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.

Nuclear Weapons ‘Saved’ Russia – Patriarch Kirill

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. Oleg Varov / patriarhia.ru

Russia’s nuclear weapons “saved” the country, Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said Wednesday. 

“Were it not for the work of [Soviet atomic bomb creator Igor] Kurchatov and his colleagues, it is difficult to say if our country would still exist,” Patriarch Kirill said.

His comments came as he presented a Church honor to physicist Radiy Ilkaev, who heads the Kurchatov-founded Russian Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov. 

Soviet scientists “created weapons under the protection of St. Seraphim of Sarov, because, by the ineffable providence of God, these weapons were created in the monastery of St. Seraphim,” Kirill said. 

The first successful test of the Soviet atomic bomb, RDS-1, was carried out on Aug. 29, 1949, in the Semipalatinsk region of Kazakhstan. 

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Russia currently has an arsenal of 4,489 nuclear warheads, 1,674 of which are deployed. The United States has a smaller overall arsenal at 3,708 warheads, but more of its warheads, 1,770, are ready for use.

Patriarch Kirill is a staunch backer of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and dozens of Orthodox priests have been sent to the front to support Russian troops.

In April, he established a new senior ecclesiastical position to oversee the Church's activities in Ukrainian territories where Russia is waging war. 

The Church in 2020 proposed guidelines advising priests against their long-held practice of blessing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In May 2022, an archpriest said the guidelines, which are still in draft form, would “in no way” change this practice.

… 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