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The rebuilt Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow is a reminder of years of religious persecution (photo: dpa)

Geopolitics: Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church

Vladimir Putin’s ‘return’ to the presidency could see a strengthening alliance between the Russian Orthodox Church and the State where religious xenophobia and further alienation of non-Russian ethnicities within the country are used to deflect attention from mounting economic troubles, suggests our expert Professor Stefan Hedlund in this briefing.

THE day in March 2012 when Vladimir Putin again swears the oath of office as President of the Russian Federation will be an important occasion marked by a display of vital Russian symbolism.

The Grand Hall in the Kremlin will no doubt be adorned to reflect the glory days of Imperial Russ...

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Professor Stefan Hedlund
Consecutive Russian governments have been clearly supportive of ambitions by the Church to suppress rival religions. Laws have been passed restricting ‘non-traditional’ faiths, and little has been done to counter growing xenophobia
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