The head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church said Russian President Vladimir Putin is under Satan's control, placing blame for the months of bloodshed on the leader and predicting his "eternal damnation in hell."
Patriarch Filaret heads the Kiev Patriarchate, a branch of the Orthodox Church that split from Moscow in 1992 after the fall of the Soviet Union, and the rival of the Putin-linked Moscow Patriarchate.
Although Filaret never mentioned Putin by name, he likened the Russian president to Cain, the Biblical figure who killed his brother, Abel.
"With great regret I must now say publicly that among the rulers of this world ... there has appeared a new Cain, not by his name but by his deeds," said Patriarch Filaret in a statement published on the patriarchate's website.
"Like the first fratricide of history Cain, these deeds show that the afore-mentioned ruler has fallen under the action of Satan," he said.
"He calls himself a brother to the Ukrainian people, but in fact according to his deeds, he has really become the new Cain, shedding the brotherly blood and entangling the whole world with lies," Filaret said.
What's the cost if Putin doesn't come around? "An ignominious end and eternal damnation in hell."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.