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Leading Russian nuclear scientist says the Orthodox Church helped save the post-Soviet nuclear arsenal

Russian nuclear weapons developers say they hope to cooperate with the Russian Orthodox Church to help them meet the highest ethical standards in the process of improving the country's “nuclear shield.”

“To solve problems like this, with such a formidable weapon, we need a high moral bar—without this, progress in defense and nuclear matters is impossible. That's why we're looking forward to joint efforts between our scientists and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church,” said Radii Ilkaev, a research manager at the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, at a meeting with Patriarch Kirill on August 1. 

Ilkaev added that the Russian Orthodox Church helped preserve the country's nuclear arsenal in the mid-1990s.

“Back then,” Ilkaev explained, “the media cultivated an extremely negative attitude toward defense issues—especially nuclear weapons, and all the specialists working in this field. Everywhere there were articles appearing, saying that we have no enemies, that no one threatens us, and so we don't need [nuclear weapons] anymore. And the Russian Orthodox Church held a hearing on the topic of ‘Nuclear Weapons and National Security.’ Very serious documents were released, which gradually became state policy, which [Russian] society came to support.”

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