Written by Vladimir Moss



     On May 26, 2017, at the consecration of a new cathedral to the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs of Russia in the Monastery of the Meeting of the Lord in Moscow, Putin gave a speech celebrating the supposed reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church when the Russian Church Abroad was united to the Moscow Patriarchate ten years before. This speech is on YouTube (ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwWYu_d62Z0&feature=youtu.be). Let us examine its main thesis.

     Putin calls the division between the Churches before 2007 “tragic”, but refuses to examine the causes and nature of the division, apart from a brief reference to persecutions and the civil war. The irony is: there was no division between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad during the civil war years (1918-1921), when all Russian Christians acknowledged the leadership of his Holiness Patriarch Tikhon. The division came later, in 1927, after the acting head of the Russian Church, Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky), issued his notorious “Declaration” in which he committed the Moscow Patriarchate to serve the ends of the antichristian Soviet state, counting its joys as the Church’s joys and its sorrows as the Church’s sorrows.

      This apparently unimportant difference in dates is actually extremely important. For it was not Bolshevism, nor the persecutions of the Bolsheviks against the Church, nor even the Civil War between the Bolsheviks and the Whites, that caused the division in the Russian Church. As long as the Church refused to serve the interests of the Bolshevik state and its ideology, it remained united – and no amount of persecution could divide it. It was divided only when the majority surrendered to the Soviet Antichrist, while the minority refused to surrender.

     Moreover, it must be emphasized – this is a point that Putin and the MP deliberately gloss over – that most of those who rejected Metropolitan Sergius’ Declaration lived inside Russia. They included most of the senior and best-respected bishops of the Russian Church, who formed what was called the Catacomb Church or the True Orthodox Church of Russia. Most of them were shot or perished in the Gulag in the 1930s, but their successors live on today – and reject the union of 2007 just as they reject the Declaration of 1927.

     They reject it because it justifies Sergius’ Declaration, and justifies the total enslavement of the MP to the most evil and antichristian power in history. For it was not the MP that united with ROCOR after repenting of its apostasy, but the other way round. It was not a reconciliation in Christ, in the Truth, but in Beliar, in the lie – the great lie that it is possible to serve Christ while simultaneously serving the Antichrist.

     The process that led to the surrender of ROCOR to the MP began properly on November 13, 2001, when President Putin met Bishop Gabriel, secretary of the ROCOR Synod, and invited him and Metropolitan Laurus, the new first-hierarch, to visit Moscow. He must have agreed this invitation with Patriarch Alexis (KGB Agent “Drozdov”). So with the blessing of the KGB leaders of both Church and State, the real negotiations on union, a process that was called “structuring”by its supporters, could begin.

     “In 2003,” writes Sergei Chapnin, “Vladimir Putin met the hierarchs of the Church Abroad and in effect showed them that their union with the Moscow Patriarchate was viewed by him not only as an internal church matter, but also as a political task to which the state was not indifferent…”[1] Indeed, the KGB under Putin’s direction played a very active part in the whole process. This was acknowledged officially in a letter of gratitude addressed to Putin by the Synod of ROCOR-MP on June 14, 2017.[2]

     After some years of pointless “negotiations”, in which ROCOR surrendered all its positions, union with the MP took place in May, 2007. For eighty years, ROCOR had exposed the great lie while the KGB desperately tried to silence her witness. Finally, in 2007, it succeeded; the voice of truth fell silent; the liars graciously agreed to be reconciled with the truth-tellers – but on their terms, without repenting of any of their lies, but rather making their own version of history the official one for both Churches. Now there was no major voice to rebuke the MP not only for its Judas-like betrayal of the Holy New Martyrs, but also for its joining – under orders from the KGB – the World Council of Churches, that Babylonian cesspool of every heresy. 

     Now only the voice of blood still cries out, like Abel’s, from the earth – the blood of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. That is why the celebration of this anniversary is so shameful and so blasphemous – because it celebrates, not a great spiritual triumph, the triumph of the holy new martyrs to whom this new cathedral in Moscow is dedicated, but the opposite: a terrible spiritual defeat and apostasy, the renunciation of the right confession of the holy new martyrs, and therefore of Orthodoxy itself. And presiding over the whole ceremony, as over a latter-day Belshazzar’s feast, are President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kyrill Gundiaev, those latter-day Pharisees, of whom the Lord says: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up then the measure of your fathers’ guilt!” (Matthew 23.27-32).




     But if the content of Putin’s speech is an obvious lie, what of the man himself? Is he the new St. Constantine, as so many Orthodox Christians seem to think? Or something altogether more sinister? 

     Martin Sixsmith writes: “In December 1999,… Vladimir Putin went to celebrate his election victory with his old comrades at the FSB. When the toasts came round and Putin proposed they should drink ‘To Comrade Stalin’ there was a shocked silence followed by a loud cheer. Putin opened his celebratory speech by jokingly telling his former colleagues: ‘The agent group charged with taking the government under control has completed the first stage of its assignment.’…”[3]

     There is no reason to believe that since then Putin has changed his admiration for Stalin or his fundamental loyalty to the KGB-FSB – the organization that has killed more Orthodox Christians than any other in world history. As he said himself: “Once a chekist, always a chekist”… The fact that he now professes to be an Orthodox Christian means nothing – except that he is trying to win the electoral support of Orthodox Christians, to be “all things to all men” and the Tsar of all the Russias. KGB agents are trained to lie – and lie convincingly. Nor does he have to lie about his KGB sympathies insofar as KGB’s propaganda machine has managed to convince the Russian people that black is white and that the KGB, like Stalin himself, was actually a force for good in Russian history. If the Patriarch and all the bishops of the MP are KGB agents – as was revealed by a Russian parliamentary commission in 1992, and has not been denied by the bishops themselves – then why should he pretend to be any different?

     Nor, probably, would he want to deny that he is quite happy to serve both God and Mammon… Unfortunately, however, the Lord makes it quite clear that “You cannot serve God and Mammon.” (Matthew 6.24). These words alone should be enough to convince any Christian who knows anything about Putin to understand which side he is on. For there is no question which master Putin serves. He is probably the richest man in the world with cash assets totalling over $200 billion according to informed estimates…[4]

     But it is not his wealth as such that makes his motivation and truthfulness so suspect: it is his obvious loyalty to the Soviet Antichrist…

     Of course, Putin admits that there were “mistakes” and “excesses” in the Soviet past: after all, we’re all human – even Stalin! But he will not allow anyone, on either side, to make more than the briefest, most anodyne references to the horrors of Soviet rule. Nor will he accept – in spite of declaring in his speech that “nothing must be covered up” – that these “excesses” were more than minor blips in the glorious history of Soviet statehood. Thus right at the beginning of his reign Putin declared that the fall of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century. He followed this up with many acts of devotion to Sovietism: the return of the melody of the Soviet national hymn, and of the red flag to the armed forces, the resurrection of the pioneers, etc. And, especially, the mythology of the “Great Patriotic War”, which has been pumped as never before (not even Stalin used it, because of its nationalist connotations).[5] He is faithfully followed in this faithfulness to Sovietism by the MP: already in 2009 Patriarch Kyrill (KGB Agent “Mikhailov”) declared that the “glorious victory” of the (officially antichristian) Red Army in 1945, when Stalin supposedly “trampled down death by death”, supposedly wiped out all the sins of the 1930s purges...[6]


    Indeed, Dmitri Volchek writes: “’One Russia’ [Putin’s Party] proposes imprisonment for people who spread false information about the activity of the USSR during the war.

     “A final version of a bill forbidding the rehabilitation of Nazism is ready. It was worked out by the ‘One Russia’ fraction in the Duma. The coordinator of the patriotic platform of OR, the president of the Committee for Security Irina Yarovaia, considers it necessary to punish people for ‘denial of fact and approval of crimes established by a sentence of the International Military Tribunal, as well as the distribution of knowingly false information about the activity of the USSR during the Second world war connected with accusing people of committing crimes established by the publicly determined sentences of the International Military Tribunal.

     “Yarovaia proposes punishing such crimes with a fine of up to 300,000 roubles or imprisonment up to three years. It is proposed that the same actions carried out with the use of one’s service status or of the media should be punished with a fine of up to 100,000 – 500,000 rubles or a prison term of up to five years. In previous editions of the bill there was no mention of the USSR; it was a matter only of banning the declaration of the actions of the anti-Hitler forces as criminal. ‘Criticism of the USSR is threatened with prison,’ warns the newspaper Vedomosti. ‘If the bill is passed, will not historians occupied with the investigation of the crimes of Stalinism find themselves on the bench of the accused?’”[7]

     Putin likes to blame his predecessor Yeltsin for corrupting the wonderful faith and morals of the Soviet period. Before Yeltsin, as he argued in 2012 in a speech to the Federal Assembly, Soviet society had been distinguished by “charity, compassion and sympathy” (!!!). “Today,” however, “Russian society has an obvious deficit in spiritual bonds, a deficit in everything that made us at all times stronger, more powerful, in which we always prided ourselves – that is, such phenomena as charity, compassion and sympathy… The situation that has been created is a consequence of the fact that some 15 to 20 years ago ‘the ideological stamps of the former epoch’ were rejected…”

     Unlike Yeltsin, Putin has never clearly renounced communism. As he said in 2016 to the Pan-Russian People’s Front: “You know that like millions of Soviet citizens – over 20 million – I used to be a member of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union), and not just a regular member: for almost 20 years I worked for the organisation called the Committee for State Security of the Soviet Union [KGB]. This organisation derives from the Cheka, which was then called the armed unit of the Party. If for some reason a person left the Communist Party, they were immediately fired from the KGB. I did not join the party simply because I had to, though I cannot say I was such a dedicated communist, but I treated this with great care. As opposed to numerous party functionaries, I was not one of them; I was a rank-and-file member. As opposed to many functionaries, I did not trash my membership card, I did not burn it. I would not want to criticize anyone now – people had different motives and this is their own business. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union fell apart; my membership card is still out there somewhere. I have always liked communist and socialist ideas. If we consider the Code of the Builder of Communism that was widely published in the Soviet Union, it strongly resembles the Bible. This is not a joke; it was actually an excerpt from the Bible. It spoke of good things: equality, fraternity, happiness. However, the practical implementation of these ideals in this country had little in common with what the utopian socialists Saint-Simon or Owen spoke about. This country had little resemblance to their Sun City.”[8]

     Andrei Melnikov writes:“Vladimir Putin’s words to the effect that the communist ideology is ‘very close’ to Christianity, were uttered in a documentary film ‘Valaam’ that was shown on January 14 of this year [2018] on the television channel ‘Russia 1’. They elicited a strong reaction even in spite of the fact that the Russian president had expounded similar views earlier. The head of the government’s thought has probably sounded particularly clearly now in view of the beginning of the presidential campaign. Let us not note that the maker of the film was the journalist Andrei Kondrashov, who was recently appointed head of Putin’s pre-election campaign headquarters. The president visited Valaam monastery in June, 1917, and he has been there before. 

     “’Faith,’ said Putin on the television screen, ‘has always accompanied us. It has become stronger when our country was suffering particularly intensely during the most God-fighting years, when priests were killed and churches destroyed. But at the same time, you know, they created a new religion’ – the communist ideology, - which ‘is very akin to Christianity’. ‘Freedom, brotherhood, equality, justice – all these are invoked in the Holy Scriptures, it’s all there. And what of the ‘Law Code of the Builder of Communism’? This was a sublimation, a primitive excerpt from the Bible, they didn’t think up anything new there’.

     “Let us recall that the president said similar things earlier. For example, during his speech in 2016 before the activists of the Pan-Russian People’s Front – a structure that had played the role of locomotive in the preceding electoral campaign of the acting president. ‘I very much like and to this day I still like communist and socialist ideas,’ said Putin then. ‘If we look at the ‘Law Code of the Builder of Communism’, which was published in large quantities in the Soviet Union, we see that it is very reminiscent of the Bible. This is no joke, this is in fact an extract from the Bible.’ ‘But the practical incarnations of these remarkable ideas in our country were far from what the socialist utopians expounded. Our country was not like the City of the Sun’, explained the head of the Russian state to the PPF activists.

     “However, this time Putin added one more ‘burning’ topic – the fate of Lenin’s body in the Mausoleum. The past year was marked, in connection with the 100th anniversary of the revolution, by a sharpening of the discussion over the burial of the leader of the world revolution. One of those who expressed himself in favour a ‘normal’ burial of Lenin was the head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, after which he had a bit of a quarrel with the president of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation Gennady Ziuganov.

     “’Look,’ said Putin, ‘they put Lenin in the Mausoleum. In what does this differ from the relics of the saint? For the Orthodox, or simply for Christians? When they tell me: there is no such tradition in the Christian world, how come? Go to Athos and look. There they have holy relic. Yes, and her (on Valaam) there are also holy relics, those of Sergius and Herman.’ ‘In essence, the authorities at that time thought up nothing new. They simply adapted what humanity had already long ago invented to their own ideology,’ explained the head of the state.

     “These words on ‘relics’ received a stormy reaction from the State Duma Deputy Natalya Poklonskaya, who in the course of the past year, in unison with Kadyrov, spoke out for the burial of Lenin. ‘In my view, it would be incorrect and a consciously self-interested distortion, for political or other motives, to use and interpret ‘in one’s own way’ the words of the president on a certain parallel between the dead body of Ulyanov in the Mausoleum, on whose conscience are millions of murdered people, and the holy relics in the monasteries and churches. The opinion he voiced is not about that, but about government regimes and the attempt to create a false religion at a definite stage of history,’ wrote Poklonskaya in her account on Facebook.

     However, the words on the Mausoleum were received with rapture by the communists headed by Gennady Ziuganov. On the one hand, this is understandable: Ziuganov has himself expressed analogous idea about the similarity between the moral imperatives of communism and those of Christianity. ‘If you take the Moral ‘Code of Law of the Builder of Communism’ and the Sermon on the Mount of Jesus Christ and put them side to side, you will be surprised: the texts coincide completely,’ declared the leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in 2012 in an interview on the same ‘Russia 1’ channel. On the other hand, the rhetoric of compromise addressed to the older generation, who are not indifferent to their memories of the Soviet past, contributes to the rising popularity of Pavel Grudinin, a candidate for the presidency from the CPRF.

     “If all this is understandable for the communist electorate, there remains the question: to what extent do the thoughts of the president chime in with the point of view of the church? If we are to take the opinion of Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia as the official position of the ROC, then it is impossible for us not to register the striking consonance between his sermons and the speeches of Putin on the issue in question, with the exception, perhaps, of his words on Lenin. On April 6, 2011 in Kiev the head of the ROC said: ‘Even the years of life in the conditions of unbelief did not root out in us that very programme which was laid as a certain Code of development of our Orthodox peoples. And in this sense the unbelievers of the Soviet period were in a rudimentary way Orthodox Christians – they remained in the same system of values… At that time atheist ideology wanted to reform the system of values, but did not encroach on morality. Take the very ‘Code of Law of the Builder of Communism’ – it was dictated from the Bible. Without God, but the same morality.’ However, with regard to the burial of Lenin, the representatives of the Church in 2017 more than once said that it was necessary to wait with that.

     “’Putin’s real ideas about Christian values are hidden from us,’ thinks the leader of the Centre for the Study of Problems of Religion and Society at the Institute of Europe RAN, Roman Lunkin. ‘The president has not spoken about fulfilling the Gospel commandments or about his parish life.’ ‘For Putin the important things in public are formalities – his baptism in childhood, Orthodoxy as an element consolidating society, his principled visits to a simple church service at Christmas and more officially – at Pascha,’ said the religious expert of ‘NGR’. 

     “A leading expert of the Centre for Political Technologies, Alexei Makarkin, pointed to the fact that ‘in his interview Putin did not say that this was Christian tradition in its pure form, that would have been strange: he spoke about copying tradition, and the striving of the essentially antichristian party to borrow something.’ ‘In this way each auditorium can read what it wants,’ explained the political expert. ‘The main auditorium – nostalgic Russians – can read in it the main thing that Putin is against – that Lenin should be take out of the Mausoleum, at any rate now. At the same time there is another variant for people holding other views, in the first place believers: who, from the point of view of the believers, will copy Jesus Christ? He will be copied by the Antichrist, who will try to make out that he is Jesus, being in actual fact his most terrible enemy. For the Christians there could be the following interpretation: since the president recognizes that the communists can copy certain Christian traditions, that means that everything is in fact like that – the enemies of Christ are trying to copy, while at the same time distorting, ‘ said Markarkin of the ‘NGR’.” [9]

     This article goes a long way to answering the question: is Putin’s regime a reincarnation of the antichristian Soviet regime, or something new (and supposedly better)? If the former, then it lies under the same anathema of the Moscow Council of 1918 that fell on the obviously antichristian Soviet regime and all those who cooperated with it. If the latter, then it does not fall under the anathema and is acceptable and legitimate.

     However, this “either/or” formulation of the question is misleading; it fails to take into account the possibility that Putin’s regime is worse than the Soviet regime, being antichristian in a different, more subtle and more profound manner.

     The word “Antichrist” has a dual meaning. The preposition “anti” in Greek can mean either “against” or “in the place of”. The Soviet regime was clearly “against” Christ – it murdered millions of Christians, and persecuted the faith in word and deed. However, it did not pretend to “take the place of” Christ or God. For how could it take the place of a being that, according to communists, does not exist?

     But the Soviet regime came to an end in 1991, and with it so did the open persecution of Christians. There was nobody left in Russia who was openly “anti” – in the sense of “against” – Christ. There were still very many atheists and heretics, but no more “God-fighters”; all the surviving former God-fighters were living on their pensions; “God-fighting” was no longer legal or in any way approved.

     But in 2000 Putin came to power. Now Putin was director of the FSB (KGB), the executive branch, as it were, of the Soviet government’s war against God. For such a man to become president was therefore a profound shock and a stern warning for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. It was as if the head of the Inquisition had become head of the World Council of Churches, or Himmler – the president of Germany after the war. Nothing similar would have been even tolerated in a western country. But it was tolerated in Russia, first, because, as surveys showed, most Russians still considered the Soviet Union to be their native country, and Lenin and Stalin to be heroes; and secondly, because the West clung on to the stupid belief that over seventy years of the most terrible blood-letting in history – far longer and far more radical than Hitler’s twelve years in power – could be wiped out and reversed without any kind of decommunization, without even a single person being put on trial for the murdering of innocent people in the name of the “collective Antichrist” of Soviet power. The tragic farce has reached such a stage that the KGB has become a hero of Russia literature cinematography, with its own church in the middle of its chief prison, the Lubyanka in Moscow – not, as it might be thought to commemorate the martyrs who suffered so terribly within its walls, but for the executioners! The West concurred with this filthy whitewash; the official Orthodox Church (itself ruled by KGB agents) concurred; the masses of the Russian people concurred by voting Putin into power repeatedly. 

     And then the “rebirth” took place: without repenting in the slightest of his communist past, and while gradually reintroducing more and more Soviet traditions and symbols, Putin underwent a conversion to Christ! Or rather, from being part of the body of the Soviet Antichrist, which was “anti”, that is, “against” Christ, he is now preaching a form of Communist Christianity that, as Makarkin puts it, “copies” Jesus Christ, placing its own ideas “in the place” of Christ’s and passing them off as His. And if the “copy” is a poor one – just as Lenin’s mummified body is a very poor imitation of the relics of the saints, and the “Code of Law of the Builder of Communism” is a very poor imitation of the Sermon on the Mount - this does not matter, so long as the masses are taken in by it, or, if not taken in by it, at least convinced that Christ and the antichristian state are now on the same side...

     So the Russian revolution has mutated from one kind of Antichristianity to another, from Lenin’s Antichristianity that was openly against Christ, to Putin’s Antichristianity which pretends not to be against Christ but to copy Him and take His place…

    There can be no doubt that this new, more sophisticated kind of Antichristianity is more dangerous than the former – and closer to the kind that will be practised by “the personal Antichrist” himself at the end of time. For of that Antichrist the Lord said: “I have come in My Father’s name and you do not believe Me: if another shall come in his own name, him you will believe” (John 5.43). In other words, you have rejected the real Christ, and as a direct result you will accept an imposter, a man-god, for the real thing, the God-Man.

     But we must not be deceived, remembering Putin’s words: “Once a chekist, always a chekist…”


June 15/28, 2018.

St. Lazar, Martyr-King of Serbia.




[1] Sergei Chapnin, “Kak RPTs demontiruiet tserkovnoe nasledie russkoj emigratsii”, Moscow Carnegie Center, November 18, 2016.

[2]АрхиерейскийСоборРусскойЗарубежнойЦерквинаправилприветствиеПрезидентуРоссииВладимируВладимировичуПутину”, http://www.synod.com/synod/2017/20170620_soborputin.html.

[3]Sixsmith, The Litvinenko File, London: Macmillan, 2007, p. 302.

[4]Putin’s wealth was estimated in 2007 at about $40 billion. See Luke Harding, “Putin, the Kremlin power struggle and the $40bn fortune”, The Guardian, December 21, 2007, pp. 1-2. But in 2013 the Sunday Times estimated it at $130 billion, twice that of Bill Gates (http://artemov-igor.livejournal.com/227037.html). In 2012, the former Kremlin adviser Stanislav Belkovsky revised the estimate upwards (Rob Wile, “Is Vladimir Putin secretly the Richest Man in the World?” Money, January 23, 2017, https://uk.news.yahoo.com/vladimir-putin-secretly-richest-man-171217146.html). Businessman Bill Browder has revised it upwards again: “Is Putin the world's real richest man? After 17 years in power, Russian leader has a '$200 billion fortune, 58 planes and helicopters and 20 palaces and country retreats”Daily Mail, February 20, 2017, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4242718/Vladimir-Putin-200-billion-fortune.html#ixzz4ZKELKhAz.

[5] See Shaun Walker, The Long Hangover. Putin’s New Russia and the Ghosts of the Past, Oxford University Press, 2018, chapter 2.

[6] See V. Moss, “1945 ГОДИБОГОСЛОВИЕПОБЕДЫВМОСКОВСКОЙПАТРИАРХИИ”, https://www.academia.edu/10213748/1945

[7] Volchek, “Kvazireligia Velikoj Pobedy” (The Quasi-religion of the Great Victory), Radio Svoboda, February 7, 2014, http://www.svoboda.org/a/25255849.html.

[8] http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/page/130.

[9] Melnikov, “Valaamovo otkrovenie dlia chetvertogo sroka” (A Valaam Revelation for a Fourth Term), N-G Religia, Putin Interview reported on Russia Today, 2018.

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