The first in Russian history and in recent history, the Orthodox private military company St. Andrew’s Cross can be created under the Russian Orthodox Church, Lenta reports.
The founders of the PMC “Andreevski Cross” can be representatives of the community of the Nicholas Naval Cathedral with the blessing of the rector of the temple Alexy Ganzhin.
The coordinating director of the future PMC, Vladimir Efimovich Khilchenko, explained that he sees the training of volunteers for a special operation in Ukraine as the main task. In addition, the PMC plans to create its own volunteer battalions based on its training center. The instructors at St. Andrew’s Cross are fighters who, according to Khilchenko, went through all the hot spots.
At the same time, the rector of the Nicholas Naval Cathedral, Archimandrite Alexy (Ganzhin), answering journalists’ questions, said that the organization “Andreevski Cross” is not a PMC.
“This is not a military company. We have been doing this since 2017. For five years now, we have ran classes with children and adults, teaching people. We are preparing them for the army so that they are able to survive,” Archimandrite Alexy said in a conversation with RBC.
Talk about creating a military company at the cathedral appeared after the Notebook released on November 10 an interview with Vladimir Khilchenko, coordinating director of “Andreevski Cross”, who called the organization ” the first PMC under the Russian Orthodox Church.”
Khilchenko himself describes the “Andreevski Cross” as a tactical training center, which employs former special forces. According to him, the center trains fighters “for volunteer units, as well as for participation in various PMCs.”
The question cannot but arise: how can the church have an organization with conditionally legalized mercenarism, which in Russia is prosecuted under Art. 359 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation? One gets the impression that the “centers of influence” in the country are carefully but quickly trying to acquire their own mini-armies.
What development of events in the country do these “centers of influence” expect that they do not trust the law enforcement system of the state and prefer to have a personal guard?