01/18/2012, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Former oligarch appeals to the Patriarch for regime change in Russia

by Nina Achmatova
From London, Berezovsky Kirill writes, but the Orthodox Church sarcastically rejects the proposal of a sworn enemy of Putin.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Russian Orthodox Church says it is sceptical of the appeal launched by the former oligarch in exile in Britain, Boris Berezovsky, for the Patriarch Kirill to promote a regime change in Russia.

The tycoon, a sworn enemy of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, has written a letter to the Patriarch published on the website of Moscow’s Radio Echo, which invites him to "take the historic mission to save the country from chaos", given the unwillingness of authorities to listen to "the will of the people which has resulted in a rupture of relations between the people and the government." "Today, you can ensure a bloodless change of power in Russia," Berezovsky wrote.

“On one hand, it may seem pleasant that Berezovsky is suggesting that the Church should increase its role in the events taking place in Russia. However, on the other hand, the past activities of this man lead one to believe that you should listen to this man attentively and do exactly the opposite," Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the synodal department for church and society liaison, told Interfax-Religion, commenting on Berezovsky's address to Patriarch Kirill”.Considered the power behind the throne in the Kremlin at the time of Boris Yeltsin, Berezovsky enriched himself during the privatization of the '90s but came into conflict with then-President Putin and emigrated to London where he obtained political asylum.

The former oligarch urged Kirill to take power from the hands of the Prime Minister and "pass it to the people in a peaceful, wise, and Christian manner." Chaplin reiterated that taking secular power is "the last thing the Church is supposed to do" and all historical episodes prove this. "I don't quite understand what people Berezovsky wants the power to be given to. I would be interested in hearing his response to learn the names of the true friends of the people”.

Chaplin then uses a sarcastic tone, inviting Berezovsky, "who is now so familiar with the public, political, and scientific reality in Britain", to think about political reforms in that country.


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