Russia: Putin Refuses Controversial Kiss From Priest
Earlier this week, President Vladimir Putin visited [ru] the Valaam Monastery in Karelia, one of Russia’s northern most republics. While greeting the local Orthodox priests, one of them suddenly lunged forward and tried to kiss Putin’s hand, though the President instantly recoiled in apparent disgust. A moment later, Putin turned back and shook his fist at the priest (which the Kremlin later explained was a joke).
The priest, since identified [ru] as Macedonia-native Father Mefodii, caused an uproar among Russian Internet users, when video footage of his attempted kiss spread rapidly online. Why did this foreign-born Orthodox monk want to kiss