In January 1944, the Red Army crossed the old border between the Soviet Union and Poland. The subsequent victories over Hitler’s troops guaranteed the restoration of Moscow’s jurisdiction over the western borderlands: the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine, Bessarabia, Northern Bukovina, and Transcarpathia. As a result, many Orthodox hierarchs and a great number of priests and laymen emigrated from these territories. Most of them joined the Karlovci Synod of Metropolitan Anastasii, which found asylum in Munich; others preferred to establish their own national Orthodox churches (e.g., the Estonian Orthodox Church-in-exile). Meanwhile, the Moscow Patriarchate took care of the Orthodox population in the provinces returned to Soviet control. It consecrated and appointed new bishops for their ecclesiastical administration. 1 The Bishop of Ostrog, Simon (Ivanovskii), who was among the few hierarchs who remained after the Nazi withdrawal, was called to Moscow and elevated to the rank of archbishop. 2

This expansion of the Moscow Patriarchate touched not only Orthodox believers but also Greek rite Catholics or “Uniates,” as they were called by the Soviet authorities. Stalin’s policy of the “extended sword” included “persecution and institutional absorption of the Uniate Church throughout Soviet controlled or annexed Eastern Europe: West Ukraine, West White Russia, Romania, CarpathoUkraine, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.” 3 In a similar way, in 1949 the Uniate Church in Transcarpathia was “reunited” with the local Orthodox Church that was then under Moscow’s jurisdiction. The same happened with Slovakia in 1951.