Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev) has contracted the coronavirus. This was reported on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).
All planned meetings and trips of the patriarch have been cancelled. The report notes that the disease proceeds "with severe symptoms", he needs bed rest and isolation.
Gundyaev's condition is assessed as satisfactory.
Patriarch Kirill justifies Russia's war against Ukraine. Pope Francis said that during a conversation with him, Gundyaev read from a piece of paper for twenty minutes and gave arguments justifying the invasion. Later, the Russian Orthodox Church published a speech by Gundyaev, in which he talked about the "flying time of missiles" and the expansion of NATO. Among other things, he spoke about the potential threat if Ukraine joins the alliance:
“NATO borders are 130 kilometers from St. Petersburg, the flight time of missiles is only a few minutes. If Ukraine were admitted to NATO, then the flight time to Moscow would also be several minutes. Russia could not and cannot allow this to happen.”
At the same time, on the day of Putin's announcement of mobilization in Russia, he said that the Ukrainian people were "in danger" and that the Russians should pray for "strengthening the fraternal feelings of the peoples of Holy Russia." According to him, it is “very important” not to consider Ukrainians as enemies.
In April, 190 priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of the Moscow Patriarchate demanded that Patriarch Kirill be brought before a church tribunal for supporting the war.