New clashes despite a unilateral ceasefire decided by Moscow

Facing difficulties, the Kremlin is trying to give a religious character to the war in Ukraine

For weeks, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) analysis, Russian officials have been trying to give a religious and sacred dimension to the invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin made this promise in his New Year’s greetings “Moral Right” was on the side of Moscow.

The claim illustrates the authorities’ desire to assuage the suspicions of a segment of the population thrown off balance by entering a country where Russian troops are predominantly Orthodox Christians, as in Russia, which is predominantly Christian.

While Moscow has suffered several military setbacks, religious rhetoric has gained momentum since the fall, with senior officials and state media portraying intervention. “Holy War” Against the West, which is portrayed as decadent. Patriarch Kirill, the powerful head of the Russian Orthodox Church, has also voiced his support for the attack.

The interweaving of religion and the military is also manifested by the sending of dozens of priests to the front to support the soldiers. Military chaplain Sviatoslav Tchourkanov explains to AFP that the missions are intended to deter soldiers “Lose their souls (…)even if circumstances push them to do so”.

As a sign of the importance of these saints, Mr. Putin in November awarded the title of “Hero of the Russian Federation,” the country’s highest honor, to Orthodox priest Mikhail Vasiliev, who was killed in a war zone.

But this involvement of the Church in the conflict was not unanimous. The rhetoric of “holy war” dates back to the Middle Ages.Andriy Gordotchkin, a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church in Madrid, told AFP in an interview. “This is the term used by Pope Urban II when he blessed the Crusades [lancée en 1096]He assured the crusaders that their sins would be forgiven., he explains. ” But still (…) War as a form of killing has no spiritual meaningHe adds.

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From 1R Parade, vs. a platform “Brother War” 293 signed by the Orthodox. Many of the signatories to the text have been sanctioned by the patriarchy, one of whom agreed on condition of anonymity. “Some were transferred from their parishes where they had served for years and were replaced by priests loyal to the government”He said, the Russian offensive call a “catastrophe”.

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