Russian Cities Divert Tax Money To Orthodox Church Activities Abroad – OpEd


The city government of Moscow has used one of its companies to send more than 75 million rubles (1.2 US dollars) in the course of the last seven years to Russian Orthodox churches outside of Russia, becoming at least the second city — St. Petersburg was the first – according to Open Media researchers.

Not only is this a violation of Russian law but it appears, the researchers say, that at least part of the funds were diverted corruptly, adding yet another means by which the Russian powers that be transfer government funds into private hands (

Evidence of this activity, both aid to the churches outside of Russia and the possible diversion of funds, is on the city’s own website (, yet another reminder of how difficult it is to hide everything once some things begin to be reported.

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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