Saturday, March 30, 2019

Barring a Miracle, Russian State has Only 30 Years Left to Live, Archpriest Smirnov Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 28 – Archpriest Dimitry Smirnov, who plays a role in the Moscow Patriarchate analogous to the one Vladimir Zhirinovsky plays in the larger state by expressing in extreme form what many think but do not say, suggests that Russia along with Ukraine and Belarus is dying out and that the Russian state has only 30 years left to live.

            In a comment on Turkish proposals to transform Constantinople’s Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque, Smirnog, who heads the Patriarchate’s family commission, says that Russians need to recognize that soon there will be a minaret over the Kremlin in place of the bell tower of Ivan the Great (

                “Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are all dying,” the archpriest says. “The Russian state has only about 30 years left to exist” barring a miracle leading to changed preferences for family size among the Slavs.  And it can completely disappear, he says, just as Byzantium, a center of the world, did earlier. 

            Only God can produce a miracle and save Russia, Dimitry says, just as happened centuries ago when Tamerlane approached Moscow and planned to burn it.  But the Virgin Mary appeared to him in a dream and the Mongol leader reconsidered and then withdrew. She appeared, he continues, because all Russians prayed for this.

            “But who is praying now? They drink beer and go fishing.”  Unless that changes, Russia and the Slavic world will die out in the not distant future.

            Such predictions are certainly overblown, but they reflect the apocalypticism which infects not only the upper reaches of the Russian Orthodox Church but also many throughout the Russian leadership and the Russian people – and it is this vision of future horrors that helps to explain why Russians are not alienated by Putin’s talk of war and mass destruction.

            If Russia is on the way off the historical stage anyway, those who think as Dimitry does feel, why would it be wrong to take others with it?

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