Veterans of Russia’s federal Investigative Committee (SK) plan to install a 10-foot-tall statue of the archangel Michael outside the bureau’s headquarters in Moscow. The SK’s current director, Alexander Bastrykin, has already given his official support to the plan to honor his agency’s patron saint.
The cost of the project has been estimated at 13 million rubles (nearly $200,000), and SK officials have agreed to collect some those funds from the agency’s current employees. While an official letter regarding the statue’s construction emphasized that donations would be voluntary, one SK division head has already announced that his employees voted unanimously to set aside 0.5 percent of their budgets for the statue’s construction. Officials wrote that each willing employee’s donation would amount to approximately 1,500 rubles (almost $23).
Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church named St. Michael the Archangel the patron of the Investigative Committee in 2016. SK officials explained that Michael is the foremost representative of the struggle against human lawlessness in the Christian tradition, while the SK is responsible for initiating and investigating criminal cases throughout the Russian Federation.