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In Photos: Russia Unveils New Military Mega-Church

Screenshot / Russian Defense Ministry

Russia is close to completing the construction of a new Russian Orthodox cathedral dedicated to the country’s Armed Forces.

The 95-meter cathedral, located on a sprawling military theme park and exhibition center near Moscow, is set to open its doors on May 9 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. 

The cathedral drew widespread attention over the weekend when photos of its interior showed mosaics of President Vladimir Putin, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine adorning the walls.

Here's a look at the rest of the Armed Forces' new mega-cathedral — both inside and out:

A bird's-eye view of the army-green structure. The cathedral's six golden domes are dedicated to the patron saints of each branch of the Armed Forces.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

The images of military-related patron saints and other religious figures are also depicted on the cathedral walls.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

According to the foundation which oversees donations to the Armed Forces cathedral, the public has donated more than 3.6 billion rubles ($41 million) toward its construction.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

“A school for military priests is being built and the institute of Sisters of Charity [nurses] will be revived at the main church of the Russian Armed Forces,” the foundation's head said in 2018.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

The cathedral's baptismal font is illuminated in green hues.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

The cathedral's giant doors feature the engraved images of two saints.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

In addition to these stained-glass windows, artisans have crafted a new Orthodox icon for the cathedral. Funding for the icon came from a personal donation by President Vladimir Putin.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

The church’s parameters, including the height and width of its domes, will reflect key dates of World War II and the structure will feature multimedia stands dedicated to the 33 million Soviet soldiers who fought in the war.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

Once completed, the 95-meter cathedral will be one of the tallest Orthodox churches in the world.

Screenshot Russian Defense Ministry

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