The head of Ukraine's Orthodox Church has accused President Vladimir Putin of being possessed by Satan while the Dalai Lama in a less strident critique accused the Russian leader of being "self-centered."
Patriarch Filaret, who heads the Ukraine Orthodox Church, compared Putin to Cain in the Bible, the son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother, while not naming the Russian president by name.
"With great regret I have to say now publicly that among the rulers of this world upon the fact of baptism, belonging to the Orthodox Church, appeared a real new Cain - not by name, but by deeds," he said.
"These matters indicate that the above mentioned governor as the first in the history fratricide Cain, came under the action of Satan."
The statement was published on the church's website in Russian, Ukrainian and English.
"He calls himself a brother to the Ukrainian people, but in fact according to his deeds, he really became the new Cain, shedding the brotherly blood and entangling the whole world with lies," said the patriarch.
His comment was made September 5 as a ceasefire to hostilities in eastern Ukraine was being hammered out.
Filaret noted, "The greatest blame for all this lies on the above-mentioned governor. In his will and power is to immediately stop the bloodshed and death, but it is for the sake of his pride he continues to multiply evil.
CAIN AND ABEL
He said Putin was "trying to incite killings and bloodshed" and compared him to Cain, the son of Adam and Eve who kills his brother Abel in the Bible.
The patriarch noted: "The greatest blame for all this lies on the above-mentioned governor. In his will and power is to immediately stop the bloodshed and death, but it is for the sake of his pride he continues to multiply evil."
Filaret said that it was Putin who "spread cynical lies about Ukraine" sowing enmity against its people, and their desire to be independent, building their own sovereign state.
"He says outright and blatant lies: organizing and sending killers mercenaries to our country, speaks of "internal conflict", to which he allegedly is not involved; sending to Ukraine his troops, he publicly states that these forces are not present there."
Separately, the Dalai Lama had comments he made about Putin published in Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday where he said the Russian president's self-centeredness is leading his country into ruin.
The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said, "Mr. Putin was first a president, then a prime minister, then a president again. It's a bit too much," said the 79-year-old Tibetan Buddhist leader.
"His attitude is: I, I, I. This is the root of the problem," the Dalai Lama said, according to the German version of the interview.
He also referred to Russia not accepting international rules in throwback to Cold War times that is dangerous.
"We're used to the fact that the Berlin Wall fell. Now it looks like president Putin wants to rebuild it," the Dalai Lama said.
"But he harms his own country by this. Isolation is suicide for Russia," he said.
The interview came after the Kremlin expressed its unwillingness to allow the Dalai Lama to visit Russia. Russia has a total of 700,000 Buddhists.
Russia feels that allowing the spiritual leader into its territory will spoil relations with geopoloticalpartner China. China conquered Tibet in 1950, forcing the Dalai Lama into exile.
But the Dalai Lama believes that China is doing better than Russia. "China wants to be part of the global political system and will be ready to accept the international rules in the long run. I don't have the impression that this accounts for Russia and President Putin, as well, at the moment."