A Christian Orthodox devotee in the Ural Mountains has spoken out against voodoo dolls being sold as effigies of Western political leaders because voodoo is a "cruel pagan custom," he wrote in an open letter to the Russian Orthodox Church on Monday.
Andrei Kalikh, who lives in the Perm region, has asked the local branch of the Orthodox Church to investigate the sale of these dolls by the pro-Kremlin Anti-Maidan movement, according to the letter, posted on his Facebook page. The movement was established in January in a stated bid to prevent in Russia any "color revolutions" or protest initiatives like the Maidan movement, which led to the ouster of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych last year.
"A dark mystical cult under the guise of a supposed battle with the mythical Maidan is sowing its seeds on Perm's Russian Orthodox land," the letter says.
Local news site 59.ru reported last week that the regional division of the Anti-Maidan movement planned to produce and sell "Voodoo Maidan" dolls, complete with a set of pins and stickers featuring images of U.S. and Ukrainian politicians.
The dolls would be sold for 1,000 rubles ($16) each, and the money would be used to support children in war-torn eastern Ukraine, Ekho Moskvy radio's regional affiliate, Ekho Perm, cited organizers as saying.
Customers can use their own discretion in deciding "whether to apply [the stickers depicting the politicians] and stick pins into some specific political figure," the editor-in-chief of Ural Inform television, Alina Lvova, who is involved in the project, was quoted as saying.