Swiss Federal Police: Patriarch Kyrill was a KGB agent

February 5, 2023

Translated from German via Google

There have long been rumors that today’s Moscow Patriarch Kirill worked as a KGB agent in Geneva during the Cold War. Files in the Swiss Federal Archives confirm this impression. According to federal police, Kyrill was a KGB agent.

In the Swiss Federal Archives in Bern there is a dossier on “Monsignor Kirill”, as the “SonntagsZeitung” reports. It confirms that Kyrill was a member of the KGB. 

“Beware of these priests, because they are KGB agents”

37 entries can be found in Kyrill’s fiche between July 1969 and February 1989. Most of them relate “only to his visa applications and entry into Switzerland”, writes the “SonntagsZeitung”. “Twice, however, it is noted that the priest is on a list of Soviet officials against whom measures have been taken. The measures that were taken are not explained.”

The paper quotes a Geneva resident who remembers the Cold War era: “We were told: Beware of these priests, because they are KGB agents.” In conversations with Kyrill he “always had the feeling” that he was looking for information. He was very friendly but asked many questions about the exile community and the clergy.” 

Cyril was supposed to prevent criticism of the USSR in the World Council of Churches

According to the German theologian Gerhard Besier, the KGB tried to influence the World Council of Churches in the 1970s and 1980s. He should “refrain from criticizing the restrictions on religious freedom in the USSR” and instead criticize the USA and its allies.

A nephew of Cyril lives in Geneva. He says his uncle was probably not an agent at the time, but was “under the strict control of the KGB”. But that in no way “impaired the sincerity of his commitment to ecumenical work with other churches,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Russian oil deals in Switzerland

The “SonntagsZeitung” also reports on the financial interests of the Russian Orthodox Church in Switzerland. The newspaper quotes a former Swiss federal police officer as saying that the then Patriarch Alexei II flew to Geneva in a private jet in the 1990s to sell the oil quotas allocated by the Russian government. 

There is no evidence that today’s patriarch Cyril was involved in the Geneva oil business. “However, from 1989 to 2008 he was responsible for the external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church and was very close to Patriarch Alexei II,” writes the “SonntagsZeitung”.

In 2006, Barbara Hallensleben honored Kyrill with the “Silver Rose”

On May 19, 2006, Kyrill received the “Silver Rose of St. Nicholas” award, which was created and donated by the Freiburg dogmatist Barbara Hallensleben. At that time it was said that the “Silver Rose” honored “people who strive for the unity of the Churches of the East and the West”.

There can no longer be any talk of that today: the head of the Moscow church is considered an important ally of Putin. Kyril’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine repeatedly caused international outrage. Great Britain, Lithuania and Canada imposed sanctions on him. EU-wide punitive measures against the patriarch failed because of Hungary’s veto. Pope Francis warned Cyril against becoming Putin ‘s acolyte in video interview . _

The Church of the Resurrection in Zurich sticks to Cyril

Only on Thursday did Kyrill praise Russian President Putin: “He is Orthodox, not to make himself popular, not to be elected, but a real Orthodox who receives the holy Christian sacraments and lives a church life. The tsars were not always as orthodox as our president is now, »said Kyrill.

According to the “SonntagsZeitung”, Kyrill still has close ties to Switzerland. In December 2016 he preached in the Russian Orthodox Church of the Resurrection in Zurich. According to the local deacon Daniel Schärer, Cyril is still mentioned here  in the Eucharistic prayer .

Kyrill comes to Switzerland as a health tourist

The newspaper reports that Kyrill has been to Switzerland again and again in recent years to receive medical treatment. The World Council of Churches said it had “no information” about Kyrill’s KGB activities.


  1. Even the top “religious” leader of mafia land was a KGB spy, and today, he’s a mafioso.

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