Russian priest who advised women to bear more children and send them to war dies in Ukraine

Mikhail Vasiliev, a Russian priest famous for recently saying that if women in Russia bore more children it would be easier for them to send their sons away to fight, died in the war in Ukraine on 6 November.

Source: official website of the Russian Orthodox Church; The Insider, a Latvia-based, Russia-focused media outlet

Details: The website of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) reported that Archpriest Mikhail Vasiliev died on the morning of 6 November "in the area of ​​the special military operation in Ukraine while carrying out pastoral duties."

The ROC said Vasiliev, as a priest, had travelled on missions to "hot spots" and participated in "peacekeeping operations" in Kosovo, Bosnia, Abkhazia, Kyrgyzstan, the North Caucasus and Syria.

He was the archpriest of the church of St. Barbara the Great Martyr and the Venerable Ilya Muromets, the garrison church of the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Armed Forces in Vlasikha, Moscow Oblast.

The Insider reported that Vasiliev had expressed the opinion - speaking live on the Spas (Saviour) TV channel in October - that if women in Russia had more children, it would be easier for them to send their sons to war.

The presenter had told him about a woman who hid her son in the Canary Islands to avoid mobilisation.

"The Lord has allowed each lady to give birth to many children. And if a lady, fulfilling this commandment to ‘be fruitful and multiply’, refused to use artificial pregnancy termination methods, in the widest sense, then obviously she would have more than one child. And therefore, she would not find it so painful and terrifying to part with her child, even for a while. The devil is not so terrible as he is painted. Whom God helps, nobody can harm," the Russian priest said.

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