A beautiful domed church is currently under construction in downtown Paris. It is the result of years of work and hundred’s of millions of dollars fronted by the Kremlin. Moscow has branded this specific Church to be a “spiritual and cultural center” for the local population of expatriated Russians that now call Paris home. However, there has been major push back from the French Government, siting that, in the past, the Soviet Union had used similar Religious Institutions to gain power in foreign states, such as Moldova. The French were also afraid of the location that the Kremlin was campaigning for, being right next door to the building that houses some of the countries most sensitive information.

“They are advancing pawns here and everywhere; they want to show that there is only one Russia, the Russia of Putin,” said Alexis Obolensky, vice president of the Association Culturelle Orthodoxe Russe de Nice, which is a group of French believers with Russian heritage dating back to the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. With so many terrorist attacks recently in France with religious motives behind them, the French are very nervous about the newest addition to the Downtown area. Mr. Obolensky continues jokingly, “They will not stop until they control everything…One day the Promenade des Anglais will be called the Promenade des Russes.”

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