The “Russian Orthodox Army”

The report cites the aggressive actions of the 4,000-man Russian Orthodox Army (ROA) as one of the most harmful actors in eastern Ukraine. According to credible reports, the group has destroyed church property, raided a Protestant orphanage, taken a Catholic priest as a hostage, and participated in other violence.

An insurgent group, the ROA is not part of Russia’s military force, but gains support from sources inside Russia. A Russian nationalist billionaire, Konstantin Malofeev, funds a charity that allegedly supports the ROA. The evidence against Malofeev is persuasive enough that the US government and the European Union have sanctioned him.