Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said that the Russian people face dangers that challenge the very existence of the country.
Source: Patriarch Kirill, in comments on Sunday after the consecration of the main Church of the Rosgvardia [Russian National Guard] in Balashikha near Moscow, reported by the Russian news agency Interfax
Details: The patriarch said that prayer for the leadership and the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation should not be "mechanical".
Quote: "We must not ignore these requests, especially when people face dangers – dangers that challenge the very existence of our country."
More details: Kirill also argued that powerful forces "outside of Russia" allegedly want to "incite people to internal conflict".
"There is only one thing behind this – the desire to weaken Holy Rus [‘Holy Russia’, a notion that (greater) Russia is and should be governed by a shared Orthodox Christian culture and values - ed.]," the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said, explaining that he uses this term to refer to Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.
Why this is important: According to Russian military doctrine, Russia may use nuclear weapons when the existence of the state itself is threatened. Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the country may use nuclear weapons in that case.
Recently, officials of the aggressor country have begun to interpret Ukraine's liberation of its occupied lands as a threat to the existence of the Russian Federation.
In particular, the Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, said: "Ukraine’s goal in the war has been stated by the Kyiv regime: to take back all the territories that previously belonged to it. That is, to tear them away from Russia. This is a threat to the very existence of our state and [may lead to] the collapse of today's Russia. This means that [Ukraine’s goal] meets one of the conditions set out in paragraph 19 of the Foundations of State Policy of the Russian Federation in the Area of Nuclear Deterrence."