|Rebuilt starting in 1995, Stalin destroyed the original Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow in 1931|
Reported here in The Christian Science Monitor:
'Not well known or understood in the West, the Russian Orthodox Church has been Russia's chief source of spiritual identity for most of its 1,000-year existence. Though it was nearly destroyed by the communists, it has since rebounded sharply to become once again the Kremlin's ideological bulwark.
'As that relationship has solidified, the church has also integrated with the military. Russian media frequently run photos of priests blessing weaponry, including war planes, while Orthodox chaplains are embedded in most military units. And now, it is underscoring its enthusiastic backing for Russia's military intervention in Syria – a fight Father Chaplin dramatically describes as "a holy war against terrorism." ...
'About 70 percent of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians.'