Source: Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs in English
The Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation, General of the Police of the Russian Federation Vladimir Kolokoltsev, chiefs and personnel of the divisions of the central office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia, territorial bodies of internal affairs and members of their families took part in the solemn service devoted to the 300th anniversary of the Russian police.
At the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, which was headed by the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill, prayers were made for the health of the current employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and those who had died while performing their official duties were remembered.
The Minister noted: “The Russian Orthodox Church has always been and still remains the guardian of spiritual purity and morality and the unique cultural heritage of our country. It focuses attention on the issues of education of the younger generation and contributes to the strengthening of peace and harmony in society”.
The MIA of Russia Chief thanked His Holiness the Patriarch for praying for the many thousands of the staff of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and handed over to him 10 ancient icons that had been stolen in May of this year from the Assumption Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Makaryevsky Zheltovodsky Women’s Monastery. “By efforts of the criminal investigation officers, these holy relics have been preserved for believers, and today we are gladly returning them to the Russian Orthodox Church,” said Vladimir Kolokoltsev.
Report on the crime came to the duty-unit of the MIA of Russia Division for the Lyskovsky District of the Nizhny Novgorod Region on May 2 of this year. An offender who had hid in the Assumption Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Makaryevsky Zheltovodsky Women’s Monastery, during the night, broke kiots and stole ten revered images. Among them – two icons of St. Macarius, one of them with his relics, “St. Macarius and Saint Nicholas”, “Saint Nicholas” with the relics, “St. Basil and Savvaty”, “Holy Face”, “Cathedral of the Archangel Michael”, “Transfiguration of the Lord”, “God Almighty”, and the icon of the Mother of God “Vladimirskaya”. Then handed the stolen relics to the organizer of the illegal act and another accomplice.
On this fact, a criminal case was opened on the grounds of the crime provided for in part 4 of Article 158 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. As a result of operational search activities, the police established the whereabouts of the suspects and received information that they were looking for a buyer among antiques collectors. Only for one of the stolen icons – the myrrh-streaming image of the Mother of God “Vladimirskaya” of the 17th century, the offenders wanted more than 5 million rubles.
A 60-year-old previously convicted man and his 27-year-old accomplice were detained at a time when, after agreeing to a deal, they were transporting three relics for sale. Another figurant, a 37-year-old resident of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, was detained in a private house in the village of Kusakovo, the Bogorodsky District. Seven icons were found by the police in a specially equipped forest cache.