War in Ukraine

Elaine Byrne: Putin’s reframing of the war as a moral crusade is finding an audience beyond Russia

The Russian president has repositioned himself as a defender of traditional Christian values to gather sympathy from other conservative nations and groupings

Orthodox bishop Patriarch Kirill with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Picture: AP

At his state-of-the-nation address on Tuesday, Vladimir Putin opened up a new front in his attempts to redraw the post-Cold War world security order.

“Look what they are doing to their own people,” the Russian president declared, referring to the West.

“It is all about the destruction of the family, of cultural and national identity, perversion and abuse of children, including paedophilia, all of which are declared normal in their life. They are forcing the ...