Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russian Priest Investigated After Flaunting 'Gucci' Lifestyle on Instagram

Russia's Orthodox Church is investigating one of its priests over a series of Instagram photographs in which he is seen flaunting luxury clothing brands, a church spokesman has said. 

Vyacheslav Baskakov, a priest in the Tver region near Moscow, sparked controversy late last week with a series of photographs featuring expensive clothes including a Louis Vuitton signature handbag and Gucci shoes. The Instagram account that hosted the pictures has since been taken down, but not before social media users widely distributed the images.


Russian priests have in the past sparked controversy over luxurious lifestyles. Most notably, in 2012, the head of Russia’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill came under fire for wearing an expensive Breguet wristwatch.

Alexander Volkov, a spokesman for Patriarch Kirill, said on Sunday that a church disciplinary committee would investigate Baskakov’s posts and attempt “to return him to his senses.” 

“Such an immodest and unrestrained lifestyle should not be characteristic of priests in the church,” Volkov was cited as saying by the Govorit Moskva radio station.


“A clergyman cannot be a priest in the church in the morning and then be whoever he wants after lunchtime,” he added.

The priest apologized for the photographs in a letter published on Sunday and said he had been following doctor's orders and "fighting for freedom."

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more