The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church is accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of being possessed by Satan.
Patriarch Filaret, who heads the Kiev Patriarchate, made the comments in connections to Putin’s perceived role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
“With great regret I must now say publicly that among the rulers of this world … there has appeared a new Cain, not by his name but by his deeds,” Filaret said, in regards to the famous biblical figure who killed his brother, Abel, becoming the first murderer in human history.
“Like the first fratricide of history Cain, these deeds show that the aforementioned ruler has fallen under the action of Satan,” he said.
The head of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church Patriarch Filaret (photo: EPA)
Russia has consistently denied being directly involved in the conflict between the separatist rebels and the Kiev government, although several Western leaders insist that Putin is providing the rebels with assistance in the form of military equipment and personnel.
“[Putin] himself tells obvious outward lies: while organising and sending mercenary killers to our countries, he talks about an ‘internal conflict’ in which he is allegedly not involved,” Filaret added.
He continued by saying that despite calls by the Ukrainian people for Putin “and his accomplices to come to their senses, stop sowing evil and death, and repent”, the Russian president “remains deaf to these calls and only multiplies evil because he, like Judas Iscariot, has become possessed by Satan”.