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MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with his wife Svetlana are attending the Patriarchal Easter service in Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral overnight.
The service is also attended by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and other prominent Russian political and public figures.
"I wish to all of you to experience this special type of joy," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said prior to the service. "We know that even in smallest churches, where the service is a lot simpler than in cathedrals, people feel this special joy in their hearts."
"May the blessing and power of Christ, who defeated death, strengthen us in our faith and help us to wend our way through life," Patriarch Kirill added.
He also congratulated Orthodox believers living in other countries.
The president, the prime minister and the patriarch exchanged Easter gifts. This time, Putin presented an Easter egg decoration of gold, brass and peridots to the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The patriarch, in his turn, also presented Easter eggs to Putin and Medvedev.
The Russian president regularly visits churches during major religious holidays. Typically, he attends the Easter service in Moscow and the Christmas service in other Russian churches.
The tradition of holding Patriarchal Easter services in Moscow’s main cathedral originates in 2001, when Patriarch Alexy II conducted the service in the rebuilt cathedral.