A high ranking bishop in the Russian Orthadox Church has reportedly delivered a communication to Russian "warriors" telling them that their "task is to wipe Ukraine off the face of the earth."
A leaflet apparently produced by the Bryansk metropolitanate of the Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate was allegedly given to soldiers, calling them "warriors" with the objective of "protecting the Fatherland."
It's signed off by The Department for relations with the military and the police in Bryansk, a city situated on the River Desna, around 235 miles southwest of Moscow.
In English, the document which is circulating online reads: "Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate Bryansk Metropolitanate.
"You are a Russian Warrior. Your duty is to defend the Fatherland from Ukrainian nationalists.
"Your task is to wipe the Ukrainian nation off the face of the earth.
"Your enemy is an ideology causing sinful damage to human soul.
"The Department for relations with the military and the police of the Bryansk Eparchy, Priest Mikhail Ageshin.”
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The image shows an icon of the Martyr Evgeny Rodionov, who was killed in Chechnya in 1996 for refusing to remove his baptismal cross.
The document is particularly terrifying given the apparent war crimes committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Ukraine.
However, the diocese refutes claims that they produced the image. “This flyer, supposedly addressed to Russian soldiers, contains unreliable and compromising information, designed to incite national hatred between the fraternal peoples of Russian and Ukraine,” a statement read.
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They said the logo, letterhead, and seal on which the flyer is made do not correspond to the logo, letterhead, and seal of the Military Department of the Bryansk Diocese.
“In addition, there is no personal signature of the head of the department in the leaflet. The distributors of such information contribute to the destabilization of the international situation and the schism among the Orthodox Churches,” the diocese added.
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