Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church who made his fortune in tobacco

Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church who made his fortune in tobacco
Kirill, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church who made his fortune in tobacco

Patriarch Kirill, real name Vladimir Mikhailovich Gundyaev, is the strong man of the Russian Orthodox Church. His career can be summed up as a meteoric rise within the ecclesiastical institution.

He was 23 years old when he was ordained a monk in 1969. Only two years later, he represented the Moscow Patriarchate at the World Council of Churches in Geneva… while spying for the Soviet KGB. It was from this period that he gradually built up a fortune in the tobacco industry: the licenses granted to the Church by the State allowed him to invest in cigarette trafficking. His personal fortune is today estimated at 3.7 billion euros.

He was consecrated bishop in 1976, archbishop in 1984, finally acquiring the title of metropolitan in 1991. After presiding over the Department of External Ecclesiastical Relations from 1989 to 2009, he became the sixteenth archbishop elected Patriarch of Moscow.

Since then, the 77-year-old man has shown his loyalty to Vladimir Putin, whose imperial imagination he shares. He believes that the war in Ukraine is holy and necessary to defend “the spiritual space of Holy Russia”.

The religious patriotism of the Russian Orthodox Church, a little boost to Putin’s war propaganda

-

-

PREV North Korea sends balloons filled with excrement to South Korea
NEXT Drama aboard world’s largest cruise ship: Passenger dies after jumping from bridge