By Lord Dreadnought
Translated from the Russian
May 27, 2016 Anno Domini
The start of the business of V.M. Gundyaev (Patriarch Kirill) was appointed in 1992-1994. The most extensive dossier on this business was compiled by Doctor of Historical Sciences Sergei Bychkov, who published more than a dozen articles, mainly on the tobacco business of the future patriarch. None of his publications was officially refuted. In many respects Kirill admitted that the facts collected by Bychkov were true.
In addition to the villa in Switzerland, the Tobacco Skiing Patriarch has palaces in Peredelkino, in the Danilov Monastery, in Gelendzhik, next to Putin’s palace, and a penthouse with a terrace in the House on the Embankment—overlooking the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
About how the High Priest of the Putin Reich, Patriarch Kirill (he is already a KGB agent Mikhailov) amassed his billions of dollars in speculation in tobacco, alcohol, and oil (exempted from taxes and excise taxes) in the dashing 1990s, how he, the head of the bandit empire of the Russian Orthodox Church, eliminated its competitors, many have already written.
In 1993, with the participation of the Moscow Patriarchate (Russian Orthodox Church), the Nika financial and trade group emerged, and Archpriest Vladimir Veriga, the commercial director of the Department for External Church Relations (DECR MP), headed by Kirill, became its vice-president. A year later, under the Government of the Russian Federation and at the DECR MP, two “parallel” commissions on humanitarian aid appeared: the first one decided what kind of aid could be exempted from taxes and excise taxes, and the second one imported this aid through the church line and sold it to commercial structures. Thus, most of the tax-exempt aid was distributed through the regular distribution network, at normal market prices. Through this channel, in 1996 alone, the DECR MP imported about 8 billion cigarettes into the country (data from the government commission on humanitarian aid).
This caused serious damage to the “tobacco kings” of that time, who had to pay duties and excise taxes and therefore lost in the competition with the DECR MP—it is believed that they “ordered” an information campaign to expose Kirill’s business. According to Bychkov, when Kirill decided to leave this business, more than $50 million worth of “church” cigarettes remained in customs warehouses. In the course of the criminal war for these cigarettes, in particular, the assistant to the deputy Zhirinovsky, a certain Zen, was killed.
And here is a letter from the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation to the Moscow Customs Administration dated February 8, 1997, concerning “church” cigarettes:
“In connection with the appeal of the Commission on International Humanitarian and Technical Assistance under the Government of the Russian Federation and the decision of the Prime Minister of January 29, 1997, No. VCh-P22 / 38 I authorize the production of customs clearance of tobacco products in accordance with the established procedure with payment of only the excise duty received in the customs territory before 01.01.97, in accordance with the decision of the above-mentioned Commission. “
So, in fact, since then a new title has been assigned to Metropolitan Kirill—”Tobacco” (however, now he is no longer titled like that). Now it is customary to call him “Skiing” – with the light hand of Orthodox bloggers who drew attention to the enormous importance in the life and work of Kirill of his hobby for skiing (this hobby is served by a villa in Switzerland and a private jet, and on Krasnaya Polyana it helps to consolidate informal relations with strong of this world).
The piquancy of Kirill’s tobacco business is given by the fact that in Orthodoxy, smoking is considered a sin: it is actually detrimental to human health and life. Cyril himself tried to justify his participation in this business: “The people who were doing this did not know what to do: burn these cigarettes or send them back? We turned to the government, and it made a decision: to recognize this as a humanitarian cargo and provide an opportunity to implement it.” Government representatives categorically denied this information, after which Patriarch Alexy II liquidated the DECR MP commission and created a new ROC MP Commission on humanitarian aid, headed by Bishop Alexy (Frolov).
But let us return to the “dashing years”, when “the curvature of our history” arose. In addition to the aforementioned Nika fund, DECR MP was then the founder of the commercial bank Peresvet, JSC International Economic Cooperation (MES), JSC Free People’s Television (SNT), and a number of other structures. After 1996, Kirill’s most profitable business was the export of oil through the MES, which was exempted from customs duties at the request of Alexy II. Kirill was represented at MES by Bishop Victor (Pyankov), who now lives as a private citizen in the United States. The company’s annual turnover was about $2 billion in 1997.
Due to the closed nature of this information, it is now difficult to understand whether Kirill continues to participate in the oil business, but there is one very eloquent fact. A few days before the start of the U.S. military operation against Saddam Hussein, Kirill’s deputy, Bishop Feofan (Ashurkov), flew to Iraq.
According to Portal-Credo.Ru, in 2000, information was made public about Metropolitan Kirill’s attempts to enter the market of marine biological resources (caviar, crabs, seafood) – the relevant government structures allocated to the company established by the hierarch (Region JSC) quotas for catching Kamchatka crab and shrimp (total volume – more than 4 thousand tons). According to Kaliningrad journalists, Metropolitan Kirill, as the ruling bishop of the Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Kaliningrad region, participated in an automobile joint venture in Kaliningrad. It is characteristic that, even after becoming patriarch, Cyril did not appoint a diocesan bishop to the Kaliningrad see, leaving it under his direct control.
In 2004, Nikolai Mitrokhin, a research fellow at the Center for Shadow Economy Research at the Russian State Humanitarian University, published a monograph on the shadow economic activity of the ROC MP. The value of the assets controlled by Metropolitan Kirill was estimated in this work at $ 1.5 billion. Two years later, the journalists of Moskovskiye Novosti tried to count the assets of the head of the Church Foreign Ministry and came to the conclusion that they already amount to $ 4 billion.
And according to The New Times, in 2002, Metropolitan Kirill bought a penthouse in the “House on the Embankment” overlooking the Cathedral of Christ the Savior. Incidentally, this is “the only apartment in Moscow, registered specifically to the metropolitan by his secular surname Gundyaev, about which there is a corresponding entry in the cadastral register.”
Another attribute of this life, which has become the subject of widespread discussion, is a Breguet watch worth about 30 thousand euros, which Ukrainian journalists filmed on the left hand of the patriarch next to the monastic rosary. It happened the day after Kirill pompously broadcast live on the main Ukrainian TV channels: “It is very important to learn Christian asceticism … Asceticism is the ability to regulate one’s consumption … This is a person’s victory over lust, over passions, over instinct. And it is important that both rich and poor possess this quality.”
Both the luxurious corteges of Patriarch Kirill and the security services from the FSO, which he uses, have become the talk of the town. In Moscow, when the patriarch rides, all the streets along his route are blocked, which naturally causes massive indignation of car owners. In Ukraine, Cyril’s half-kilometer motorcade completely shocked local residents: even the president travels much more modestly in a neighboring country.
True, we must pay tribute to Kirill: for official visits he charters the planes of the “Transaero” company, and uses his personal fleet only for personal purposes.
A separate and almost inexhaustible topic is the palaces and residences of the patriarch. Kirill seeks to keep up with the top officials of the state in this matter. His permanent residence was a newly-built palace in Peredelkino, for the sake of which several houses of local residents were demolished. From the windows of electric trains in the Kiev direction, it looks like a large Russian tower – like the Terem Palace in the Kremlin. Cyril does not like living there: he is worried about the nearby railway. Therefore, the current patriarch ordered to redecorate the palace in the Danilov Monastery, which did not look poor before. The construction of the Patriarchal Palace in Gelendzhik, next to the legendary “Putin’s palace” in Praskoveevka, was not without scandals. As in the case with Putin, the patriarch’s palace caused the indignation of local ecologists in the first place: it was built on the territory of the reserve, many trees listed in the Red Book were cut down during construction, and the territory of the palace blocked access to the sea for local residents. There are also patriarchal residences in all more or less large monasteries in Russia.
But back to the Danilov Monastery. After the head of Putin’s headquarters, Govorukhin, uttered wonderful, highly spiritual words that under Putin, corruption in Russia has finally acquired civilized forms, it no longer seems strange that Patriarch Kirill welcomes the outflow of capital from Russia (after all, his own savings are by no means stored at home) … “The fact,” said Kirill to Putin, “that today in Spain, when it is one of the most prosperous countries, is being massively sold by the Spaniards and bought by Russians in large quantities, is a very good signal to the whole world. A country that is poor, that is in crisis, cannot afford what rich countries do not allow today. ”
The phrase, albeit confusing, is understandable that, from a Christian point of view, we must identify the “beautiful life” of the nouveau riche abroad with the glory and wealth of our country.
As Kirill prophesies, “Sergianism” (the policy of complete subordination of the Church to power), about which the Chekist Putin spoke so warmly in his speech, again demonstrates its advantages over Christian confession and martyrdom. To which the patriarch can hardly strive so much, whose earthly life is protected by the FSO officers.