Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill I, a staunch defender of the invasion of Ukraine and outspoken supporter of Vladimir Putin, spied on Switzerland for the KGB in the 1970s, Morning Sunday and the German newspaper SonntagsZeitung reported.
The outlets consulted declassified archives.
At the height of the Cold War, Kirill I was living in Geneva to officially represent the Moscow Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches (WCC). The objective of the COE is harmony between the christians through common concrete achievements.
It is not intended to become a “super-Church”. Its headquarters are located in Grand-Saconnex, near Geneva in Switzerland.
At that time, as the Swiss newspapers point out, his activity as a priest was only the tip of the iceberg. The Russian Church under the Soviet yoke had made a pact with the regime, which allowed it to survive and to have a little openness to foreign countries. The Russian Orthodox Church would then have agreed to spy on behalf of the Moscow regime.
The mission of Kirill, whose code name was “Mikhailov”, was also to influence the World Council of Churches, infiltrated by the KGB, RTS reported. The Soviets wanted the Geneva institution to denounce the United States and its allies, and to moderate its criticism of the lack of religious freedom in the USSR.
The Russian Church refused to comment on allegations of Kirill’s spying activity in Geneva. And the COE contacted by local media said that it “has no information” on this subject.