While the communist regime in Estonia was crumbling, in Russia the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Aleksy II
, stopped the communist coup that was moving against communist Boris Yeltsin with the threat that he would excommunicate any soldier who committed murder during the attempted coup.
Throughout their analyses, the Garrards point emphatically to the political and theological savvy of Aleksy II
as the indispensable element in the revival of the church since 1991, and, indeed, the late patriarch was a fearless and foxy leader advancing church interests.
Numerous petitioners, from members of the Russian Academy of Sciences to Patriarch Aleksy II
of Moscow and All Russia, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, have asked Putin to reestablish an independent environmental agency.