Christian Taliban? Ukraine nationalist craves jihad against Russia, reports Intercept
A Ukrainian ultranationalist of Polish descent wants to turn the armed conflict in the east of the country into a crusade against Russia. The Chechen war veteran wants to amalgamate Orthodox Christianity with Islamic jihadism against Russia.
The leader of the Ukrainian ‘Bratstvo’ (Brotherhood) political organization, Dmitry Korchinsky (Dmytro Korchynsky), intends to create a sort of Christian Taliban to wage a holy war against Russia, the Intercept reports.
Korchinsky believes his mission is to establish an original ideology that makes an unholy alliance between messianic Christianity and jihadist Islam, citing the examples of Hezbollah, the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The dualism of the new religious movement could be beneficial for Ukraine, says Korchinsky, who sees his community as a tool to carry out higher order tasks that the Ukrainian government doesn’t formally control.
He wants to change the regional conflict in eastern Ukraine into a religious war against Russia, seeing it as the only option to defeat the bigger and stronger neighbor.
Korchinsky is also a commander of the St. Mary’s Battalion, one of many privately-funded paramilitary units fighting rebel groups in eastern Ukraine alongside Kiev’s troops and the National Guards.
St. Mary’s Battalion was formed to defend the strategic city of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, a key port for Ukraine’s iron and steel, and coal mining industries.
The volunteers that come to Bratstvo recruitment point in the capital, Kiev, to join the St. Mary’s Battalion are usually young people between 18 and 25 years old. Only a few of them have served in the army and know how to handle a gun.