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Head of Russian Orthodox Church condemns economic sanctions, Russophobia and strategy to 'weaken Russia'

by Tola Mbakwe
Patriarch Kirill.JPG - Banner image
Reuters

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has lamented about how Russia's invasion of Ukraine is affecting Russia. 

In a letter to the World Council of Churches (WCC), Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia criticised Western sanctions against Russia and claimed that there is a wider plan to weaken the country. 

He wrote in the 10th March letter: "This tragic conflict has become a part of the large-scale geopolitical strategy aimed, first and foremost, at weakening Russia.

"And now the Western leaders are imposing such economic sanctions on Russia that will be harmful to everyone. They make their intentions blatantly obvious - to bring sufferings not only to the Russian political or military leaders, but specifically to the Russian people. Russophobia is spreading across the Western world at an unprecedented pace."

He also claimed that, historically, the origin of the issue is between Russia and the West and said Western political forces have worked to make Russia and Ukraine enemies.

"They spared no effort, no funds to flood Ukraine with weapons and warfare instructors," Patriarch Kirill said." Yet, the most terrible thing is not the weapons, but the attempt to "re-educate," to mentally remake Ukrainians and Russians living in Ukraine into enemies of Russia."

His letter was in response to WCC acting general secretary Rev Prof Dr Ioan Sauca pleading with him to ask Russian president Vladmir Putin to end the invasion.

In a letter on 2nd March he asked him to "mediate with the authorities to stop this war, the bloodshed and the suffering, and to make efforts to bring peace through dialogue and negotiations."

While, Patriarch Krill said he prays that God will bring "lasting and justice-based peace as soon as possible", he appears to wish that the WCC stay out of the conflict. 

He added: "Dear Father Ioan, I express my hope that even in these trying times, as has been the case throughout its history, the World Council of Churches will be able to remain a platform for unbiased dialogue, free from political preferences and one-sided approach."

On Friday new satellite photos appeared to show that a big convoy outside the Ukrainian capital had split up gone into towns and forests near Kyiv to reorganise. 

Ukraine's defence minister has said more civilians have been killed than soldiers have during the conflict so far.

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