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‘Patriarch Kirill actively backs Russian invasion of Ukraine’: Polish gov’t official

26.09.2022 21:40
A senior Polish security official has said that the head of the Russian Orthodox Church “is actively involved in supporting the war in Ukraine” and serves the aims of the Kremlin’s propaganda.
Patriarch Kirill.
Patriarch Kirill.Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Stanisław Żaryn made the comment about Patriarch Kirill in an interview with Polish state news agency PAP on Monday.

Пресс-секретарь министра-координатора спецслужб Станислав Жарын. Пресс-секретарь министра-координатора спецслужб Станислав Жарын.

Patriarch Kirill “pursues goals of Russian propaganda and special services’

Żaryn, who is the government’s pointman on the security of Poland’s information space, said: “The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is actively involved in supporting the war in Ukraine by pursuing the goals of Russian propaganda and the special services with which he has been associated for years.”

The Polish security official added: “On the day of the announcement of partial mobilisation in Russia, he said that the Ukrainian people were ‘in danger’ and that Russians should pray to ‘strengthen the fraternal feelings of the peoples of Holy Russia’.”

Żaryn noted that “The Patriarch, pursuing the propaganda goals of the Kremlin, justifies and glorifies the mobilisation while appealing to Russians not to fear death in connection with it, 'for true faith destroys the fear of death'.”

“The Patriarch's words indicate, among other things, the denial of Ukraine's sovereignty and independence. Ukraine - according to Kirill - is part of a united Russia, which is struggling to break away from the motherland,” the Polish security official said.

Żaryn also told PAP: “Since the beginning of the war, Patriarch Kirill has supported Putin's so-called special operation in Ukraine, lying that Russia is a 'peace-loving superpower' which, if attacked, must defend itself. He also claimed that Russia's foreign enemies should be deported to Siberia.”

“In line with the Kremlin's narrative, Kirill claims that the conflict was provoked by external forces in order to weaken Russia, divide the 'one nation' and followers of the Orthodox Church,” the Polish security official stressed.

Patriarch Kirill’s latest speech

On Sunday, Patriarch Kirill said that Russian soldiers who die in the war against Ukraine would be “cleansed of all their sins,” the Reuters news agency reported.

The Patriarch stated: "Many are dying on the fields of internecine warfare. The Church prays that this battle will end as soon as possible, so that as few brothers as possible will kill each other in this fratricidal war."

He added: "But at the same time, the Church realises that if somebody, driven by a sense of duty and the need to fulfil their oath ... goes to do what their duty calls of them, and if a person dies in the performance of this duty, then they have undoubtedly committed an act equivalent to sacrifice.”

“They will have sacrificed themselves for others. And therefore, we believe that this sacrifice washes away all the sins that a person has committed," the 75-year-old Russian Orthodox leader said. 

It was Patriarch Kirill’s first address since Russian President Vladimir Putin last Wednesday mobilised some 300,000 additional troops for the continuing invasion of Ukraine.

The partial call-up has fueled public anger, led to an exodus of fighting-age men from Russia and sparked protests across the country, Reuters reported.

Monday was day 215 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 


Source: PAP, Reuters, pravda.com.ua