Patriarch or Oligarch?

Patriarch Kirill: Leader of Orthodox Church and Tobacco Imports

Many Westerners know little about the new Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Father Kirill. Many Russians know him as a great orator and a host of a weekly TV show “Pastor’s Word.” However, very few know that Kirill (Vladimir Gundyaev by passport), a billionaire and a former KGB operative, made his fortune in tobacco, alcohol, and oil sales.

His activities were among the main reasons why not-for-profits in Russia lost tax-deductible status. The new Orthodox leader is fond of playing with stocks, car racing, downhill skiing, and breeding exclusive kinds of dogs. He owns villas in Switzerland and a penthouse with a view of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow.

http://www.russiablog.org/2009/03/patriarch_kirill_leader_orthodox_tobacco_alcohol_oil.php

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