Patriarch Kirill supports Vladimir Putin despite the Russian president's profound criminality. Doesn't Kirill then share the culpability quite publicly?
There can be no doubt that in the decades of his political power Vladimir Putin has favored the Church in Russia. Monasteries are restored and flourish, religion is taught in the schools, abortion is discouraged and childbearing is encouraged by positive measures, and sexual immorality is not allowed to be taught to minors, even if adults are free to live as they please. I rather tend to think that there is a lot of hatred of Putin in the West because he refuses the immoral social agenda of the West, what Pope Francis calls "cultural colonialism." If he went along with the sexual morality promoted by the elites of Europe and the US, believe me, there would be little talk of his "criminality."
Both Popes Benedict and Francis refused to let the Holy See's approach to Russia be dictated by the West. This has annoyed Ukrainian Catholics and others, who are unable to see the bigger moral picture in Western society. Granted, Putin's actions toward the Ukraine are largely indefensible, but this is part of a long history and does not make him or his opponents evil as far as religion is concerned. The Church must exist in every land, and, as citizens of this world, Christians may have contrasting political interests.
Remember that in the Second World War one side had Hitler, but the other had Stalin: not much of a choice for pure faith. Ukrainians who go on about the Russians today should remember that a large part of their clergy supported the Germans against Stalin, and they understand why. Turnabout is fair play.
Thus it is very important that Christians not demonize their political opposition. Putin may or may not be the political enemy of the U.S. and Europe, but he is not an enemy of the Faith. Patriarch Kyrill is right to recognize the Russian leader's support for the Church. St. John Paul II directed major Catholic charities to support the Patriarchate of Moscow after and before the fall of communism. Perhaps the zealous Catholics who demonize the patriarch should do likewise with him.