Against the 86-year-old priest Viktor Pivovarov from the city Slavyanska upon him Kuban of the area Krasnodar, who had previously been fined for allegedly “defaming” the Russian military with his sermon, was criminally charged for “defaming” the Russian military again. He made relevant statements on the website Kafkaz.realii.

According to the website, the reason for the new prosecution was an article by the priest in which he condemned the war in Ukraineentitled “An answer to the question that concerns everyone today: what does this war mean?”.

“I directly and openly declare to the inquiry about the iniquity of the current government. The legitimate authority can be either a successor to the legitimate authority or elected by all the people. The current government is a successor to the Bolsheviks who staged a coup in 1917 and continues their satanic work.”

He stated that he does not have a lawyer. During the interrogation, a lawyer appointed by the investigating officer was present, who “was silent the whole time”. On October 3, the authorities searched the cell in which he lives. The priest’s supporters speculated that this was done in connection with his anti-war sermons.

In March 2023 he was fined 40,000 rubles for “defaming” the Russian military and for anti-war preaching. He was reported to the police by one of the believers, who had never visited the church before.

“He was at the service and heard my sermon. In fact, he couldn’t listen to it until the end… He runs away and started saying: your sermon is political, big problems await you”, said the priest.

THE Pivovarov he filed an appeal against the court’s decision, while the money to pay the fine was collected by the faithful of his parish.

Victor Pivovarov is its archbishop Slavic and South-Russian Orthodox Church which does not belong to the Russian Orthodox Church, but as one of the alternative Orthodox churches, recognizes the canonicality of the Russian Orthodox Church.

“He was born in 1937 in Altai. His father was killed in the first year of the war and his mother was left a widow raising four children.

“It is a fact that since I was a child I hated Bolshevism. I saw the Chekists (secret police people) abusing my mother. I swore to avenge Bolshevism,” he said in an interview with Novaya gazeta Europe.

After the war, he finished the seven-year school and studied at a technical school. His life was influenced by a man of the Church of the Catacombs, whose representatives did not recognize Soviet power and held services illegally.

In 1963 Viktor Pivovarov began studying at the Moscow Theological Academy from which he was later expelled in his final year due to his oppositional activity. Until its dissolution Soviet Union he was operating illegally, he was engaged in the repair of temples and shrines.

He was then ordained a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and in 2006 received the title of Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church.