Rus' has been Orthodox for a thousand years.
Nominally, yes. But not actually. Actually, it has been predominantly Pagan for centuries. Believe me, I read enough of the great Russian literature in its original language to know that. If you knew Russian, just this ONE novelette by Ivan Bunin (a Nobel Prize winner and a devout Orthodox himself) would make you agree with me: http://az.lib.ru/b/bunin_i_a/text_1380.shtml
the West, especially embodied in American culture, is full of nihilism and death. The default American culture is anti-Christian. The Russian one is not.
That is an overstatement, I'm afraid. A lot less abortions are performed in the USA and in Western Europe than in Russia. Very few Russian citizens actually go to church regularly. Russia steadily occupies the first place in the world in alcohol consumption. Many more Russian, than Western, orphaned children are being continuously abused and/or neglected. The entire system of doing business in Russia is corrupt to the bone. I can go on, but I am afraid that this will be taken as discussing politics by our moderators, so I'll stop here.
There are ways (though frustrating they may be) to work towards the goal of an autocephalous church without breaking formal communion with the Church. Perhaps one day Ukraine will have its own canonical, national church. I hope that is so, as they are rightfully deserving of it. However, the local Orthodox Church in Ukraine to this day is the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate.
I fully agree. But it's a very strange organization. I know some of its prominent figurers personally, for example, in July 2010 I had the honor of personally meeting Fr. Heorhij Kovalenko, the Press-Secretary of Metr. +VOLODYMYR (Sabodan). We talked about the statute of UOC not making any sense, because one of its paragraphs states that all decisions in the UOC are made autonomously by her Sacred Synode, and the next paragraph immediately says that that's not the case. In one paragraph it is called UOC and in another it is mentioned as a part of the Russian Orthodox Church (while there is a subtle difference between "Church of Russia" and "Russian Church" in the original language, it is completely lost when translated into other languages). Fr. Heorhij actually AGREES with me (and with many others) that yes, the statute is schizophrenic. However, they cannot change it because right now, there exists a kind of "dynamic equilibrium" within UOC between the so-called "Ukrainian Party" and the various Russophils.
Let's not paint our canonical, Orthodox brethen as "evil" while actively supporting those who lead many away from the Church, even if we believe in what they are trying to accomplish for Ukraine, they have left the Church. Maybe it will work out in the long run and the schism healed. It's happened before. However, that's not something with which I'm willing to gamble.
I don't consider all UOC-MP members evil. Again, I have very close and dear friends among the UOC-MP laity and clergy. I communicate with them every day, learning a lot from them. What I consider evil is not people, but, rather, the idea that Ukraine can well live without anything specifically Ukrainian in it - without the Ukrainian language, culture, history, and Church.