Russian Mystic close to Putin flies Icon of the Virgin Mary over Russia to “Protect Russia from the Coronavirus pandemic.” Monk is seen as “Healer”

  • Orthodox elder Iliy Nozdrin flew above Moscow and St Petersburg to bless cities
  • He was seen flying alongside another prominent priest with icons and a cross
  • The trip in an executive jet was designed to ‘protect Russia from the pandemic’
  • He is called Russia’s ‘most important and fashionable elder’, popular with VIPs

An 88-year-old church mystic close to Vladimir Putin has performed a blessing in an executive jet above Moscow and St Petersburg to ‘protect Russia from coronavirus’.

Orthodox elder Iliy Nozdrin was seen alongside another prominent priest with icons and a cross blessing residents

The elder – who is confessor to Russia’s most senior churchman Patriarch Kirill – prayed to rid the country of the ‘destructive infection’.

A church source said: ‘Iliy today flew over our capital cities with a pray to protect Russia from coronavirus pandemic.’

The hunched, grey-bearded Nozdrin is seen as having sway over Putin and one ex-official told Proyeky investigative journalists he is Russia’s ‘most important and fashionable elder’ who is ‘popular among VIPs’.

Seen as a healer, he has been sought out by many leading officials.

He once ordered a Russian governor to sideline both his wife and mistress, it was reported.

Referring to Putin’s divorce in 2013, he asked the surprised politician: ‘Do you see women close to our president?’ 

A former regional official said that ‘through Iliy, you can convey information to the president in [just] two days’. 

Nozdrin has dismissed anti-Kremlin protests as ‘trash’ and ‘enemy acts’ unleashing ‘dark forces from an abyss’, while urging people to pray for Putin.

The elder is a schema-archimandrite, a monastic priest who has attained the highest level of spiritual excellence.

It was unclear who had supplied the business jet.