Putin’s powerful Orthodox church ally helps cement Russian support for war

On a Sunday in early April, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church stood inside the Russian Armed Forces Cathedral outside Moscow and delivered a sermon endorsing President Vladimir Putin’s war. It was the same day that Western leaders denounced reports of a massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha by Russian forces.

“It was we who broke the back of fascism, which would have conquered the world without Russia,” said Patriarch Cyril, flanked by uniformed Russian troops inside the large building commemorating Russia’s victory over invading Nazi forces in World War II. “God will help us today too.”


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