Surkov and introduces Konstantin Malofeev [15] to Glazyev. The Kremlin goes on sponsoring Ukrainian separatists directly.

Finally, in 2014, [16] after the Revolution of Dignity, the Russian Federation launches an essentially terrorist movement in Ukraine using Orthodox believers, among others. The Kremlin generously finances all activities aimed against the Ukrainian sovereignty: for example, the money for the Kulykove Pole camp in Odesa is coming in via the local Metropolia. Frolov is a connection between his high-ranking supervisors and the network of thugs, traitors, collaborationists, and separatists.

The Russia-Ukraine war gets into its hot phase. Naturally, the condemnation by the global community and the first sanctions package implemented in March 2014 after the “referendum” in the annexed Crimea did nothing to stop the Russian Federation. Local separatist militants could not hope to hold their ground all by themselves, but there was the “wind from the North” – the Russian regular army made an open invasion and Russia started supplying the fighters with heavy weapons. And “Surkov handed over the command of the Novorossia operation to the military and security forces” (Druz to Frolov, July 25, 2014).

Even the MH-17 flight shot down by the Russian terrorists and the next sanctions package did not stop Russia. However, at the same time the discord in the Kremlin deepened. Igor Girkin (Strelkov) [17] was recalled amid a noisy campaign by Kurginyan, and in September 2014, the first meeting was held in Minsk where the first agreements were signed.

In August, Onufriy (Berezovsky) was elected Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, and Frolov continued pulling strings to sow discord within the Ukrainian society and church:

 “It is of extreme importance that the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on August 13 makes no appeals to the rebels asking them to put down their arms or other similarly stupid things. Of course, Parasha and Kovalenko will go to all lengths. It is important that for that purpose father Andrey Novikov calls Metropolitan Agaphangel and father Maksim Volynets calls Archbishop Mitrofan (father Maksim will ask for assistance with employment in the church in Krasnogorsk), and father Tikhon (Shevkunov) calls Metropolitan Onufriy whom he considers his confessor” (Frolov to Tretyakov, July 26, 2014).

However, Frolov does not limit his activity with influencing the church only. Moscow does not want to accept the failure in Odesa, Kharkiv and other regions of Ukraine:

“Kharkiv will be easy to organize. The decision to involve Dolgov and revive the Kharkiv People’s Republic is a right decision. We only need to ask Dolgov to be nice to Sergey Moiseev and all Kharkiv activists. Easypeasy.

By then even such infamous Ukrainian hardliners as Oleg Tsaryov [18] realized that neither the militants nor even a direct invasion of the Russian army are enough to divide Ukraine (in this context, Frolov asks Glazyev to “push” Tsaryov in a message to Glazyev of July 30, 2014). Nevertheless, Frolov forwards the same plan of dividing the “ex-Ukraine” (for the moment, still including the “Carpathian Ruthenia”) that we have already come across in Surkov’s correspondence [19] to Patriarch Kirill:

“Your Holiness, I would like to share my thoughts on the situation in ex-Ukraine with you in strict confidence. I have reasons to believe that at the end of the day, it will break into Novorossia, Severia, Carpathian Ruthenia and Malorossia as well as Galicia which will form a totally independent state” (Frolov to nun Varvara (Merkulova), July 31, 2014).

If in the beginning of the year the separatists of the dumb and gullible kind still insisted on “federalization” of Ukraine, meaning the state where one region is able to force the domestic and foreign policies favorable for the Russian Federation on the entire nation. That concept went out of style by August:

To Sergey Markov [20]. Dear Sergey Aleksandrovich! Thank you for rebuking that aggressive Russophobe McFaul. The “federalization of Ukraine” that you support is already obsolete and promoting it may even be a stumbling block for President Putin” (Frolov to Yevgeny Shabayev, Domestic Policy Directorate of the Presidential Administration of the Russian Federation, August 23, 2014).

“This is a disaster. Mikhail Leontyev [21] spoke against Carpathian Ruthenia, handing Carpathian Rusyns over to that Ukrainian Baloga and the oligarchs. If someone starts supporting the “united federated Ukraine” and betraying Novorossia, his fall will be truly endless” (Frolov to Petro Getsko [22], September 24, 2014).

However, the plans to destabilize Ukraine remain in force, and we see separatists even among metropolitans:

“As for Odesa – I am ready to prepare analytical data to help in taking Odesa. I am repeating what was said during the call of Metropolitan Agaphangel of Odesa to Novikov in the beginning of November this year. Metropolitan Agaphangel called from a Czech number and said the following: “Inform Putin that, together with the whole Odesa eparchy, I am looking forward to some resolute actions in Odesa. The eparchy is with me and ready to fight. I am prepared to lead the rebellion, both spiritually and ideologically” (Agaphangel through New Martyrs Fund to Frolov, November 24, 2014).

Some of the eparchies and metropolias of the Ukrainian Church of the Moscow Patriarchate have effectively turned into terrorist cells prepared to set up agent networks for the benefit of the aggressor and to train “Orthodox militants”:

“Please forward Metropolitan Agaphangel’s request to the very top. He is ready to act! A new agent in Odesa is father Teterko, an ardent patriot of Novorossia and Russia, Archpriest of the Church of the Vladimir Icon of the Mother of God, Orthodox monarchists – Archpriests Vladimir Koretsky and Georgy Gordentsev, Bishop Arkady of Ovidiopol (he has some powerful groups who can protect the churches physically – the Orthodox militants) and others. And in Moscow we have father Sergei (Rybko)”.

Frolov thinks that the Patriarch’s circle is witnessing a conflict between Nikolay Balashov advising to tread cautiously so that not to lose Ukraine, and Vsevolod Chaplin believing that caution will result in another split and the irreversible loss of Ukraine. Naturally, Frolov takes the hardline stance. He even hopes to get a position in the “people’s republics” but his hopes weren`t meant to come true and he continues looking for more separatists to train.

Frolov asks Glazyev to help with the organization of another conference “on the meaning and importance of Kharkiv”. Glazyev responds: “I passed it to Surkov long ago” (December 05, 2014). The list of invitees includes: Vsevolod Chaplin, Sergey Glazyev, Georgy Fedorov (the Civic Chamber), Andrey Marchukov (Russian Academy of Sciences), an aide to the member of parliament Isayev; from Kyiv: Aleksandr Karevin [23], Dmitro Skvortsov, Oleksandr Skachko; from Kharkiv: “Deputies of the regional council” Volodymyr Alekseyev, Filipp Ekozyants [24], social activists Igor Massalov [25], Anton Guryanov [26] – chairman of the Kharkiv People’s Republic, Kostyantyn Kevorkyan [27] – Deputy of the Kharkiv city council, Petro Getsko – “prime minister” of the Carpathian Ruthenia Republic (Frolov to Sergei Moiseev [5], December 04, 2014). In the same context, we see the “activists” from Kherson – Oleksandr Gulyayev [5], his deputy Khomenko and the “people’s mayor” of Mykolaiv Dmytro Nikonov [28]. The event is covered by “leading mass media”, such as Ukraina.ru [29].

Bishop Marcel (from Moldova) sends Anatol Plugaru, former Minister of National Security of Moldova, as his representative (tsa61@inbox.ru [30], December 12, 2014). Russia even has its supporters in Western Europe, such as Herbert Boehm and Leopold Specht from Austria, active opponents of the sanctions against Russia. They offer through Frolov to organize a number of informal meetings between Sergey Glazyev and Orthodox officials (it is hardly suitable referring to them as priests) and influential Western politicians. Before that, they organized such tours for the United Russia party officials.

Frolov’s mailbox is overflowing with separatist metropolitans, thugs with Kalashnikovs and Orthodox-themed bigotry bordering on clinical insanity, like “Moto-brothers in Christ”, and all of them are used as weapons against Ukraine. However, after all these efforts Ukraine is in no hurry to fall apart. Despite common goals, tactical differences arise in the Kremlin:

“Your article about Surkov is brilliant, and Surkov goes. Other people come instead. Zatulin [31] met with the Tsar [32], and today – with Volodin [33]. Volodin is against Surkov. The problem is that in his war with Surkov, Zatulin was forced side with the “European” party from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Karasin, Zurabov) which is even more in favor of betraying Novorossia; they criticize Surkov for the elections in the DPR and LPR on November 2 as standing in the way of a deal with Poroshenko. However, Zatulin is a practical man, if we manage to bring him to our side, he will become pro-Novorossia. Arrange his meeting with Malofeev. We should not fight Zatulin, we should convert him. His phone number is 89857629993. The time has come – forth Novorossia party! (Frolov to Dugin [34], January 13, 2015).

Funding of the propagandist media goes on as usual. Upon Frolov’s advice, following Oles Buzina’s murder, Sergey Glazyev assists with a new issue of his book The Resurrection of Little Russia [35] to “blow the minds of the brainwashed Ukrainians” (Frolov to Glazyev, February 17, 2015). Artem Buzila [36], who was caught by our colleagues from the Invisible Front hacktivist group and who had already been the subject of an InformNapalm investigation [37], comes to Frolov for money. He does not ask too much, $3.000–7.000 [38], but let us take a look on the way he describes his outlet, Naspravdi [Ukrainian for “In Reality”]. So much for the tales about protecting the Russian language…

Naspravdi was intended as the only Ukrainian-language mass medium in the country that has a pro-Russian, pro-Eastern stance. As all the Ukrainian-language news content repeats the Kyiv propaganda almost word for word, our outlet managed to achieve certain traction. Our outlet is built around the concept that the Ukrainian language is an integral part of the Russian World and the Russian culture. Today, the Ukrainian language has become a weapon of Russophobic, Slavo-phobic messages, but this situation must be changed” (Buzila to Makushok, April 28, 2015).

“Politnavigator” is going to be a bit more expensive – $ 12.000 [39], and it needs approval at the very top: “Glazyev asked to inform Gromov and Volodin about the situation – this medium is truly important” (Frolov to Ivan Makushok [40], April 24, 2015).

In the Russian Orthodox Church, nothing is done without a command (or a “blessing” in the organization’s professional jargon). Below is the secret request for a “blessing” to Patriarch Kirill on using mobile churches for the hybrid force in the Ukrainian Donbas:

“To His Holiness Kirill Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia from hieromonk Feodosiy


For the past nine months, I have been mostly engaged in giving pastoral guidance to the soldiers of the Donetsk militia, among whom I also met my penitents. During these months, I managed to establish regular contacts with Orthodox soldiers of different units – Sparta, Pyatnashka and others who are mostly on the frontline where regular services cannot be held. My humble efforts of a minor priest are obviously insufficient.

Voicing the hopes and aspirations of the Orthodox soldiers, I herewith beg you to give a secret blessing to creating a mobile regimental church and holding services in it. I fully realize the confidentiality of this request. Such mobile churches have already been used by military forces for soldiers in combat zones. The ruling metropolitan of the Donetsk eparch ignores the militia and is ill-disposed to my ministration (he unofficially prohibited his priests to establish any contacts with the militia).

Faithful son of the Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate and your humblest acolyte, hieromonk Feodosiy (D.L.Bitsutsky)”.

The request was apparently granted, because Frolov applied to the so-called Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) for a separate invitation for Andrei Kormukhin [41], a Russian citizen who is “extensively involved in the humanitarian provisioning of the Russian Orthodox churches in the DPR” (Frolov to Koleda, May 03, 2015).

The Russian Orthodox Church supports the mercenaries almost openly:

“Mikhail, father Andrei suggested to hold the volunteers gathering on the 21st in the Holy Trinity Church on Vorobyovy Gory (Frolov to Kuksov, June 28, 2015).

Frolov’s outlandish propaganda leaflets promoting “sacred narratives of Novorossia” are printed and distributed in the DPR by Artem Olkhin [42] (International News Agency Novorossia, Izborsk Club). This campaign is financed by Leonid Sevastyanov of St. Gregory the Theologian Charity Foundation and the advisor of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev). The pilot edition cost only UAH 20.000 (work completion statement [43], July 20, 2015):

“The plan has already been drawn – the copies will be sent simultaneously to all higher education institutions of Donetsk and Luhansk and to all military bases. Artem Olkhin, the publisher, is now visiting Rozanov in Moscow. At 2 pm you will meet, and after the meeting of MI and AAP, you will call him together. He will re-confirm the plan” (Frolov to Sevastyanov, May 28, 2015).

The Russian Orthodox Church values the ideologists, such as Kirill Frolov: in July 2015, he is awarded the Order of St. Vladimir. The delirious ravings of the likes of Dugin, Prokhanov, Frolov handily fill the internal void of the Russian World where the only true ideology is war, bigotry and violence. Any calls for peace from their side are nothing but lies and hypocrisy:

“Metropolitan Onufriy is becoming an “Orthodox Mahatma Gandhi” capable of defeating the Junta with the power of his spiritual and moral authority. Now, there is a Procession in Kiev led by Metropolitan Onufriy. More than one hundred thousand people take part, which greatly exceeds the numbers at all those Maidans, Unions, and “Kiev Patriarchates”. A hundred-thousand Procession marches from the monument to St. Vladimir to Kiev Pechersk Lavra!” (Frolov to Zatulin, July 27, 2015).

Most of the initiators of the Russian Spring – Russian priests, writers, journalists, scientists, politicians, war criminals, bloggers sponsored by the Kremlin, terrorists, and Ukrainian officials who fled Ukraine – are a closely connected community. If Novikov (who financed the Kulykove Pole camp and the bloodshed in Odesa) is not available right now, Chaplin will select another “refugee” for Mykola Yanovych Azarov [44]:

“Father Vsevolod! On July 30, there will be a presentation of the Committee of Salvation of Ukraine presided by Mykola Azarov. Mykola Yanovych requests someone of the Ukrainian refugee priests to participate as a human rights defender. I repeat – not as a member of the political Committee, but as a human rights defender. Father Andrei Novikov goes on vacation on the 30th. Who of the active refugees is left?” (Frolov to Chaplin, 23.07.2015).

And look how seriously Frolov and the gang take the language. The word “Ukraine” is not to be used anymore, now it is the “liberated Novorossia” and the land to still be “liberated” is “Malorossia” or “Little Russia”.

“Zavorotny is determined to arrange your meeting with Azarov. I gave him your contact details, here’s his number: 79160932923. The subject of the meeting is the ideological support by the Orthodox party and the core of the Izborsk Club, the ideology of freeing Malorossia from Poroshenko’s yoke. He agrees with me – the “DPR” and “LPR”, Novorossia, are a separate state, and here Olkhin is right. Novorossia will not return to Ukraine, the task of Azarov and Oliynyk is to free Malorossia (Frolov to Rozanov, 06.08.2015).

The panel discussion “Orthodox national idea and the attractive project of Russia’s future” was scheduled for the end of November. Note the list of attendees: Chaplin, Tikhon (Shevkunov), Novikov, Prokhanov, Delyagin, Khazin, Yarovaya, Starikov, members of the Russian parliament the State Duma, law enforcement officers, officials, metropolitans. There were quite a lot of such panel discussions and conferences in 2016, and at a conference on the “Christian factor in the Turkic world” in Istanbul Frolov asks Malofeev for RUB 4.5 million [45].

At this point, we will bid good riddance to Kirill Frolov the “church-going expert”. You can find the complete dump [46] of Kirill Frolov’s email at ordilo.org. Even though InformNapalm released eight articles describing the crimes of the Russian religious zealots and officials (with three more by the Myrotvorets Center), all the meaningful details and leads we found in the 17-gigabyte mailbox will not fit even in a small book. Therefore, the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance invites volunteers, journalists and law enforcement agencies to download and analyze this correspondence. You can find the instructions on working with email archives here [47].

P.S. When Vsevolod Chaplin and Kirill Frolov found out that their correspondence was no longer secret, here is what Chaplin wrote: “By the way, these leaks are nothing to be ashamed of…)) We did everything right)” (Chaplin, December 13, 2016). Thousands of people killed and wounded, hundreds of thousands of ruined lives, two million IDPs, rivers of blood – “we did everything right”, says the ex-spokesperson of the Russian Orthodox Church.

For other parts of #FrolovLeaks series follow these links:

FrolovLeaks: church-going Kremlin influence expert in Ukraine. Episode 1 [2]

FrolovLeaks: anathema as instrument of influence on the Ukrainian politics. Episode II [6]

FrolovLeaks: Church Scheming. Episode III [8]

FrolovLeaks: Goebbels of the Patriarch, Recruitment of Ukrainian Generals and Baptism by Fire in Syria. Episode IV [11]

FrolovLeaks: hounding of Pussy Riot and Patriarch’s “dusty case”. Episode V [13]

FrolovLeaks: Tomorrow Was the War. Episode VI [14]

FrolovLeaks VII: Budgeting the “Russian Spring” Mayhem [16]


Evidence data was exclusively provided to InformNapalm by the hacktivists of the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance for analysis and processing. InformNapalm Community bears no responsibility for the sources and origin of the data.

This publication was prepared by  Sean Townsend [48]

Translated by InformNapalm English [49]

[50](CC BY) Information specially prepared for InformNapalm.org [51] site, an active link to the authors and our project is obligatory for any reprint or further use of the material.