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Putin Asks Russians to Pray - But Only Because He Doesn't Care About Russia (Video)

The trustworthy and honest Moscow Times says Putin's recent religious retreat is just more proof of his reckless disregard for the Russian people

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the historic Valaam Monastery in Russia's far northern Karelia region on Sunday, where he participated in a solemn divine liturgy (mass) in honor of saints Herman and Sergius. The liturgy was celebrated by Russian Patriarch Kirill. 

The Russian president's official website gave this account of the visit:

In Russian Orthodox tradition, Saints Sergius and German were Greek holy monks who came to the Novgorod lands along with the first Orthodox missionaries. The monastery they founded became widely known throughout Russia. Today, the monastery has more than 200 inhabitants.

Vladimir Putin took part in a meal following the service. The President congratulated everyone present on the celebration and thanked the Patriarch, the clergy, and the representatives of all of Russia’s traditional faiths for all they are doing to strengthen the country’s spiritual and moral foundations.

The President said that we must not forget those who at this moment are working, fighting, and, sadly, even giving their lives in the country’s service. In this context, Mr Putin mentioned two Russian pilots who died heroically in Syria and asked the Patriarch and other clergy to pray for their memory.

Military pilot-instructors Ryafagat Khabibullin and Yevgeny Dolgin were killed in Syria on July 9, while doing a calibration flight near Palmyra.

The Russian president often finds time to attend religious services at churches and monasteries throughout Russia. In May, Putin visited the ancient Orthodox monastic enclave of Mt. Athos in Greece to celebrate its 1000th anniversary. He had previously visited as president in 2005. 

However, some sources saw something sinister in Putin's visit to Valaam, even reckless. The Moscow Times has been reporting on Putin's schedule cancelations for about a week. 

The week before his trip to the monastery, Russian media had reported that Putin cancelled all his scheduled engagements for a number of days.

The reasons behind the cancellations are still unknown. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov denied that the engagements had been cancelled and told journalists that none of Putin’s scheduled trips had been “definitely confirmed.”

Gee here's one theory - maybe Putin just needed a break? Being head of state of a nation as large as Russia has got to lead to elevated stress levels occasionally - especially with all the antagonism directed at Russia from abroad and even from within.

Or perhaps Vladimir Putin really does take his religious faith seriously, and wanted to prepare for his visit to the monastery by setting aside time for prayer, study, or just quiet contemplation? 

But we are dealing with Vladimir Putin here, therefore there must be some nefarious motive. Fortunately the Moscow Times found a "political analyst" capable of clarifying the situation:

“It seems that Putin often behaves in this manner, if we analyze his political career. He neglects domestic policy and its subjects, so he can cancel meetings for his own reasons,” political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky told The Moscow Times.

So there you have it - clearing your schedule for a week, going to church and asking Russians to pray for their dead is another example of Putin's terrible leadership. 
I suppose a much better use of his time and proof of his ability to lead would be flying his entire family to Hawaii for 2 weeks every year for endless rounds of golf - how Barack Obama celebrates the religious holiday of Christmas: 
Shamelessly neglecting his people, Vladimir Putin spends every Christmas in small town churches:

Maybe one day Russia will indeed have another president who properly understands "western values." (I sincerely hope not, but with all the forces of "regime change" constantly directed at Russia, it's possible.) Until then, I guess they're stuck with Vladimir Putin's "neglect" - much to the chagrin of western value and democracy promoters everywhere. 

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