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About scandal around Patriarch Kirill’s flat

March 29, 2012, 11:51 UTC+3
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MOSCOW, March 29 (Itar-Tass) — Newspapers continue publishing commentaries on an outspoken scandal which has outburst following claims against Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill. They say the head of the Russian Orthodox Church has been at law with his neighbour, who while repairing his flat covered Kirill’s flat with a layer of dust. The damage was estimated at 20 million roubles and the unlucky neighbour – a well-known surgeon and a priest, too – risks finding himself without the flat and with a big debt.

The Novye Izvestia writes about the history of the conflict. Moscow’s Zamoskvorechye Regional Court and the Moscow City Court confirmed the dust from the flat of Russia’s ex-healthcare minister, an academician, an MD Yuri Shevchenko in the famous House on the Embankment did went up to the flat of Patriarch Kirill /Vladimir Gundyaev/. Lidia Leonova, registered at the flat of the patriarch, had filed the suit against Shevchenko.

The press service of the Russian Orthodox Churches refuses to explain the patriarch’s relations with the woman.

The court has confirmed the nano particles in the dust had made it possible to live in the flat only after a complete renovation there. “It will cost 20 million roubles: this is what the former minister is to pay.”

Who is Leonova? – the Trud daily asks. Most reporters are at a loss. Companions of the patriarch call her “an old friend” of his and claim he had known her for over 30 years. Though the Federal Service of Registration claims the owner of the flat is Gundyaev, and though Leonova did not even present documents proving her authorities as a legal representatives of Patriarch Kirill, she still represents his interests at the hearings.

Reporters managed to find out that at the address, where Leonova is residing officially in Smolensk, several commercial companies are registered, and the companies are in any ways connected with businesses of the patriarch. As for the Internet blogs, being different from official media in freedom of “choosing wording”, some malevolent comments say Lidia Leonova is a civil wife of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes the flat even may not belong to the patriarch. But the church, it believes, has not responded “with dignity” to the rumours. While official representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church chose to give indirect comments, Orthodox bloggers and civil activists started criticising fiercely everyone, whom they suspected in “anti-church provocations.” Doctor and priest Yuri Shevchenko was accused of what not.

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