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Russian Orthodox metropolitan compares occupied Crimea with Gulag

Sunday, 15 October 2023, 20:11
Russian Orthodox metropolitan compares occupied Crimea with Gulag
SHEVKUNOV (LEFT) AND PUTIN IN 2021. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Metropolitan Tikhon (Shevkunov), who has been appointed head of the Crimean Metropolis of the Russian Orthodox Church, has compared occupied Crimea with Kolyma. During the mass repressions of 1932-1954, Kolyma in Russia’s far east was the location of correctional labour camps where the living and working conditions were particularly harsh.

Source: Tikhon, in an address to parishioners at the Pskov Caves monastery in Russia, reported by Krym.Realii (Crimea.Realities)

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Quote: "What is Crimea? What was Crimea in ancient Greece, in Byzantium? Kolyma! It is Kolyma! For us, it is Crimea, but for them it was a place where people did not live normal lives. They sent [Saints] John Chrysostom and Pope Clement there. ‘To Kolyma’! And now I am being sent there too, to the resorts of Kolyma."

Details: On 11 October, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church dismissed Tikhon as head of the Pskov Metropolis and appointed him head of the Crimean Metropolis. No reason was given for the decision.

Metropolitan Tikhon was close to Vladimir Putin and was even reported to be the Russian president’s confessor. In March, Shevkunov was captured on film during Putin's first visit to Crimea since the start of the full-scale war with Ukraine.

As the head of the Patriarchal Council for Culture, the metropolitan advocated the transfer of the Trinity icon by Andrei Rublev from the Tretyakov Gallery into the possession of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Investigative journalists have claimed that Tikhon has received billions of roubles from the state budget as grants for his projects.

The metropolitan is also known for having blocked work on the law on combating domestic violence, which was supposed to have been submitted to the State Duma at the end of 2019.

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