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Putin names Russian priest who died in Ukraine while doing 'pastoral duties' Hero of Russia

Russian Archpriest Mikhail Vasilyev, who died in Ukraine while “carrying out pastoral duties” on November 6, has been posthumously awarded the title Hero of Russian by Vladimir Putin.

According to the Russian Orthodox Church, Vasilyev had previously visited numerous conflict zones, including in Kosovo, Bosnia, Abkhazia, Syria, and the North Caucasus. His colleagues referred to him as the unofficial chaplain of Russia’s Airborne Troops.

In October 2022, a widely-circulated video showed Vasilyev criticizing both men seeking to evade mobilization and mothers who don’t want their sons to go to war. He advised women to have more children so that it would "not be so painful and scary" to send them to war.

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