Unsurprisingly, the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church denounced the declaration of independence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Moscow Patriarchate as illegal, but then took a step that will probably have the effect of making this declaration irreversible. (patriarchia.ru/db/text/5934527.html).
At a meeting of the Holy Synod, the Moscow Patriarchate unilaterally removed the bishoprics and parishes of southeastern Ukraine from the deputy of the UOC and transferred them to the direct control of the Moscow Patriarchate, a an action that many Ukrainians are certain to consider both offensive and implied. recognition of the independence of the rest of the independence of the UOC.
Since Ukraine is on the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Moscow, this action of the Holy Synod is completely legal; but to the extent that Moscow tries to maintain or more accurately restore its control over the UOC MP, it cannot fail to have the opposite effect as it undermines the UOC MP’s efforts to portray itself as a Ukrainian church.
At the very least, this action by Moscow will make it less likely that the Orthodox world in Ukraine will follow the Estonian model and have, contrary Orthodox canon law, and have two autocephalous churches in its territory, the UOC MP and the Orthodox. Church of Ukraine, and more likely that the UOC MP will disband and its members will join the OCU.
If this happens, the ROC deputy will cease to be the largest Orthodox church in the world in terms of bishoprics and parishes, ceding that place to the UOC, and will lose all financial resources and influence that control of Orthodoxy in Ukraine would have given. this. (On this result, see jamestown.org/program/moscow-patriarchat-in-retreat-everywhere-except-africa/.)