Patriarch of Kyiv and All Ukraine
Now 92 years old, he had one more adventure ahead of him.
By 1990, Gorbachev's "glasnost'" and "perestroika" had already resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Warsaw Pact had begun to fray. Now, rumblings of freedom were beginning to be felt in what was still the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The "People's Movement of Ukraine for Perestroika", more commonly known by its Ukrainian name "Rukh", had been founded in 1989. In January 1990, they organized a human chain from L'viv to Kyiv celebrating the Unification Act of 1919 that joined the Ukrainian People's Republic and the West Ukrainian People's Republic, something that would have likely resulted in mass arrests only a few years before.
Then, on June 5, 1990, at the First Council of the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in Kyiv, Metropolitan Mstyslav was elected in absentia as the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Ukraine. He was formally enthroned as Patriarch in Kyiv's St. Sophia Cathedral in November 1990. Despite the expectations of many of those who elected him that he would merely be a figurehead, Patriarch Mstyslav traveled to Ukraine numerous times in the last years of life and took an active role in both the religious and political life of his native country.
Patriarch Mstyslav provided a tangible connection between pre-Soviet and post-Soviet Ukrainian history and independence and would provide continued inspiration for further efforts toward the rebirth of the UAOC, its jurisdictional autonomy and ultimately — autocephaly.