FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Russian Patriarch Kirill Telling Citizens Not To Fear Death Amid Mobilization?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A video shared on Facebook purportedly shows Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill advising Russians not to fear death amid mobilization.

Verdict: Misleading

While the patriarch has talked about Russians not fearing death in the wake of mobilization, the video predates the action. The speech in the footage has nothing to do with the recent announcement.

Fact Check:

Russia announced a partial military mobilization Sept. 21 following successful Ukrainian counter-offensives and large personnel losses, according to The Washington Post. The mobilization comes days after Russia held referendums to annex four Ukrainian areas in a move widely deemed “illegal,” CNN reported.

The video claims to show Kirill telling Russians not to fear death “amid mobilization.” The claim also went viral on Twitter, with one iteration receiving over 1.1 million views.

The video predates the current Russia-Ukraine conflict. Areverse image search found that the video was first shared on YouTube in June 2021 titled, “Is Patriarch Kirill right? urged the military not to be afraid to die for the Motherland – after all, they will have an eternal…” The video was also shared on Russian social media platform VK

Kirill’s remarks were covered by some Russian media outlets such as RBC and Business Gazeta.  (RELATED: Did The Russian Ambassador To The UN Say That Donald Trump Was Overthrown?)

“The very name of this temple refers to the military – Christ is risen and we will all rise with him, and life is eternal, and therefore go boldly fulfill your military duty,” Kirill is quoted as saying according to RBC. “And remember that if you laid down your life for the Motherland, for your friends, then you will be with God in His Kingdom, in His glory, in His eternal life.”

While the video predates the current conflict, Kirill has previously commented that dying in Ukraine “washes away all sins,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

“The church realizes that if someone, driven by a sense of duty and the need to honor his oath, stays loyal to his vocation and dies while carrying out his military duty, then he is, without any doubt, doing a deed that is equal to sacrifice,” Radio Liberty reported Kirill as saying.

In addition, he also stated during a Sept. 21 sermon that “true faith destroys the fear of death.”

Misinformation regarding recent Russian mobilization efforts have appeared on social media following Putin’s announcement. Check Your Fact previously debunked a video showing a Russian citizen hiding in a fridge from a recruitment officer.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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