By Kostas Onisenko
Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the Main Cathedral of the Russian Armed Forces yesterday. The president of the Russian Federation was accompanied by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu.
The church was consecrated on June 14, President Putin did not attend and his spokesperson said the visit would take place later, as it did. The church, dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ, is located in a military-patriotic theme park called Patriot in a suburb of Moscow. References to World War II and the war history of the USSR and Russia are evident both in the decoration of the church and in the additions made to the exterior of the church, such as the historic section, which, among other exhibits, is Adolf Hitler’s hat and coat.
Yesterday’s visit by Putin was combined with commemorative events for the beginning of the so-called “Great Patriotic War.” This is the term used by Russia to describe the period of the Second World War (1941–1945) during which the USSR participated in the war. In his speech, Vladimir Putin referred to the USSR’s involvement in World War II and the current strength of the Russian Armes Forces.
“I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings to Vladimir Vladimirovich as the head of the Russian Armed Forces and thank you for your work. Everything happening in the country today depends to a large extent on the decisions made by the president, and what happening in the army by the commander-in-chief. And we, as religious people, pray for your health so that the Lord keeps you strong, gives you spiritual and physical strength to continue your responsible service to our people,” said, among other things, Patriarch Kirill in his address to the Russian president.