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Russian President Attends Orthodox Easter Service in Moscow on Sunday

Moscow, Russia – President Vladimir Putin attended an Easter service at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on Sunday. The service was conducted by the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been a strong supporter of Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.

The President arrived at the cathedral accompanied by his closest aides. Putin was greeted by the Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and other top church officials. President Putin crossed himself several times during the service, which is known as the Divine Liturgy where Patriarch Kirill echoed, “Christ has risen” and the congregation chorused “Truly he is risen” 

The Easter service is one of the most important events in the Russian Orthodox Church’s calendar. It marks the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season. Putin’s attendance at the service was seen as a symbolic gesture of his close ties with the church.

During the service, Putin was seen lighting a candle and kissing an icon of Jesus Christ. He also joined the choir in singing hymns and listened to a sermon delivered by the Patriarch Kirill.

The Patriarch has been a vocal supporter of Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, which has led to international condemnation and economic sanctions against Russia.   

The church’s support for Putin has been criticized by some members of the clergy, who say that it goes against the principles of the church. 

Despite the criticism, the Russian Orthodox Church remains a powerful force in Russian politics. It is estimated that around 70% of Russians identify as Orthodox Christians, and the church has close ties to the Kremlin.

Following the service, Putin spoke briefly with reporters and wished the Russian people a happy Easter. He also praised the Russian Orthodox Church for its work in promoting traditional values and for its role in strengthening the country’s national identity. The president had also wished Orthodox christians and all Russians celebrating Easter Sunday. According to a Twitter post, he said: “The wonderful and much-loved Easter holiday fills believers’ hearts with hope, inspires kind thoughts and good deeds, and serves to promote highly moral ideals & values in society”

The President’s attendance at the Easter service comes at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine. In recent weeks, there has been an increase in fighting in eastern Ukraine.

The conflict has claimed  thousands of lives and displaced millions of people. Despite numerous attempts to broker a peace agreement, the situation in eastern Ukraine remains unresolved.

Putin’s decision to attend the Easter service is likely to be seen as a message to the West that Russia remains a powerful and influential player in the region. The President’s close ties to the Russian Orthodox Church, which has been a vocal supporter of his policies, are likely to further complicate efforts to resolve the conflict. As the situation in Ukraine continues to deteriorate, the role of religion and politics in the region is likely to come under increasing scrutiny.

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