Agents of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe: Who is helping Putin to implant the “Russian world” in the West?

Putin’s terrorists continue their bloody war in Ukraine. And the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) justifies in every way the crimes of the occupants on Ukrainian soil. The so-called patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev), has repeatedly approved of Russian aggression.

The ROC has a fairly extensive network in Europe. Gundyaev’s subordinates in the West usually do not make loud statements like their boss, but that does not mean they do not support him. They do it quite delicately. They try to ignore the war in Ukraine, and if they do mention it, they do not call Russia an invader. They focus attention on religious issues in Ukraine, claiming “persecution” of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC MP). And, of course, do not forget to praise their boss, wishing him health and longevity.

Evocation investigated the centers of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe. Many influential Russian church functionaries in the West have been linked to the Kremlin’s security services since Soviet times.

Agent “Mikhailov”

Almost from the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Patriarch Kirill has openly supported Russia’s actions. In his sermons he referred to Ukraine as “Russian land. He also urged Russians to die in the war for “eternal life. Repeatedly asked parishioners to help the Russian invaders.

Kirill’s attitude is not surprising, given his controversial past. Gundyaev’s involvement with the Soviet and then Russian secret services is probably no longer a secret. According to numerous sources, Kirill appeared as a KGB and FSB agent with the call sign “Mikhailov.

Also in the 1990s, Gundyaev made his money from importing alcohol and tobacco, because of which he was nicknamed the “tobacco metropolitan. Here’s what Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Valery Simeonov said about this in 2018: “Since 1996, he has 14 billion from imports of excise-free cigarettes. This trickster has imported 14 billion dollars worth of excise-free cigarettes and 4 billion dollars worth of wine for the church, again without excise taxes. He has a private jet, a villa in Switzerland. His watch is worth 30,000.

Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church with the call sign “Mikhailov

Recently there was information in the media that Gundyaev was engaged in intelligence activities in Geneva in the 1970s on instructions from the KGB of the USSR. This was reported by a number of Swiss publications, citing declassified state archives.

In fact, the scale of Russian priests’ undercover activities in Europe can be colossal. Former KGB officer Sergei Zhirnov said in an interview that all ROC dioceses located abroad are residences – foreign missions of foreign intelligence. This is why Evocation decided to find out more about those in charge of the dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe.


Agents of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe: Who is helping Putin to implant the “Russian world” in the West?

Gundyaev’s favorite

Perhaps one of Gundyayev’s most influential representatives in Europe today is 38-year-old Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk (Anton Sevruk). He heads the Russian Orthodox Church in Italy, one of the largest cells of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe, which has about 60 churches. Until July 2022, Antony lived and served in Paris, where he headed the Western European Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Antony is concurrently head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations (DECR), which was once headed by Gundyaev himself. The UVC is a key agency in the system of the Moscow Patriarchate, especially in its interaction with the Kremlin. The creation of the DVCS was initiated personally by Stalin in the postwar year of 1946 in order to solve sensitive foreign policy problems “along church lines.

Despite his relatively young age, Sevruk had a dizzying church career. Not without Cyril’s help, of course. At the age of 22, Antony became an assistant to Gundyaev, who was then the head of the Department for External Church Relations. At the age of 24, after the election of the chief patriarch, Antony is already the personal secretary of the primate and head of his entire secretariat. After being ordained a hieromonk, at the age of 25 Antonii was assigned to a parish in Rome, and at 28 he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite (according to the Russian Orthodox Church, in order to be elevated to this rank one must have served for 40 years – ed.).

Metropolitan Anthony of Volokamsk

Cyril’s Heir

At the age of 30, Sevruk becomes bishop of Bogorodsk, head of the Patriarchate’s department for foreign institutions. He was soon appointed bishop of Vienna and Budapest and at the age of 32 was elevated to the rank of archbishop. Finally, at the age of 34, he is appointed Metropolitan of Korsun and Western Europe, Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe. A couple of years ago, journalists wrote that Antony “looks most like the man in whom Cyril sees his heir.”

After his appointment as head of the Department of External Church Relations, Antony showed himself to be an active supporter of Putin’s regime. In particular, he was present in the Kremlin at the ceremony of admitting the so-called “Dnr” and “Lnr” and two illegally occupied regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

Anton Sevruk (Antony): all about the agent

It is noteworthy that the Kremlin does not even hide its direct control over the ROC. Thus, last July, dictator Vladimir Putin included Antony in the Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the President of the Russian Federation.

In his public statements, Antony openly plays along with Gundyaev and the Kremlin regime, calling Russia’s war against Ukraine a “long-standing conflict in Ukraine.

Demonstrating his loyalty to Cyril, Antony arranged for a life of ease. As Evocation found out, he owns a 2020 Kia K900 premium car worth about $60,000. Sevruk also runs a charitable foundation set up in Cyprus ostensibly to build a temple. However, in more than 20 years of the foundation’s existence, the temple has still not been built. Sevruk has been involved with the charity since 2016. During this time, about 6 million euros of donations have gone through it. We can only guess where that money went.

Antony owns a 2020 Kia K900 car worth about $60,000

Mark of Germany

Another influential representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe is 82-year-old Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany (Michael Arndt).

It has always had an affinity for Moscow, although it was formally part of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), which retained some independence. Michael Arndt is considered the ideologist and main initiator of the takeover of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Moscow Patriarchate, for which he is highly regarded in Moscow, serving on various advisory bodies of the Russian Orthodox Church. The ROCA web site published a notice from the Synod of Bishops ordering that the name of Metropolitan Mark be mentioned after Patriarch Kirill of Moscow during services in ROCA churches.

Michael Arndt (Mark): all about the agent

At the same time, Metropolitan Mark is playing along with Russian propaganda regarding Ukraine. In particular, late last year he accused the Ukrainian authorities of “persecuting” the church. “All of this shows that Ukraine is very far from being a democratic state and that we are on the threshold of a new persecution of Christians in this country,” Metropolitan Mark said.

At the same time, the metropolitan did not say a word about the support of the Russian Orthodox Church, in particular its boss Gundyaev, for the war of aggression against Ukraine.

Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany

This behavior of the metropolitan can be explained by the fact that many years ago he may have been recruited by the “KGB”. For example, former KGB lieutenant colonel Konstantin Preobrazhensky recalls in his memoirs that in 1979 Mark was detained by the KGB while crossing the Soviet border for importing anti-Soviet literature. This was considered a particularly dangerous state crime and he was facing a lot of jail time. But after a while they let him go. Therefore, there is a strong possibility that Mark was recruited by the intelligence services.

Simon of Belgium and Elisha of the Netherlands

Another ROC priest in Europe is 71-year-old Archbishop Simon (Ishunin) of Brussels and Belgium. After the establishment of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine independent of Moscow, he openly played along with Russian propaganda, claiming “persecution” of UOC MP believers. He also said that Orthodox Christians in Belgium empathize with “truly Orthodox Ukrainians.

And after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Simon went even further and declared that Russians and Ukrainians are one people. “It’s one people for us, and it’s a great tragedy for us what’s happening there,” he said.

Vladimir Ishunin (Simon): all about the agent

Archbishop Simon of Brussels and Belgium

The hero of the telling story was the 60-year-old Archbishop of The Hague and the Netherlands, Elisha (Ganaba).

According to media reports, one of the parishes in Amsterdam stated of disagreement with Cyril’s position shortly after the Russian invasion. In this temple they decided to stop commemorating the patriarch.

Two days later, a car with diplomatic plates arrived at the temple arrived Archbishop Elisha. He announced that the appeal causes “great concern” not only in the Patriarchate, but also in the Russian Foreign Ministry. The latter, according to Elisha, “has a great interest in your church. After that, pressure on the parish began to grow, and anonymous threats began to be received by the clergy. The parish turned to the city authorities for help.

After these events, the parish in Amsterdam decided to break off relations with the Moscow Patriarchate. To prevent this, Ganaba appointed I am the interim rector of the temple. He also announced the imminent replacement of all the rebellious clergymen. Nevertheless, according to the official website of the parish, they did manage to change the patriarchate.

Ilya Ganaba (Elisha): all about the agent

Archbishop Elisha of The Hague and the Netherlands


Ironically, a pro-Russian agent showed up in Poland, the friendliest country to Ukraine. This year the 84-year-old Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland, Sawa (Grytsunyak), was caught up in a scandal.

His strange letter to Patriarch Kirill hit the media.

The head of the Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church wrote a congratulatory letter to Gundyaev. It says that the Russian Orthodox Church “shines with spiritual revival and serves as an example for others.After a wave of outrage, Savva apologized for the letter. However, the residue remained. This appeal looks more strange because formally the Polish Orthodox Church is not subordinate to Moscow.

Mikhail Grytsunyak (Savva): all about the agent

However, an explanation for such strange behavior of the Polish metropolitan can be his past. In 2009, it became known about Sava’s connections with the secret services of the Polish People’s Republic, a satellite state of the USSR. Metropolitan Savva had the pseudonym “Jurek.

Even before the full-scale Russian invasion, Jurek had been caught in scandals over controversial statements. In particular, he did not recognize the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, independent of Moscow.

Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Sava


Another agent in cassock lurks in Ukraine-friendly Latvia. The Latvian MP Orthodox Church has a generally consistent position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But it has one weakness: the metropolitan of Riga and all Latvia, the 83-year-old Alexander (Kudryashov). In 2018, the archives of the Latvian branch of the KGB were found metropolitan record card. According to it, he was recruited in 1982 with the undercover pseudonym “The Reader.

Alexander Kudryashov: all about the agent

Metropolitan of Riga and All Latvia Alexander

As you can see, the Russian Orthodox Church has tightly wrapped its web around Europe. The European dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church do not formally support the Russian invasion of Ukraine. But they continue to show loyalty to Gundyaev, which means they listen to him.

The leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe are charged with the important function of undermining Western support for Ukraine. This can be seen in the attacks on the Ukrainian government and the church, as well as in the ignoring of the aggression of Russia.

That is why the author believes that the civilized world should see the true face of the Kremlin agents in cassocks. And don’t let them spread Racism in Europe and denigrate the true Orthodox Church.

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