Putin’s Holy War


Vladimir Putin’s Holy War.  Podcast 3/22/22 Dennis Sanders


  • Putin wants to go back to the days of the Russian Empire.
  • He is also looking to “restore the guardians of Russian culture and morals: The Russian Orthodox Church.”
  • Putin would, after 2000, work with the Russian Orthodox church to enforce Russian nationalism. 
  • “The leadership within the church and President Putin will work together to reshape Russian society in their image and ultimately set Russia down the road to war with Ukraine.”
  • Putin’s aim is to restore the Russian Orthodox church (ROC) to the authority it once had during Tsarist Russia, restoring a long-lost ideology.
  • The ROC was against homosexuality.
  • The ROC supported panslavism, the belief that all Slavic speakers whould live in one country.
  • The ROC is tied to the very beginning of Russia.
  • Within the ideology of the ROC, Kyiv has the centrality of Jerusalem.
  • “In 2019 Patriarch Kirill said the following: “Ukraine is not on the periphery of our church. We call Kiev ‘the mother of all Russian cities.’ For us, Kiev is what Jerusalem is for many. Russian Orthodoxy began there, so under no circumstances can we abandon this historical and spiritual relationship.”
  • Vladimir Putin is equated with Prince Vladimir and therefore he was made head of the nation by the will of God.
  • “Putin’s nationalist goal wouldn’t get very far if it wasn’t for the Russian Orthodox Church. He is able to use the church as a vehicle to carry his message of reviving the Russian Empire and the church has been a willing participant, especially the current Patriarch of Moscow, Patriarch Kirill.”
  • Krill, before he became Patriarch, spoke out against abortion, euthanasia and “extreme feministic views,” and “homosexual attitudes.”  Human rights, he argued, should be subservient to “traditional values.”
  • Krill also made the “church a willing supporter of the Russian military.”
  • In a sermon on February 27, Krill said: “May the Lord preserve the Russian land… A land which now includes Russia and Ukraine and Belarus and other tribes and peoples.” Kirill then says that those fighting the “historical unity of Ukraine and Russia” were “evil forces.”
  • Krill: “…sees the rejection of Ukrainian leadership as a rejection of decadent Western values.”
  • “Ukraine is then a country that is following decadent Western values and that offends and endangers Russians in the Donbas. It’s a war not simply of armies, but of values.”
  • “The Russkii Mir or Russian World is a mixture of religious fundamentalism with totalitarianism. It was this ideology that allowed Russia to annex Crimea in 2014, start the proxy war in the Donbas and for the full invasion of Ukraine. What it states is simply this: there is a transnational Russia, a Holy Russia or Holy Rus which includes Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Within the Holy Rus there are many things held in common: a common capital in Moscow, a common spiritual center in Kyiv, a common Russian language, a common church meaning the Russian Orthodox Church, and a common patriarch (the Patriarch of Moscow). The Patriarch works in concert with the common national leader to govern the Russian world, as well as upholding a common spirituality, morality, and culture.”
  • “The Russkii Mir is an ideology of us and them. In this case, the them means the West (Western Europe, North America and the current government in Ukraine). The West has given itself up to liberalism, globalization, Christianophobia, and homosexual rights. The them also include other Orthodox churches which as considered schismatic and in error. It is only the Moscow Patriarchate, along with Putin that are the true defenders of Orthodox teachings.”
  • This means that not only is Ukraine illigitimte, but the church in Ukraine which separated from the ROC in 2018, is illegitimate.  All other leaders in the Russian World are pretenders.
  • “What this all means when it comes to Ukraine is that this isn’t a war simply of conquest. Instead it is a war of erasure, erasing a culture and its people.”
  • In 2016, the Duma passed a law and Putin signed it which was billed as protecting from terrorism.  But the “Yarovaya Law” also restricted several freedoms including of religion.  It made it illegal to preach or proselytize.  Baptists, for example, are completely banned in the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions.
  • “This time it isn’t just the state that is committing a crime, the church decided to join in as well.”
  • “The thing about Vladimir Putin’s Holy War is that every weapon used by Russia in this war was blessed by the leadership in the Russian Orthodox Church. Every bullet fired, every missile launched is considered a tool of God”

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