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Russians and Putin Celebrate Orthodox Christmas, in Pictures

Mikhail Dzhaparidze / TASS

Orthodox Christians in Russia marked Christmas this year by attending a special midnight mass held in churches and cathedrals throughout the country starting in the late hours of Jan. 6 and ending early in the morning of Jan. 7.

President Vladimir Putin attended the service in St. Petersburg’s Transfiguration Cathedral, where he was baptized. Meanwhile, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill led the mass in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

Putin walks past worshipers in Transfiguration Cathedral during the Christmas mass in St. Petersburg. Alexander Demianchuk / TASS
A woman lights candles in the Bogoyavlenskiy Cathedral in the Siberian city of Tomsk. Taisiya Vorontsova / TASS
A view of the Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg during midnight mass.
Patriarch Kirill attends a Christmas party for children in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Mikhail Dzhaparidze / TASS
Worshippers at the Transfiguration Cathedral.

The leader of the pro-Kremlin Night Wolves biker gang, Alexander Zaldostanov (also known as The Surgeon), appears in a selfie at the Christmas Mass at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

The president shares a moment with a young worshipper in St. Petersburg. Alexander Demianchuk / TASS
A Christmas installation in Moscow's Tsaritsyno park. Sergei Savostyanov / TASS
The exterior of Transfiguration Cathedral in St. Petersburg during the Christmas mass. Alexander Demianchuk / TASS

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