Moscow Patriarchate tells Russian troops: “Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth”

A 6 year old boy stands near the grave of his mother killed by Russian troops and buried in the yard of their house. April 5, 2022. Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine. The Russo-Ukrainian War (2014-present). Source: Dattalion

A 6 year old boy stands near the grave of his mother killed by Russian troops and buried in the yard of their house. April 5, 2022. Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine. The Russo-Ukrainian War (2014-present). Source: Dattalion 

Opinion, Russian Aggression

In the wake of the exposure of the Russian massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, an action that has sparked horror around the world, many people of good will are wondering both how widespread such war crimes by Russian forces may prove to be and also how much support the Russian authorities are giving to such horrific actions.

“They were shot in the back of the head.” Eyewitness account of Russia’s murders of Bucha residents

The answer to both questions is provided by a broadside produced by the Bryansk metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate that has been distributed to Russian soldiers there by the office of that church responsible for relations with the military and the police.

Icon broadside produced by the Bryansk metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate that has been distributed to Russian soldiers there (Credit: social media)<br /> Translation: <strong>"Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate Bryansk Metropolitanate<br /> You are a Russian Warrior.<br /> Your duty is to defend the Fatherland from Ukrainian nationalists.<br /> Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth.<br /> Your enemy is an ideology causing sinful damage to human soul.<br /> </strong> The Department for relations with the military and the police of the Bryansk Eparchy,<br /> Priest Mikhail Ageshin."

Icon broadside produced by the Bryansk metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate that has been distributed to Russian soldiers there (Credit: social media)

Translation: “Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate Bryansk Metropolitanate

You are a Russian Warrior.

Your duty is to defend the Fatherland from Ukrainian nationalists.

Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth.

Your enemy is an ideology causing sinful damage to human soul.

The Department for relations with the military and the police of the Bryansk Eparchy,

Priest Mikhail Ageshin.”

It tells Russian troops in the most direct way, “Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth,” a directive from church officials that many Russian soldiers will see as giving them carte blanche as far as violence against the Ukrainian people are concerned.

The head of the Bryansk Eparchy's department for relations with the military and police, priest Mikhail Ageshin wearing his military medals (Source: bryansk-eparhia.ru)

The head of the Bryansk Eparchy’s department for relations with the military and police, priest Mikhail Ageshin wearing his military medals (Source: bryansk-eparhia.ru)

Russian officials can be counted on to claim that this broadside is “a fake,” just as they have tried to deny the crimes at Bucha, thus putting them in a long line of brutal authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that do not place any value on human life and assume they can get away with any crime simply by denying the obvious.

How the Russian Orthodox Church enabled Putin’s war against Ukraine

They also provide new evidence of the insight former Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves offered when he said some years ago that “if the Russians come back again, they won’t be constrained [even] by communism.” And as a result, the horrors they will inflict will be no less and quite possibly even greater than those the Soviets did.

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