Swiss media: Russian Patriarch Kirill worked for the KGB in the 70s

Patriarch Kiril / Photo: EPA

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, a close supporter of President Vladimir Putin, worked for Soviet intelligence while living in Switzerland in the 70s, Swiss dailies reported.Dusk morning" (Maten Dimanche) and "Sontagzeitung” (Sontagszeitung) citing declassified archival data.

According to the newspapers, the Swiss Federal Police file on the current spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) confirms that "Monsignor Kirill", as he is named in the document, "belongs to the KGB", the main intelligence service of the USSR. The two media had access to the file in the Swiss Federal Archives.

In the early 70s, Patriarch Kirill, who strongly supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine, lived in Geneva, where he officially represented the Moscow Patriarchate before the World (Ecumenical) Council of Churches.

Kirill, then under the operational pseudonym Mikhailov, was also tasked with influencing this council, in which the KGB had placed agents in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century.

The Soviet Union has set itself the goal of persuading the institution in Geneva to condemn the US and its allies and to criticize more moderately the lack of religious freedom in the USSR, the newspapers said, noting that the Russian Orthodox Church "refuses any comment on Cyril's espionage activities in Geneva".

The World Council of Churches said it had "no information" on the subject.

"Maten Dimanche" was sought by the grandson of Patriarch Mikhail Gundyaev, who replaced him as the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate in Geneva. Gundyaev claims that Kirill "was not an agent", although he was "strictly controlled" by the KGB.

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