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Russian involvement on Mount Athos didn't draw attention until Russia invaded Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the St Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, in Karyes on May 28, 2016. Putin, who has often talked about his strong Orthodox faith, will join celebrations for the 1,000th anniversary of the Russian presence at the ancient, all-male monastic community of Mount Athos.
ALEXEI DRUZHININ
/
AFP via Getty Images
Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the St Panteleimon Monastery on Mount Athos, in Karyes on May 28, 2016. Putin, who has often talked about his strong Orthodox faith, will join celebrations for the 1,000th anniversary of the Russian presence at the ancient, all-male monastic community of Mount Athos.

Mount Athos in Greece is a revered site for the Orthodox Church — and potentially attractive as an unorthodox route for Russian money into Europe.

Eliza Triantafillou contributed to this story.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Julian Hayda