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MOSCOW, February 9 (Itar-Tass) — Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said Vladimir Putin played a crucial rule in leading Russia out of the crisis in the 1990s but said he disagreed with some of the things that are happening in the country.
He thanked Putin for playing “a big role in correcting this twist in our history” and stressed, “This does not mean that we all agree with everything you do and with everything that is happening in the country “.
“We have critical points of view, and I say this publicly and never feel shy to do so,” Kirill said at a meeting between Putin and religious leaders on Wednesday, February 8.
In his opinion, “What the country pulled though in the 1990s can be compared to the biggest cataclysms in our history – with the troubled times in the 17th century, Napoleon’s invasion, Hitler’s aggression or the Civil War… because each time the very existence of the country and its people was in question. And if we are to compare the damage caused to the people and the economy in the 1990s, we must emphasise clearly that it is comparable to our losses in the Great Patriotic War,” the patriarch said.
He noted at the same time positive and important changes that began with the collapse of the Soviet regime. “The 1990s opened up new opportunities, including for the freedom of conscience, for outlook. And we will never turn a blind eye to all the good things that were done,” he said.
Speaking of the 2000s, the patriarch said, “The global context was not favourable for the development of the economy.”
He believes that it was “God’s miracle and the active participation of the leadership of the country” that helped Russia pull through that “terrible, systemic crisis that destroyed the very foundation of people’s life”.