Vladimir Putin‘s chief propagandist launched an extraordinary tirade against Britain’s Foreign Secretary overnight after the UK imposed sanctions against Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.
TV host Vladimir Solovyov – known as ‘Putin’s Voice’ and one of Russia‘s chief propagandists – said the ‘place for [Liz Truss] is hell’ after the move, and suggested the foreign secretary was ‘declaring a religious war against Russia’.
Britain announced a new round of sanctions on Thursday, in which Kirill was targeted for his prominent support for the war in Ukraine.
Truss said the 75-year-old cleric – who is also a longtime ally of the Russian tyrant – has ‘repeatedly abused his position to justify the war’ on Ukraine.
‘Today, what we’ve long expected has happened,’ an outraged Solovyov said during his own show ‘An Evening With Vladimir Solovyov’ on Russia’s Channel 1.
TV anchorman Vladimir Solovyov (centre) – known as ‘Putin’s Voice’ and one of Russia ‘s chief propagandists – said the ‘place for [Liz Truss] is hell’ after the UK imposed sanctions against Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church
‘Liz Truss is proud that she added Patriarch Kirill to the list of sanctioned persons. How are we to understand that?’ he asked other pundits in the black and red studio – who stand in front of Solovyov in a ring when he delivers his sermon-like monologues.
Amid a slew of insults, he suggested that by sanctioning Kirill, Truss is ‘organising the persecution of Christians’ before attacking Britain for ‘betraying faith’.
‘She fancies herself the Foreign Minister, but of what?’ he said. ‘A country that has already betrayed faith, because of the lust of its King which begot the Church of England? So what is that?
‘And now she, imagining herself who knows what, is trying to persecute the holiest patriarch? Is Liz Truss declaring a religious war against Russia? A war against all Orthodoxy?’ he asked his pundits, again rhetorically, as they nodded along.
His diatribe continued: ‘This poorly educated citizen, who graduated from a decent institute of learning, she has such delusions of grandeur? Such phantasmagoric [sic] audacity has been unheard of since the times of Tatars and Mongols.
‘Who does she think she is? Who is she? She can make history only by persecuting the holiest Patriarch. The place for such is in hell, obviously,’ he declared, while lifting his arm up in front of him – as if to perform some kind of blessing.
Vladimir Solovyov suggested that by sanctioning Kirill, Truss is ‘organising the persecution of Christians’ before attacking Britain for ‘betraying faith’
Britain announced a new round of sanctions on Thursday, targeting the head of the Russian Orthodox Church for his prominent support for the war in Ukraine. Pictured: Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill (left) speaks with Vladimir Putin during an Easter service in April
Russian President Vladimir Putin (seen at the back of the room) attends Orthodox Easter mass led by Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill (centre) at the Christ The Saviour Cathedral on April 24, 2022 in Moscow
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss (pictured) said the 75-year-old cleric – who is also a longtime ally of Putin’s – has ‘repeatedly abused his position to justify the war’ on Ukraine
The video of Solovyov’s comments was posted by Julia Davis, a columnist for the Daily Beast who created the Russian Media Monitor. ‘I watch Russian state TV, so you don’t have to,’ she says on her Twitter profile.
In May, the journalist was sanctioned by the Kremlin over her work.
Britain announced the new round of sanctions on Thursday which targeted the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, well as Russia’s children’s rights commissioner.
Britain said Maria Lvova-Belova is responsible for the forced transfer and adoption of hundreds of Ukrainian children into Russia.
Lvova-Belova has been accused of enabling the taking of 2,000 vulnerable children from the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine and facilitating their forced adoptions in Russia.
Others on Thursday’s list include four colonels from a brigade known to have killed, raped and tortured civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
In response, the Russian Orthodox Church dismissed sanctions against its leader.
A girl looks at her smartphone as she sits on a bench in front of residential buildings partially destroyed as a result of the shelling in town of Irpin, near the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv on June 16, 2022, as the Russian-Ukraine war enters its 113th day
‘Attempts to intimidate the primate of the Russian Church with something or to force him to renounce his views are senseless, absurd and unpromising,’ church spokesman Vladimir Legoyda said on Telegram.
‘The church – now especially – is the last bridge, a means of communication, which they are trying to destroy for some reason,’ Legoyda said.
‘This may be necessary only for those political forces that have the escalation of conflict and the alienation of peace as their important goal,’ he added.
‘There is no other way I can explain such absurd and counterproductive measures, which contribute to only one thing – breaking the already severely damaged communication between the European community and Russia,’ he said.
Truss also said Britain’s government is ‘taking all steps we can’ regarding two British citizens sentenced to death for fighting Russian forces in Ukraine.
She said officials are in regular talks with the Ukrainian government about Aiden Aslin and Sean Pinner, who were sentenced last week alongside a Moroccan, Brahim Saadoun, for allegedly fighting as mercenaries by a court in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic.
‘These people are prisoners of war. They were fighting legitimately with the Ukrainian army,’ Truss said. ‘What Russia has done is a complete violation of the Geneva Convention. We are taking all steps we can.’