Governor of Komi Vladimir Uyba and Archbishop Pitirim. Photo: Syktyvkar diocese

Guarding the spiritual bonds. North Russian region of Komi establishes a morals watchdog

The Council for the preservation of spiritual and moral values made up of a foul-mouthed governor, a priest who loves his foreign-made car, Cossacks and pro-government journalists will defend the Russian language, fight destructive elements and strengthen civil unity.
October 31, 2023


The new advisory body named the Council for the Preservation and Strengthening of Traditional Spiritual and Moral Values was set up on October 11 by the executive order of the Governor of the Komi Republic, Vladimir Uyba.

The Council will have a broad mandate. Among other things, it should help strengthen the “all-Russian civic identity,” help preserve historical memory and fight the falsification of history, and promote traditional family values, specifically, protect the institution of marriage as a union of a man and a woman.

Another thing the new council is going to protect will be the Russian language, since it is “the language of the state-forming people.” The Council must counteract the excessive use of foreign words and combat the use of obscene language.

In addition, the Council intends to prevent the spread of destructive ideology and the “destruction of traditional values,” as well as initiate scientific research “aimed at preserving and promoting traditional values.”

The Council is headed by Vladimir Uyba. He is not only the governor of Komi, but also the co-chairman of the regional branch of the World Russian People’s Council. It is a public organization operating under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church, which actively supports Putin’s policies and the war in Ukraine.

If Vladimir Uiba wants to fight profanity, he will have to start with himself. In April 2021, right in the State Council building, he swore at deputy Oleg Mikhailov, who criticized him.

Among other members of the Council are priests of the Russian Orthodox Church and the leader of Komi Muslims. One of the priests, Archbishop Pitirim of Syktyvkar and Komi-Zyryansk, is known for his shocking behavior. In 2017, he dedicated poetry to his Audi, which was stolen and then found.


I’ll park the car until dawn,

I’ll turn the alarm again.

God gave me an Audi as a vocation,

I’ll read my prayer to God again.

— the poem ends.

In March 2023, the Archbishop of Syktyvkar attracted media attention again: he said that victims of rape should forgive the perpetrators. Pitirim actively supports the war in Ukraine and swears allegiance to Vladimir Putin. The archbishop is under sanctions from Kyiv.

The Council will be composed of thirty people. Among them are several officials, two Cossacks, heads of state TV-networks, three doctors, leaders of Afghanistan war veteran organizations, and heads and employees of educational institutions.

Three people, in addition to the governor, are members of the regional branch of the World Russian People’s Council. There are no representatives of Komi people NGO’s on the list.



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