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Monday, January 30, 2023

Another Russian priest was killed in Ukraine

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On November 6, Archpriest Mikhail Vassilev, head of the „Great Martyr Varvara and St. Ilya Muromets“ temple near Moscow, was killed in Ukraine, which is the patriarchal metoch at the headquarters of the Strategic Missile Forces. The website of the Moscow Patriarchate reported that he died “while performing his pastoral duties” in the Kherson region as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian armed forces.

Patriarch Kirill expressed his condolences to the “relatives, loved ones and spiritual children” of the deceased, whom he described as a “courageous, determined and selfless shepherd”, known among the military as the “landing father”.

Not long ago, in October, Father Mikhail Vassilev attracted public attention in Russia with his participation in a TV program for Spas TV, where he was asked to comment on the feelings of mothers wishing to save their sons from mobilization. Then Fr. Mikhail Vasilev stated that mothers with many children “do not feel such pain and fear” from being separated from their children, as a mother who will send her only son to the front: “If the lady, fulfilling God’s commandment “be fruitful and multiply”, was having rejected artificial means of termination of pregnancy in the broadest range, she was clearly going to have not one, but more children. Then it will not be so painful and scary for her to part with him when he is mobilized.”

After this statement, which was circulated in the media and caused a strong reaction, the Russian Orthodox Church stated that the life of each child is equally valuable to the parent, regardless of the number of children.

The priest, born in 1971, graduated from the state university “M. V. Lomonosov” and the Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces. He participated in business trips to “hot spots” during peacekeeping operations in Kosovo, Bosnia, Abkhazia, Kyrgyzstan, North Caucasus and Syria.

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