The head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill has said that Russian soldiers who die in the war against Ukraine will be cleansed of all their sins.
“We know that today many are dying on the fields of internecine warfare,” Kirill said during a celebration of the Divine Liturgy on Sunday.
“The Church prays that this battle will end as soon as possible, so that as few brothers as possible will kill each other in this fratricidal war,” he added.
“At the same time, the Church realizes that if someone is driven by a sense of duty to fulfill his oath of office, he stays true to his calling and does what his duty tells him to do. And if, in the performance of this duty if a person dies, then he undoubtedly has committed an act on par with a sacrifice. He is sacrificing himself for others. I am sure that such a sacrifice washes away all sins that a person has committed,” he said.
Kirill’s words come days after Putin announced an immediate ‘partial mobilization’ of citizens, to conscript 300,000 more soldiers, escalating its invasion of Ukraine.