Unreported World meets some of Russia’s most prolific parents and investigates a wave of intolerance sweeping the country. The resurgent Russian Orthodox Church is at the forefront of a new movement combining religion and nationalism.
In Rostov on Don, Marcel Theroux and Jessica Kelly meet an Orthodox family with 18 children who have received medals from the government and cash from some of the country’s richest people, who are keen to associate with the values that President Putin is promoting: family, God and country. And in Moscow the team investigates the darker side of this resurgent religion and nationalism: a wave of intolerance. Theroux meets Konstantin Malofeev, a millionaire banker with Kremlin connections and the founder of new television station Tsargrad TV, which broadcasts nationalist material and features anti-abortion and homophobic speakers. And Alexander Dugin – one of the leading figures of the new nationalist and Orthodoxy movement – tells Theroux that Russia and the West are opponents in a global spiritual battle that Russia will win.
While Unreported World is in Moscow, the country is debating a new law, backed by the Orthodox Church, that would reduce the punishment for domestic violence from prison to a fine, in a country where 10,000 women are estimated to die at the hands of their partners every year. Theroux concludes that, after the end of the Soviet Union, many people thought it was only a matter of time before Russia became like the West. But instead, the Orthodox Church and Putin’s government are rejecting the West and its values as they strive to make Russia great again.
Unreported World: Putin’s Family Values – Friday at 7.00pm on Channel 4.