Saturday, April 14, 2012

Unorthodox behaviour rattles Russian church

April 13, 2012
By Courtney Weaver

Yuri Shevchenko, a retired doctor and health minister, never imagined he would be fighting a $1m Russian lawsuit that would see his bank accounts frozen, his grown son forced to move back home and travel restrictions imposed on him so he could not travel abroad for cancer treatment.

He also never imagined that the claimant in the suit would be a woman with such deep connections to the Russian patriarch.

Lidiya Leonova, a laywoman, claims that dust from renovation work in Mr Shevchenko’s Moscow flat wreaked Rbs26m ($900,000) worth of damage to her own flat upstairs. While Ms Leonova is registered in the flat and initiated the suit, the flat belongs to Kirill I, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The scandal is one of several to envelop the Russian Orthodox Church, as the institution faces increasingly serious allegations of corruption and criticism for its role in Russian politics.  the rest


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