Moscow patriarch justifies Russian troops' actions


RIA Novosti, 6 May 2016


Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill called the war with terrorism in the Near East, in which Russian armed forces also are participating, a "holy war." On Friday the primate of the Russian church, on the day of commemoration of St. George the Conqueror—the celestial patron of troops-- performed the divine liturgy in the church of St. George on Poklonnaya Hill.


"Today, when our troops are participating in military actions in the Near East, we know that this is not aggression, this is not occupation, this is not imposing ideology on anybody, this is not support of some particular governments, this is a struggle with that terrible enemy who carries within itself evil not only for the Near East but for the whole of humankind. This is the evil that we today call terrorism," the patriarch said.


He noted that terrorists kill peaceful people who are not in any way fighting them nor representing any danger and they kill "in order to intimidate, in order to break somebody's resistance, and terrorism has brought so much suffering and innocent victims."


"Therefore today the war with terrorism is a holy war. And God grant that everybody in the whole world would understand this, so that nobody would divide terrorists into good ones and bad ones and nobody would connect the achievement of any of their own often undeclared but powerful in a political sense objectives with the war against terrorism," the RPTs primate said.


He recalled that the Great Patriotic War also was called "holy" from the very beginning. "We did not start the war, but the enemy invaded our land and began from the first days of military action to display incredible cruelty, to destroy the civilian population, to burn villages and to destroy cities," the patriarch said.


He said that the Russian troops "can safely be called Christ-loving troops because they were fighting for the truth, for the motherland, for their own land, and for the people against a treacherous and cruel enemy." "And we pray that the armed forces of our fatherland will always, in any circumstances, remain faithful to that spiritual line that presupposes the participation of the armed forces only in the struggle against evil and the struggle for justice and for the salvation of human life," the patriarch concluded. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 May 2016)

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