Written by Vladimir Moss



     The Second World War is usually portrayed as a glorious triumph of good over evil… That evil was crushed in the persons of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito and their despotic regimes was indeed a good. But in fact this was a victory so pyrrhic, so catastrophic both in its short- and its longer-term consequences for the world that a radical revision is required, not so much of the actual history of the period from 1914 to 1945 so much as its moral and religious significance.

     The first and most important consequence was that the possibility of a restoration of the Orthodox Autocracy, the only God-pleasing form of political life, was postponed for several generations. The Russian revolution of 1917 had removed the last of the Orthodox Autocrats, but the spirit of the Autocracy – and therefore the possibility of its restoration – lived on in the Russian Orthodox (and, to a lesser extent, the Balkan Orthodox) people. The Bolsheviks were well aware of that, which is why, as late as 1944, they tortured to death Catacomb Church Archimandrite Michael (Kostiuk) of Kiev because he was suspected of being a Romanov, a pretender to the Russian Throne… However, the vast slaughter of the bearers of the Orthodox Autocratic consciousness, the Orthodox Christians of Russia and the Balkans, - which reached climaxes in 1914-21 (in Russia and Serbia), in 1922-23 (in Greece), in 1928-37 (in Russia), in 1941 (in Croatia) and in 1941-45 (in Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece), with continuing slaughter in the post-war period until 1949, - meant that, even if the possibility of a restoration of the Orthodox Autocracy had presented itself in the post-war period, there would not have been enough genuine Orthodox monarchists alive to make its survival and flourishing feasible. Only in the Russian Church Abroad, which after the war took up its headquarters in New York, was the Orthodox Autocratic consciousness maintained and nourished.

     The attention of western historians and publicists has been fixed on the Jewish holocaust. (We will not enter the thorny question of how many millions actually died.) However, scarcely any attention has been focussed on the far larger Orthodox Christian Holocaust. It is a striking fact that the majority of those killed on the killing fields of early twentieth-century Europe – tens of millions of people - were Orthodox Christians. Why?

     Undoubtedly the primary reason for this was the wrath of God against His backsliding people, “If My people had heard Me, if Israel had walked in My ways, quickly would I have humbled their enemies, and upon their oppressors would I have laid My hand” (Psalm 81.12-13). But they did not hear Him, but allowed heresies such as ecumenism to penetrate their midst, and did not stand up for the Orthodox Autocrat and God-given defender of the Orthodox commonwealth.

     The main instruments of God’s wrath against His people were Jews, Catholics and Communists. All three categories were also mightily punished – the Jews in Russia and Poland especially (but also throughout the Balkans), the Communists in Russia and Greece, and the Catholics in Poland and Yugoslavia. And the Germans, who had done so much evil against the Orthodox peoples since 1914, finally received their punishment in their own land, as Elder Aristocles had prophesied in 1911. So the word was fulfilled on them as it had been on the Assyrians in the Old Testament: “Shall the axe boast against Him Who chops with it? Or shall the saw exalt itself against Him Who saws with it?” (Isaiah 10.15).

     But God’s wrath against His people was mixed with mercy. Thus the heresy of ecumenism, thanks to Stalin’s vigilance against western influence, did not penetrate significantly into communist Eastern Europe until the early 1960s, when the KGB ordered the Sovietized Moscow Patriarchate to enter the World Council of Churches. Again, Greece was saved from communism thanks to British and American intervention on the side of the royalists. Again, many millions of Orthodox were enabled to escape the holocaust and enter the relative safety of the West, where thousands of western converts joined their ranks. Last but not least, millions (probably) of new martyrs and confessors joined the ranks of the intercessors for Orthodoxy in the Heavenly Kingdom.

     And yet Orthodoxy has not flourished in the almost 70 years that have passed since 1945, but has undergone an apparently inexorable decline. The main reason for that, I believe, is that the post-war generations did not learn or take to heart the lessons to be drawn from the holocaust period. What were those lessons?

     The most important of these was that the Orthodox Christian Autocrat was indeed “he that restraineth” the coming of the Antichrist (II Thessalonians 2.7). For after his removal “the collective Antichrist” of Soviet power gained power in Russia, while its scarcely less terrible twin, Nazi power, wrought terrible havoc throughout the whole of Eastern Europe. The natural and right reaction to this would have been repentance for betraying the Tsar and a recognition that the Autocracy is the only political system under which Orthodox Christianity can flourish. But this reaction has not taken place. Instead, the idea has taken root that the saviour of Orthodoxy can only be democracy – that ancient Greek heresy abhorred by the Holy Fathers which showed itself, through its behaviour in the Second World War, to be little different in essence from its totalitarian opponents. Thus true Orthodox monarchism has all but disappeared from the Orthodox countries. And even those who are not seduced by democratism cling to the deceptive illusion of constitutional monarchism – that is, monarchism ruled from behind the scenes by a nameless and faceless anti-democratic clique.

     It is only with the triumph of Soviet power in 1917 that we find totalitarian despotism established for more or less lengthy periods over very large populations. The Second World War established this power over a vast territory from Berlin to Vladivostok; the Chinese revolution of 1949 brought the world’s most populous nation into the net; and the power of totalitarianism continued to spread throughout the world for the next forty years. In all these lands, moreover, we find the characteristic traits of Soviet Communism: terror, atheism and mass murder. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the first four horsemen of the Apocalypse, emerging after the breaking of the first four seals, describe precisely the period 1917-1949. Even the precise extent of communist tyranny by 1949 – one quarter of the earth’s surface – is described there: “And I looked, and behold a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him. And power was given to them over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6.8).

     It is sometimes argued that totalitarianism ended in 1991 with the triumph of democracy over Soviet Communism. However, totalitarian regimes still flourish in China, North Korea, Burma, Cuba and parts of Africa and the Middle East. Moreover, the democracies of North America, the European Union and the neo-Soviet Russian Federation are steadily increasing their control over their citizens in a more subtle, less violent, but essentially no less totalitarian way – democracy there is turning into despotism again.

     The major powers that escaped totalitarianism in 1945, such as the United States, Britain and France, were both more tolerant of traditional religion and less inclined to mix religion with politics. But in the second half of the twentieth century the democracies have carried on the antichristian revolution with hardly less success than the anti-democratic totalitarian regimes of the first half, albeit in less violent ways. The critical year may in retrospect be seen to have been 1953, when the violent, masculine phase of the revolution passed its peak with the death of Stalin, but the more seductive, feminine phase began with the invention of the contraceptive pill…

     Thus the Nihilist dreams of Nechaev and Nietzsche, which became nightmarish reality in the era of Stalin and Hitler, have given way to more peaceful visions of life without God (at least in any form recognizable to traditional monotheism) - but with education and clean water, human rights and computer games.

     The aim of this continuation of the revolution by non-violent means – its “positive”, “creative” phase, as opposed to the “negative”, “destructive” phase up to 1945 – is the same as before: to reconcile a renewed mankind to a completely this-worldly faith and hope. The first, violent, nihilist phase of the revolution was necessary in order to root out the old, other-worldly faith. In Lenin’s famous phrase, “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.” But now mankind can proceed to a new age of universal prosperity and happiness from which all sorrow and pain will have fled away and in which, consequently, the “opium” of traditional religion will no longer be necessary.

     “The spirit of violence,” writes Fr. Seraphim Rose, “has been most thoroughly incarnated, in our century, by the Nihilist regimes of Bolshevism and National Socialism; it is to these there have been assigned the principal roles in the Nihilist task of the destruction of the Old Order. The two, whatever their psychological dissimilarities, and the historical ‘accidents’ which placed them in opposing camps, have been partners in their frenzied accomplishment of this task. Bolshevism, to be sure, has had the more ‘positive’ role of the two, since it has been able to justify its monstrous crimes by an appeal to a pseudo-Christian, messianic idealism which Hitler scorned; Hitler’s role in the Nihilist program was more specialized and provincial, but nonetheless essential.

     “Even in failure – in fact, precisely in the failure of its ostensible aims – Nazism served the cause of this program. Quite apart from the political and ideological benefits which the Nazi interlude in European history gave to the Communist powers (Communism, it is now widely and erroneously believed, if evil in itself, still cannot be as evil as Nazism), Nazism had another, more obvious and direct, function. Goebbels explained this function in his radio broadcasts in the last days of the War. ‘The bomb-terror spares the dwellings of neither rich nor poor; before the labor offices of total war the last class barriers have had to go down… Together with the monuments of culture there crumble also the last obstacles to the fulfilment of our revolutionary task. Now that everything is in ruins, we are forced to rebuild Europe. In the past, private possessions tied us to a bourgeois restraint. Now the bombs, instead of killing all Europeans, have only smashed the prison walls which kept them captive… In trying to destroy Europe’s future, the enemy has only succeeded in smashing its past; and with that, everything old and outworn has gone.’

     “Nazism thus, and its war, have done for Central Europe (and less thoroughly, for Western Europe) what Bolshevism did in its Revolution for Russia: destroyed the Old Order, and thus cleared the way for the building of the ‘new’. Bolshevism then had no difficulty in taking over where Nazism had left off; within a few years the whole of Central Europe had passed under the ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ – i.e., Bolshevist tyranny – for which Nazism had effectively prepared the way.”[1]

     But once old-fashioned nihilism has done its annihilatory job, it is time to go “beyond Nihilism” into “the new age”. “The new age,” continues Rose, “which many call a ‘post-Christian’ age, is at the same time the age ‘beyond Nihilism’ – a phrase that expresses at once a fact and a hope. The fact this phrase expresses is that Nihilism, being negative in essence even if positive in aspiration, owing its whole energy to its passion to destroy Christian Truth, comes to the end of its program in the production of a mechanized ‘new earth’ and a dehumanized ‘new man’: Christian influence over man and over society having been effectively obliterated, Nihilism must retire and give way to another, more ‘constructive’ movement capable of acting from autonomous and positive motives. This movement… takes up the Revolution at the point where Nihilism leaves off and attempts to bring the movement which Nihilism began to its logical conclusion.”[2]

     Again, he wrote: “The Nihilism of Hitler was too pure, too unbalanced, to have more than a negative, preliminary role to play in the whole Nihilist program. Its role, like the role of the purely negative first phase of Bolshevism, is now finished, and the next stage belongs to a power possessing a more complete view of the whole Revolution, the Soviet power upon which Hitler bestowed, in effect, his inheritance in the words, ‘the future belongs solely to the stronger Eastern nation.’…”[3]

     For two generations, until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the negative and positive, Nihilist and post-Nihilist, phases of the revolution coexisted in a state of cold war. The Cold War nearly turned hot in 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis. It was averted, not by diplomacy, as the world would have it, but by the prayers of two True Orthodox Russian bishops, Michael Yershov, who spent over forty years of his life in the GULAG until his death, and Basil Kalinin, who died in 1995. “It was August, 1962. The Cuban crisis! The attention of the world was glued to it, and it affected even the special section hidden in the Mordovian forests. ‘It has to be…! Khruschev has penetrated into the bosom of the Americans!’ That was how the zeks [criminal inmates] interpreted it. People living beyond the barbed wire admitted the possibility that in time of war the local authorities would annihilate them, as the most dangerous politicals, first of all.” “At the special section the zeks insisted that Moscow had issued an order that in time of war the politicals and recidivists would be annihilated first of all. The Cuban crisis was soon resolved, and our camp calmed down. Many years later I heard that the fears of the zeks in 1962 had not been without foundation. They had really been threatened with annihilation at that time.” “In 1964, soon after the fall of Khruschev, a colonel from the Georgian KGB came to our camp. And he said, among other things: ‘Khruschev adopted the policy of the complete physical annihilation of the politicals, and first of all the recidivists. During the Cuban crisis everything was prepared for your shooting – even a pit was dug’.” [Bishop] Basil Vasilyevich Kalinin remembered that the holy hierarch [Michael] once unexpectedly aroused him from sleep with the words: “Six minutes are remaining. Get up, Basil, and pray! The world is in danger!” And then he learned that this was the critical moment in the Cuban crisis…[4]

     So two authentic bearers of the Orthodox Autocratic consciousness saved the world from annihilatory war between Despotism and Democracy… Finally, Despotism, defeated in the race for economic and military predominance with Democracy, decided to accept that she was no longer in the vanguard of History, but a step behind. The Communists retired hurt but not really defeated, the Masons moved back into Russia[5], and Jewish ex-communist oligarchs returned to control of the means of production from which Stalin had almost banished them…[6] To the architects of the new age, it looked as if the Soviet Union, so necessary in the first, violent phase of the revolution, but so cumbersome and obstructive now, was to be consigned to the dustbin of history. Russia was about to join “the international community” of free nations…

     The Yeltsin era (1991-2000) produced important gains. The most important of these was freedom of religion: open opposition to the Moscow Patriarchate was permitted, the Russian Church Abroad was permitted to open parishes in Russia, and the remnants of the Catacomb Christians poured into it. Also important was freedom of the press: the horrific scale of the crimes of the Stalin era became public knowledge, the MP hierarchs were exposed as KGB agents who had consciously obeyed the God-hating communist state for generations, and even the Communist Party was put on trial (but acquitted). However, repentance for the Soviet past was intermittent and superficial; the KGB, though humbled, was not destroyed (now, in 2013, there are twice as many agents as in Stalin’s time); many of the worst aspects of Western Capitalism were allowed to develop unchecked; and the official church, after an initial fright, regained the initiative. “Sergianism” was justified as a “wise” move, and the most serious fruit of Sergianism – the MP’s participation in the heretical ecumenical movement – intensified.

      As the liberal era of the 1990s came to an end, a kind of pseudo-Russian patriotism came to the fore. However, as Protopriest Lev Lebedev wrote, “fatherland”, “Russia”, “the State” had become idols, more important that the true Faith, without which they are worthless: “The ideological idol under the name of ‘fatherland’ (‘Russia’, ‘the state’) has been completely preserved. We have already many times noted that these concepts are, in essence, pagan ideological idols not because they are in themselves bad, but because they have been torn out from the trinitarian unity of co-subjected concepts: Faith, Tsar, Fatherland (Orthodoxy, Autocracy, People)…

     “Everything that one might wish to be recognized and positive, even the regeneration of the faith, is done under the slogan of ‘the regeneration of the Fatherland (Russia)’! But nothing is being regenerated. Even among the monarchists the regeneration of the Orthodox Autocratic Monarchy is mainly represented as no more than the means for the regeneration of the Fatherland. We may note that if any of the constituent parts of the triad – Orthodoxy, Autocracy, People – is torn away from the others and becomes the only one, it loses its power. Only together and in the indicated hierarchical order did they constitute, and do they constitute now, the spiritual (and all the other) strength and significance of Great Russia. But for the time being it is the ideological idol ‘fatherland’ that holds sway…”[7]

     This extraordinary mixture of Orthodoxy, Nationalism and Communism – or “Ecclesiastical Stalinism”, as it is known - was the most horrific sign of the lack of repentance of the MP even now that it was free from Soviet oppression. It was supported by, among others, the former idol of ROCOR’s liberals, Fr. Demetrius Dudko. “Now the time has come,” he wrote, “to rehabilitate Stalin. And yet not him himself, but the concept of statehood. Today we can see for ourselves what a crime non-statehood is and what a blessing statehood is! No matter how many cry that in Soviet times many perished in the camps – how many are perishing now, without trials or investigations… If Stalin were here, there would be no such collapse…. Stalin, an atheist from the external point of view, was actually a believer… It is not without reason that in the Russian Orthodox Church, when he died, ‘eternal memory’ was sung to him… The main thing is that Stalin looked after people in a fatherly manner. Stalin legitimately stands next to Suvorov!”[8]

     According to a 2005 survey, 42% of the Russian people, and 60% of those over sixty, wanted the return of “a leader like Stalin.”[9] Their wish was granted… On January 1, 2000 KGB Colonel Putin came to power… With Putin the Russian revolution has entered what may be its culminating phase. His regime, which claims to be the successor both of the RSFSR and the USSR, may be described as neo-Soviet without Marxism but with “Orthodoxy” – and all under the control of the KGB/FSB. It draws support from a heady mixture of conflicting constituencies: nationalists and democrats and monarchists, conservative Orthodox and pagan mystics and atheists, westerners and capitalists and Slavophiles.

     Putin’s propagandist Yegor Kholmogorov has written: “Putin’s power was, from the very beginning, non-electoral in origin, it was not a matter of being ‘appointed by Yeltsin’, but of what the Chinese call ‘the mandate of heaven’, an unquestioned right to power... ”[10] Putin was indeed resembling a Chinese emperor more than a democratic politician, not only in his political style, but also in his fabulous personal wealth…[11]

     “For those who claim,” writes Professor Olga Ackerly, “that the ‘CIS is different from the USSR’ and Putin is a ‘practising Orthodox Christian’, here are some sobering facts. The first days and months Putin’s presidency were highlighted by the reestablishment of a memorial plaque on Kutuzovsky Prospect where Andropov used to live. The plaque was a symbol of communist despotism missing since the 1991 putsch, bearing Andropov’s name – a former head of the KGB, especially known for his viciousness in the use of force and psychiatric clinics for dissidents. On May 9, 2000, Putin proposed a toast to the ‘genius commander’ Iosif Stalin and promoted many former KGB officers to the highest state positions…

     “Important to note is that the Eurasian movement, with ties to occultism, ecumenism, etc. was recently revived by Putin, and a Congress entitled ‘The All-Russian Political Social Movement’, held in Moscow in April of 2001, was ‘created on the basis of the Eurasist ideology and inter-confessional [sic!] harmony in support of the reforms of President Vladimir Putin.’ The movement is led by Alexander Dugin, a sexual mystic, National Bolshevik Party member, son of a Cheka cadre, personally familiar with the so-called ‘Black International’, advisor to the State Duma, and participant in Putin’s ‘Unity’ movement.”[12]

     From 2003 Putin moved to reverse the main gains of the liberal 1990s – religious freedom, and a more open and honest attitude to the Soviet past. Churches were seized from True Orthodox Christians and their websites hacked; elections were rigged, independent journalists were killed, and independent businessmen imprisoned on trumped-up charges; and new history books justifying Stalinism were introduced into the classrooms. The red flag and hammer and sickle were restored to the armed services, as well as the melody (if not the words) of the Soviet national anthem. Youth organizations similar to the Hitler Youth were created.[13] And in general Putin’s Russia began to resemble Nazi Germany in the 1930s…

     Significantly, therefore, it was in Munich in 2007 that Putin chose to announce his claim to the right of first strike in a nuclear war – a claim made by no previous Soviet leader. Indeed, the bellicosity and sheer rudeness of Putin (the untranslateable Russian word is hamstvo) is striking and blatant. Only a little less striking is the West’s studied ignoring of the fact that this man wants war – albeit at a time and place of his choosing, when he feels strong enough…

     Banking on the high price of Russian oil, Putin began to rebuild Russia’s economic and military might – but the corruption and imbalances within the Russian economy have hindered the diversification of the economy that he needs, and in recent years the economy has stalled. State- and privately-organized crime has flourished under his patronage. The MP has shown complete loyalty to Putinism, and takes an enthusiastic part in the criminal economy, as is illustrated by the activities of Patriarch Cyril (Gundiaev), who, while intriguing for a unia with the Vatican, imports tobacco and alcohol duty-free and is now one of the richest men in Russia.[14]

     In 2007, Putin brokered a union between the majority of the Russian Church Abroad and the Moscow Patriarchate, which owed more than a little to the resurgent influence of the KGB/FSB.[15] This is the most serious blow to the True Church and Holy Russia since the official Church under Metropolitan Sergius submitted to Stalin in 1927. Even in the darkest days of Stalinism the voice of the Russian Church Abroad told the truth about Russia; but now that voice is much weaker, surviving only in the Russian True Orthodox Church…

      However, as the poet Fyodor Tiutchev said, you cannot measure Russia by a conventional yardstick. Great reversals are possible in her as in no other nation. And many of the holy prophets and elders of Russia prophesied that the Russian people will repent, the revolution will be destroyed and Holy Russia resurrected through the prayers of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors.In one of those prophecies, the Holy Nun-Martyr and Great Princess Elizabeth Fyodorovna declared: “If we look deep into the life of every human being, we discover that it is full of miracles. You will say, 'Of terror and death, as well.' Yes, that also. But we do not clearly see why the blood of these victims must flow. There, in the heavens, they understand everything and, no doubt, have found calm and the True Homeland - a Heavenly Homeland. We on this earth must look to that Heavenly Homeland with understanding and say with resignation, 'Thy will be done.' Great Russia is completely destroyed, but Holy Russia and the Orthodox Church, which ‘the gates of hell cannot overcome’, exists and exists more than ever. And those who believe and who do not doubt for one moment will see ‘the inner sun’ which enlightens the darkness during the thundering storm… I am only convinced that the Lord Who punishes is also the same Lord Who loves 

     “Even though all the powers of hell may be set loose, Holy Russia and the Orthodox Church will remain unconquered. Some day, in this ghastly struggle, Virtue will triumph over Evil. Those who keep their faith will see the Powers of Light vanquish the powers of darkness. God both punishes and pardons…”

     The world today is dominated by despotisms pretending to be democracies (Russia and China) and democracies transforming themselves gradually into despotisms (the United States and the European Union). Orthodox Autocracy and the Autocratic consciousness having been more or less wiped out in the period 1917-45, there appears no hope for world sunk into a depth of religious, moral, social and political anarchy unprecedented in human history. To the fallen human mind there seems to be no hope, no possibility that the apostasy can be checked, let alone reversed. But “love hopeth all things” (I Corinthians 13.7); and it was at a similar moment of blackness and despair that the Roman army in York raised on their shields the Emperor Constantine, who proceeded to drive out the tyrant persecutors, and exalt true Christian piety throughout the civilised world. Let us pray to Almighty God, for Whom all things are possible, that He will raise up a New Constantine in our fallen world, that we may sing: “Ye faithful Christian kings, forechosen by divine decree, rejoice. Receiving from God the Precious Cross, make this victorious weapon your glory, for by it the tribes of the enemy that rashly seek battle are scattered unto all ages…”[16]


September 17/30, 2013.

Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross.

[1] Rose, Nihilism, Platina, Ca.: St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 2001, pp. 76-77.

[2] Rose, op. cit., p. 88.

[3] Rose, op. cit., p. 77.

[4] I.V. Ilichev, Voin Khristov Vernij i Istinnij: Tajnij Episkop IPTs Mikhail (Yershov) (Faithful and True Warrior of Christ: Secret Bishop Michael (Yershov), Moscow: Bratonezh, 2011, pp. 499-500.

[5] It was as New Hieroconfessor Theodore (Rafanovsky, +1975) had prophesied: "The communists have been hurled at the Church like a crazy dog. Their Soviet emblem - the hammer and sickle - corresponds to their mission. With the hammer they beat people over the head, and with the sickle they mow down the churches. But then the Masons will remove the communists and take control of Russia.” In January, 1992 the first of several affiliates of the Grand Lodge Nationale Française was founded in Moscow (Richard Rhoda, “Russian Freemasonry: A New Dawn”, paper read at Orient Lodge 15 on June 29, 1996, Boris Yeltsin became a Mason in 1992. Vladimir Putin became one in Germany.

[6] Jews continued to occupy prominent positions in post-war Communist Eastern Europe, especially in Poland and Romania (see Michael Hoffman, “Pope John Paul II: The Judas Iscariot of Our Time”, The Hoffman Wire, April 4, 2005, However, their influence began to wane in the Soviet Union, and by the 1970s it was more strongly felt in the anti-Soviet dissident movement, which looked to the West.

[7] Lebedev, Veliokorossia (Great Russia), St. Petersburg, 1999, p. 655.

[8] Dudko, “Mysli sviaschennika” (The Thoughts of a Priest),

[9] Orlando Figes, “Vlad the Great”, New Statesman, 3 December, 2007, p. 34.

[10]Kholmogorov, “Kremlevskij Mechtatel’” (Kremlin Dreamer), Spetnaz Rossii (Russia’s Special Forces), 2000/2.

[11] See Luke Harding, “Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune”, The Guardian, December 21, 2007, pp. 1-2. More recent estimates put his fortune at £100 billion.

[12] Ackerly, “High Treason in ROCOR: The Rapprochement with Moscow”, pp. 21, 25.

[13] Edward Lucas, The New Cold War, London: Bloomsbury, 2008, p. 102.

[14] “After the fall of the Soviet Union, the church received official privileges including the right to import duty-free alcohol and tobacco. In 1995, the Nikolo-Ugreshky Monastery, which is directly subordinated to the patriarchate, earned $350 million from the sale of alcohol. The patriarchate’s department of foreign church relations, which Kirill ran, earned $75 million from the sale of tobacco. But the patriarchate reported an annual budget in 1995-1996 of only $2 million. Kirill’s personal wealth was estimated in Moscow News in 2006 to be $4 billion.” (, February, 2009). Putin’s wealth has been estimated by The Guardian, among other newspapers, as $40 billion.

[15] Konstantin Preobrazhensky, KGB/FSB’s New Trojan Horse: Americans of Russian Descent, North Billerica, MA: Gerard Group Publishing, 2008.

[16] Festal Menaion, Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Mattins, Canon, Canticle Eight, troparion.

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