Published On: Wed, May 8th, 2024
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Vladimir Putin ‘blessed’ to rule until he’s 148 by Russian Church | World | News

Patriarch Kirill compared Putin to the medieval prince Alexander Nevsky, saying he “did not spare his enemies, but he became famous as a saint.”

The religious leader added: “The head of state must sometimes make fateful and formidable decisions. And if such a decision is not made, the consequences can be extremely dangerous for the people and the state. But these decisions are almost always connected with victims.”

Putin’s fifth term will see him reach 30 years in power.

Since his invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Putin has become increasingly authoritarian in his efforts to stifle opposition in Russia.

The death of Alexei Navalny in February sparked an outcry among international leaders, with many accusing Putin of being behind it.

After his inauguration on Tuesday, Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of the late opposition leader, said: “War, political assassinations, impoverishment of Russians. There is no prosperity for Russia, there is no peace and freedom for our citizens.”

The Estonian foreign minister, Margus Tsahkna, said on X: “Estonian diplomats will not attend on Putin’s inauguration after his so-called elections while Ukrainians are daily being killed and deported. We do not celebrate with aggressors. It’s also worth reminding that Putin is wanted for war crimes.”

The Russian leader used his speech to send a warning to the West, saying: “The choice is up to them: they can either keep trying to contain Russia and continue the policy of aggression and years-long pressure on our country, or they can start looking for a path to cooperation and peace.

“Dialogue, including on security and strategic stability, is possible, but not from a position of strength, without any arrogance, swagger, and exclusivity claims, but only on equal terms and with due respect for each other’s interests.”

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