Kremlinology is back in a big way. Thinkers and pundits of every stripe, throughout the world, are once again seeking to uncover the secret motives and exotic ideologies of the Russian political elite. Only this time around, unlike in the days of Soviet atheism, the smoke signals coming from the Kremlin are increasingly linked with the incense rising from Moscow’s onion-domed churches. In fact, according to some observers, one of the main ideologues behind the invasion of Ukraine is none other than Patriarch Kirill (Gundiaev) of Moscow, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In this two-day workshop, researchers and journalists will discuss the role of the Orthodox Church in the ongoing war in Ukraine. On the one hand, the conference will focus on the pro-war propaganda and memory politics currently emanating from the Moscow Patriarchate. On the other hand, panelists will also explore the religious dimensions of Ukrainian resistance to the invasion, and contemplate the future of the Orthodox Churches in Ukraine.


The event is organized by HCAS Core Fellow Sean Griffin (email: sean.griffin[at]helsinki.fi).