Articles Clergy and Monastics Deacon Andrei Psarev Interviews Moscow Patriarchate

“I Beg of You to Perform a Good Deed for the Sake of us Sinners”

Hegumen Evtikhii (Kurochkin) was from the Free Russian Orthodox Church, the name of the ROCOR parishes, which existed in the territory of the former. USSR until 2007.

From the Editor

In September 2023,, a prominent theology site of the Russian Orthodox Church, published an article by Rev. Pavel Bochkov describing the biography of Bishop Evtikhii (Kurochkin). Bishop Evtikhii reposed on November 28, 2022, at his home in the village of Shablykino in Siberia.

This publication reminded me of my own encounters with Vladyka Evtikhii. He was not verbose, wore a smile, and had a gaze that was somehow mysterious. The last conversation I had with him took place in at Lesna Convent in France in December of 1999. I remember that at that time, when I was having doubts about whether it was right for me to move from the Moscow Patriarchate to the ROCOR, Vladyka Evtikhii said that we should live in the present day.

In March of 1991, after the death of Hieromonk Ignatii (Trepachko), I became editor of Pravoslavnaia Rusʹ. The interview for this journal, presented here was my first ever taken interview

This publication gives an insight into the work of our internet hub, ROCOR Studies. Ilya Savelʹev from Herkimer, NY, converted the audio from tape to digital format, Vasilissa in Russia merged the audio files and posted them online, and John Kurr in Jordanville converted the interview from paper to electronic format. Then Hierom. Alexei (Lisenko) in Chicago translated it into English. All of this with assistance from Walker Thompson from Germany and Olga from Russia.

Protodeacon Andrei Psarev, November 25, 2023

At the beginning of this year Holy Trinity Monastery was visited by Hegumen Evtikhii Kurochkin, a clergyman of the Free Russian Church, who is serving in the village of Shablykino in the western part of Siberia near Ishim, an ancient Russian town. Fr. Evtikhii came to the United States at the invitation of Vladyka Metropolitan Vitaly. He gave a report to the Bishops’ Synod and visited a few of our parishes. He kindly agreed to respond to the following questions posed by a member of the editorial staff of Pravoslavnaya Rus’.

Fr. Evtikhii, tell us, please, the history of your parish joining the Church Abroad. What brought you to leave the Moscow Patriarchate?

The history, along with the prehistory, would take up your entire magazine. Anyway, I would still not be able to express everything, since the transition could not have taken place without inner struggle.

Everything started when my outward situation was regarded enviable by many. Hierarchs were treating me with affection, I was appointed diocesan confessor, promoted to the rank of hegumen, and supervised and performed large scale artistic work. But despite the entire splendor I could see inner emptiness, falsity, and lack of spirituality. I started behaving impertinently, and both hierarchs and clergy forgave me everything. They were seemingly touched by my “nice naughtiness.” But when words in defense of fairness started resounding too often from me, hierarchs started moving away from me. And when everyone was convinced that I was involved in truth seeking in earnest, attitudes toward me became very guarded, although my first step on this terrain brought about condemnation only by a hierarch, while everyone else supported me either secretly or openly. I am referring to a letter to the Council on Religious Matters in which I listed fifteen basic, in my view, violations by the government of legality and justice regarding the Church. Conflicts were accumulating. At one point I started collecting signatures for a petition to open a cathedral in Ishim (which, incidentally, never took place – editor’s note) without a blessing, at another point I addressed a group of instructors and students without a blessing. But how could I go for a blessing if the hierarch was opposed to giving a cathedral to the faithful, and my address did not fit into the framework of official patriarchal propaganda? Much noise and a sharp division of opinions took place at a diocesan assembly when I offered my candidacy as a delegate to the 1988 Local Council.

The rupture in my relationship with the Moscow Patriarchate drew near after my report to the Moscow Synod regarding the hierarch’s immoral actions and the atmosphere of falsehood he had created.  This could, of course, be seen as a special case, but the Synod’s actions in response to this graphically demonstrated the entire state of the Moscow Patriarchate. I was at wit’s end to find a way of changing the state of affairs. I got in touch with the dissident movement. But although many good and honest individuals were encountered among them, they were not church minded, and I could not rely on them. I always sensed my flock behind me and had to think of it. I was in a hopeless situation, for I was convinced that the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate could not listen to the truth or act according to the truth, and there was no one from whom I could seek support. I sought the opportunity of combining service in the Moscow Patriarchate with defense of the truth, but I was denied this opportunity, and I was verbally forbidden to serve by the decision of the Diocesan Council and Archbishop Theodosius.  The cause of the ban was my expression of mistrust toward the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate and my appeal to the Synod of the Church Abroad. In his report to Patriarch Pimen Archbishop Theodosius presented an entire list of reasons that amounted to “disobedience and rudeness, giving public talks denigrating the Church and the Soviet Nation.”

I had initially reacted with great caution to my fellow brethren’s suggestions that I go over to the catacomb church or the Church Abroad, since I was aware of only false information inspired by Soviet propaganda and slanderous material from the Moscow Patriarchate, but the worsening of my relationship with it forced me to shorten the period of my “rebirth.”

I initially proposed to limit myself to a statement, to throw down a personal challenge, so to speak, to the Moscow Patriarchate. But I must also think of my parish. I was ready for “inactive” existence myself, but my new parishioners believed so much that I could not go off myself into inactivity and entrust them to a “hireling.” I was already observing with bitterness the disorder and discord that the patriarchal clergy had created in my native Ishim parish, where I had served earlier, and in the parish in Tyumen, which my brother, Fr. Michael, had to leave. In a word, I could not entrust my flock to them.

Generally, it was not without wavering, but with a total sense of responsibility, that I decided to switch, and with that in mind I turned to Bishop Lazar. But he received me into eucharistic communion only with a verbal agreement, after which I offered verbal and written repentance and actually transferred to the jurisdiction of the Church Abroad on January 10, 1990, and a week later my parish joined me as well. But I was able to announce my rupture with the Moscow Patriarchate officially to my diocesan hierarch only on July 2 of that year. His reaction was tumultuous. Sermons saturated with slander and curses against all of us, six Siberian clergymen who had gone over to the Church Abroad, started right away. The dean was sent to my parish, along with a priest from a neighboring parish, but they were met with a rebuff on the part of my grandmas. Our parish has remained with me. When I returned home on the Eve of Theophany in 1990 after meeting with Bishop Lazar, I explained the situation, guided by the Rite of Entrance into the Church, and placed the icon of the New Martyrs on the analoy, saying, “By venerating it you will recognize the Church Abroad, and by venerating the cross that I will bring out you will be following me. You are now facing a crucial choice: I will either leave here without any offense, and you will be sent another priest, or you will go over to the Church Abroad along with me.”

A certain ninety-year-old grandmother named Pelageya enjoys authority in our parish, and she said, “They’ve lied to us enough, we will stand with you!”

All of my parishioners went over with me, although none of them had any idea of the Church Abroad. They did so because they believe in me and know me by my works.  Of course, there are also those who do not approve of my decision, but they are villagers who rarely come to church, and for whom the church is simply a rite, a tradition, but are like “everyone else.” What I strive toward is for people to know what the Russian Church Abroad is. I was able to publish information about my transfer in a very popular local newspaper, which allowed people to find out about our hopes and our reasons for not associating with the Moscow Patriarchate.

If at the time when you decided to leave the Moscow Patriarchate your diocese would have assigned a righteous hierarch, would you have remained in the Moscow Patriarchate?

At that time (early 1990) we did have a new hierarch who had replaced Archbishop Theodosius — Bishop Anthony. I tried to establish a normal human relationship with him, but he simply did not hear me and kept singing praises to the Moscow Patriarchate and perestroika. And moreover, he turned out to be a great liar. Of course, I would not have gone away from a righteous hierarch, but if such a hierarch had appeared in our diocese and started supporting us, he would have been forced to leave along with us.  And you must understand that I was not acting alone, since a whole group of Siberian clergy went over, and we had accumulated sufficient experience and factual material to form opinions not just about individual hierarchs but about the general state of affairs in the Moscow Patriarchate. Apparently, it was pleasing to God to enliven us through “shock therapy” in the person of Archbishop Theodosius.

Fr. Evtikhii, tell us, please, about yourself?

I was born in 1955 in Ishim, in the Tyumen Region. My father was Timofei Porfirievich Kurochkin, who was born in 1907 to peasants and worked as a watchman and stoker at a church for twelve years before his death. My mother worked as a medical orderly in a pharmacy before retiring.

The only clergy member among my relatives was my maternal grandfather. He was the Schema-monk Paul, a spiritual son of Metropolitan Zenobius of Tetritskaro (Seraphim in the schema). Upon graduating from high school, I worked as an artist/decorator, took part in the Komsomol, and served in the army for two years. From the age of thirteen I worked with my father, doing ongoing repairs in the church, and worked on icon restoration and binding church books along with my father. My grandfather insisted that I go to seminary. As I was leaving for the army the rector of our church advised me in his parting words to ask myself, “if I won’t, who will?”

And so in the army, during my first year, I made a firm decision to go to seminary, and I started learning prayers, which my grandfather sent me in letters. But after the army I still had to do civilian work, so I did art in a movie theater. I also sang in a church choir. When I learned to read Church Slavonic, I moved to Omsk as an obedience to the bishop. I enrolled in the Moscow Seminary, where I joined an iconographic circle run by M. N, Sokolova (Mother Juliana) and worked for a few years with the Moscow Patriarchate Publishing Department on formatting service books. Upon graduating from seminary on July 25, 1982, I was tonsured as a riasophore, ordained as a hierodeacon, as a hieromonk three months later, and served in my native town. I was transferred for a brief period to Yaluturovsk. When the diocesan bishop was changed I returned to Ishim and Archbishop Theodosius appointed me as diocesan confessor. Due to conflicts with the diocesan leadership, I was transferred to the village church of St. Catherine 30 kilometers from town, which was shut down 52 years before and has now been reopened.

Fr. Evtikhii, please tell us the history of your church and its present condition?

The church was built in 1904 thanks to the Emperor Alexander III Charity Foundation. It was shut down from 1937 until my assignment to it and was used for grain storage during that time. The church, thanks be to God, was not damaged, but the roof was totally ruined. To cover the roof, we bought aluminum tile last summer for 6500 rubles, and the roof work is almost completed. We glazed half of the windows, made frames, and fashioned a front porch out of beams. On the inside we plastered the walls up to the vault, which must be repaired since it has rotted in spots. May God grant that all the repairs will be completed within a year and a half, but if I keep on traveling about as I have been this year, we won’t get all this done even in five years. We have to do everything ourselves, so every pair of working hands counts.

What attitude do the residents of Shablykino Village and its surroundings have toward the church?

Shablykino has 150-200 households, so its population is between 700 and 800. The number of parishioners who attend services basically depends on the farming calendar and fluctuates around twenty. But at Christmas, Theophany, and Pascha the church is full. Two ninety-year-old grandmothers are at the kliros, but one of them has poor vision while the other one has hearing problems. So I wrote the Cherubic Hymn and the Anaphora for them with huge letters, and we manage with God’s help.

My parish has five active parishioners, and along with them we clean up the church and do all the necessary tasks.

I already mentioned that the village church was shut down fifty years ago and people became unaccustomed to divine services. When our church was still closed only three people went to the church in Ishim. Our villagers could see that for certain clergy representatives church had simply become a profitable workplace. Thus, when I arrived, they asked me, “Father, do you also believe in God?”  When they became convinced that we parish members were “real” Orthodox Christians and not extortioners, doing everything, “heating the furnace and bringing in the wood,” people started coming and helping. This year our oldsters came to help with the church repairs. It must be said that these are the most lackadaisical people in our Siberia. They are reluctant to stand in church, considering that to be a matter for women. However, occasionally someone might venture to do govenie, which is truly a feat for them. People have to get used to the church after so many years of living outside it. At the beginning it was simply absurd for them to hear of fasts and rules of Orthodox life. The people of the Ishim Region treat us very well, and it can even be said that they are friendly. But the resident believers of Ishim have been forbidden to have anything to do with me under the threat of exclusion from communion. I am sorry for them, and it is a pity that they have turned out to be so faithless. For they know my parents and have known me since my childhood, and I served there for seven years, but they believe all kinds of gossip, saying I am either a “Catholic” or a “Baptist.” I have restrained myself from any kind of agitation among them until recently, since I wanted them to make judgments about the Free Russian Church not according to words but according to deeds. But after Bishop Dimitri visited our parish, I understood that the time has come to visit parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate with preaching. But there are also conscientious faithful who come to me from Ishim and Tyumen, but I cannot actually call them parishioners, because when our communities are organized in both cities, they will stop coming to me and be nourished there.

How do the local and municipal authorities treat you, and how did the registration of your community proceed after you went over to the Russian Church?

As soon as he became aware of my first attempts to establish contact with the hierarchy of the Church Abroad Archbishop Theodosius informed the Ishim municipal authorities about this. But this had little effect on their attitude toward me, for they have constant opportunities to know about all aspects of my life without the hierarch’s help. If in Ishim everyone is already in the public eye, each step you take is known in a village, where villagers know each other and live, you could say, in each other’s line of vision. The local authorities know that I am not doing anything immoral or against the Constitution, so they do not participate in the persecution campaign organized by the diocesan leadership. On the contrary, the village council, the sovkhoz directors, and the regional authorities are giving support to our community in an increasingly active way.

Unfortunately, the greater the distance from local authorities and the closer you get to the center the attitude increasingly worsens. This is perfectly understandable, since authority figures of lower rank in localities are not subjected to such a thorough sifting process as those in town, and their personal welfare depends more on the local population’s attitude toward them than on how the highly placed organs regard them. It must be added that the village leadership is connected by kinship and social ties with local inhabitants (who make up my parish), therefore it must consider the personality of the parish priest to whom the inhabitants lend an ear.

There is another picture at the provincial center. The key role here is played by the firmly welded party administrative apparatus that had been formed by the Soviet regime over decades. In its actions it is guided by Leninist ideology and Communist morality. Its functionaries are now almost uninterested in attitudes toward them on the part of the local population, since they are fully dependent upon the party’s higher-ups, to whose lower levels they themselves belong.

Today many sociologists are trying to put together at least an approximate outline indicating in whose hand power actually lies in the Soviet Union, but each of these outlines collapse, because “socialist realism“ itself disproves them. And only a Christian attitude prompts the terrible conjecture that if that actual regime, which is shielded by the “Soviet” label, will show its genuine face, humanity will shudder and moan, beating itself in the chest as the Jews did at the cross of Christ. So, there is nothing surprising in the fact that in response to requests to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Free Russian Church an official representative of the Soviet Government claims, “We will register Krishnaites and Satanists, but you — never”! In such a case, why do we need that registration? Clearly, it is not needed for our existence or our prayer life — we have never needed it. But we will fulfil what the law of this same governmental apparatus requires of us, at least to avoid any censure from it, in order to expose their flouting of their own laws.

I did not turn to the local authorities with requests to register the community, as they themselves offered their services and help. I think they did so because they had time to be convinced that the Orthodox Church is not an enemy to the local population. Who are the local authorities? They are the same local inhabitants, close or distant relatives of my parishioners. They are all my fellow countrymen, and we are all destined to live in one world. Everyone is tired of that foolish atheism, and it has now become unfashionable even for the representatives of the Soviet regime.

So I wrote a statement, attaching “Parish Bylaws” [this is the “Normal Parish Bylaws of the Russian Church Abroad” approved by the Bishops’ Council in May 1990] and the gramota receiving me into the clergy of the Russian Church. A month later only one question was asked by the district committee: “Are you Orthodox?”, and a unanimous decision was made to register us.

Thus, we were registered based on the new all-union legislation, and we are still to register according to the republican legislation at the provincial justice department.

Fr. Evtikhii, what methods does the Moscow Patriarchate use in your area to take away our parishes and to discredit the clergy of the Russian Church?

Last summer two priests came and read out Bishop Anthony’s decree suspending me, but it turned out that this visit united the parishioners more firmly around me. In Ishim, my native town, priests are spreading incredible rumors and gossip. I have mentioned some of them already, and they have simply frightened those who have listened to them. Basically, emphasis is made upon the word “abroad,” spreading fabrications regarding an “American church” that is being foisted upon people. The priests are taking advantage of the believers’ ignorance, seeing that the Patriarchate has itself raised such a flock. Bishop Anthony slinged mud toward us and inspired the clergy to do so, but in the eyes of many he increased our authority by these abuses. After all, besides ears, people have eyes. They can see how we are living and have started to figure out that the rumors are false and that we are being persecuted for the truth.

Since November 1990 there has already been a second bishop (Dimitri Kopalin) at the newly developed Tobolsk-Tyumen see. His tactic is a completely opposite one. In public he speaks well of the clergy that has gone over and refuses to support those who had earlier demonstrated particular zeal in struggling against us, but at the same time he gently exhorts our parishioners to turn from the “schism” and join the “Mother Church.” His visit to our parish brought on a certain amount of turmoil, since his exhortations, accompanied by the singing of the seminary choir, brought a response from the unchurched villagers who had not taken part in parish life before. However, Bishop Dimitry, too, did not manage to avoid lying when he told the grandmothers that he knows nothing about my suspension and promised them that I would serve at this parish “to the end of my days.”

The local authorities know that I am doing nothing immoral, so they do not participate in the persecution campaign that has been organized by the diocesan leadership.

He also insisted that his episcopal consecration took place without the KGB’s knowledge, with whom he had never had any dealings. He rejected ecumenism as well, as did Bishop Anthony when we first became acquainted. So it turns out that he can compliment my parishioners and sing the old song: “Why Do We Need the Abroad”?

Fr. Evtikhii, how do you evaluate the process of the return of parishes from the Moscow Patriarchate to the Russian Church?

This process is moving very painfully. The general suspiciousness is a major obstacle, from which I am not, alas, exempt, as much as I try to get rid of it. Hostile circles make a game out of this misfortune very effectively, “and for their amusement fan the barely hidden fire.” Dodger adventurers and shouting opportunists hang around parishes that have been freed of the Moscow Patriarchate. They both draw people away from our parishes. But they are not able to do with them what they have done  with “Memorial,”” the Cossack movement, and other patriotic movements, no matter how much they have tried to entwine us — “God is not mocked.” Of course, our resistance is needed, but for me it lies precisely in our own preservation of calmness and deepening into righteousness. As we become rooted in it, we must take measures to prevent the infusion of such characters. It is good that the appearance of our parishes has roused the Moscow Patriarchate, forcing it to function more actively.

Fr. Evtikhii, do you find it possible to refuse to accept someone into the clergy of the Russian Church if it is known that the clergyman is coming over simply to satisfy personal ambitions or to improve his material situation?

The issue of accepting clergy is fully the responsibility of the accepting hierarchs. It could be indeed proposed that one of the clergy who had previously come over act as a sponsor, but all this must be decided by our leadership. Of course, I have a negative attitude toward turncoats motivated by profit. Actually, I am somewhat doubtful that anyone would come over to us due to money — what money? We, for instance, barely make ends meet, although when we were in the Moscow Patriarchate I had a decent salary, earning 300 rubles before, and now I get 82. There is yet no word on the Moscow Patriarchate deciding to replace its patriarch, and without his replacement a rejection of this bane is impossible, since he is a most active ecumenist.

The Moscow Patriarchate has firmly established itself in Russia and continues to expand. While in 1985 there were 6,806 parishes in the country, on July 1 of this past year there were already 11,118.  (See Literaturnaia gazeta, 1990:48, p. 9) Lately, just a few parishes have returned to the Russian Church. What measures, in your opinion, need to be undertaken for the organization of normal church life in parishes that have come over to us?

The main measure for strengthening our parishes is the raising of spiritual life in them “God is not in strength but in truth.” This increases the demand of our clergy, but parishioners must also strive to incarnate the ideals of Christian virtue in their lives. Without the mutual action that is based upon this striving by clergy and laity all of the work turns into pointless puttering around. I can say in the name of the Siberian clergy that we would like to approach more closely the early Christian relations between parishioners and parishes, as based upon the holy principles of conciliarity and mutual trust. The same is expected of us, both by our parishioners and by those outside the bounds of the Church. It must be said that those who become Christians independently or by reading the Gospels, or by the way they were brought up, or under the influence of public events, have a much more discerning attitude toward church life, comparing the smallest trifles with the highest ideals, and the disparity they witness wounds their souls.  These people are demanding in their evaluations and quite categorical in their decisions. I must say that the other group of believers, those who were born and grew up in the Moscow Patriarchate, are also exceedingly fault-finding toward us. This way, in everyone’s public eye, we are starting not only parish life but, as a matter of fact, diocesan life as well.  In our parishes we are trying to build up church life according to Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the canons of the Orthodox Church. We Siberian clergymen have formed a durable group, within which we totally trust each other.  It seems to us that each significant step is taken with mutual agreement, and that in this way we incarnate the “conciliarity” principle into life. But to our regret, in the present situation we are forced to take on a certain amount of responsibility for the general state of all Russian parishes and to imagine how the Free Russian Church will live and develop in the future.

Do you feel that it is necessary to preserve and strengthen the “secret” parishes of the Russian Church?

In the first place, they should be preserved because that is what the “secret” Christians want themselves, and in the second place, we should thank the catacomb church for going over. After all, that took place with its direct participation. And who can guarantee that new persecutions will not resume? At present we can see attempts on the part of alien forces to make their way into the Church, and we understood that both the Church Abroad and its Russian parishes have become the main target of their disintegrating activity. It will be good if at least the catacombers will be able to hide from them.

Here, outside Russia, many assume that soon the Moscow Patriarchate will move away from ecumenism, repent of sergianism, and will join the glorification of the New Martyrs. Is this a realistic expectation?

The Moscow Patriarchate is preparing its glorification of the New Martyrs, but it will probably determine worthy canonizations according to their loyalty to the Soviet regime. If a certain “canonization” does take place, but the Martyr Tsar Nicholas II will not be at the head of the assembly of saints, it will become clear to everyone that the Moscow Patriarchate is continuing to be captive to politization and that this “glorification” is a periodic example of political correctness. For now, there is no word that the Moscow Patriarchate has decided to replace its patriarch, and a denial of ecumenism is impossible without his replacement, since he is a most active ecumenist himself. Some powerful international forces are behind ecumenism. The Moscow Patriarchate has come into association with them, and they will exert pressure upon the Soviet government to keep the Moscow Patriarchate. It is easy to enter into this association, but extremely difficult to step out of it. Of course, if the Patriarchate decides to do this, this will be a matter worthy of repentance, but reunification requires other deeds of  repentance as well. In general, we cannot hope for this to happen soon, since currently it is trying to justify sergianism with all its might. So I feel that these expectations are not realistic.

As we know, the last legitimate All-Russian Church Council took place between 1917 and 1918. What prospects do you have for calling a future All-Russian Church Council?

The increase in the number of dioceses on Russian territory will resolve this issue of a local council.

What practical help can be offered from abroad to your parish?

Invaluable help has already been given — Orthodoxy has been preserved by those abroad. If each member of the Church Abroad will keep and follow God’s commandments, he will in this way give practical help to us. Keep in mind that goodness does not disappear. What you do to a Chinese or African person will make its way to us. If any one of our brothers in faith and in blood living abroad, while reading your publications will come across this interview and will perform any, even the slightest deed, of personal righteousness for the sake of our little village church, such as visiting an elderly mother, or turning off the television, or indicating something dishonorable, or saying evening prayers with fervor and attentiveness, or refusing to purchase an unnecessary luxurious item that had captivated the heart, let him be aware that this good deed will reach us. We do need help, and I beg of you to perform a good deed for the sake of us sinners, for which you previously did not have enough decisiveness. I ask this of everyone who reads this!

Fr. Evtikhii, you visited Holy Trinity Monastery and the seminary. What have you remembered, what impression did you get from visiting our churches and from meeting parishioners here, in the United States?

I have already told someone that having been in churches and clergy families I experienced  what I heard in my childhood but did not have. Only our growing generation has managed to preserve this spirit. I would like young people to know the true value of that spiritual wealth which their parents can transmit to them, and if they lose it, they will be criminals. They will have no excuse to give us, since we were denied this inheritance of an Orthodox spirit and Russian culture forcefully. My first impression of the monastery and seminary is the revealing uniqueness of each monk, each seminarian. Each one has a special personality. It seemed that the qualities of old Russia had been resurrected before my eyes. There is amazing simplicity here compared to Soviet monasteries and seminaries. There is simplicity in clothing and in socializing. The quiet in the monastery dining room and in the church was very much to my liking. The amazing thing is that there is simplicity along with strictness, and freedom along with quiet.

I heard that Moscow Patriarchate clergy visit Churches of the Church Abroad, and I cannot imagine the petrification that must be in one’s heart, what scales on one’s eyes, if one visits there and doesn’t sense the meaning of preserved gratitude. Still, what a crime it was that with the abundance of splendor in many churches of the Soviet Union, people are denied this inner richness that has been preserved here.

Conducted by Andrei Psarev

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