00:56 GMT +315 November 2019
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    Valeriy Kolesnikov, rector of St. Nicholas Church, the Yamal

    Russian Priest Shocks Internet With His Saber Skills (VIDEO)

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    A controversial video of a Russian Orthodox Church archpriest, who is a virtuosic saber master, took over the internet in Russia.

    Footage of the "dance with sabers" performed by the priest of a preeminent rank has gone viral.  In the video, Valeriy Kolesnikov, the abbot of St. Nicholas Church in Gubkinsky, a town in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Russia, masterfully handles the weapon, with a Cossack song playing in the background.

    Filmed on November 20 at the conference dedicated to the interaction of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Cossacks, the video caused a stir online. Some Internet users admired the archpriest's skills; others considered it inappropriate claiming that weapons and religion can't be mixed.

    Valeriy has been involved in sports throughout his whole life, according to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. He has a black belt in Real Aikido — the highest rank in the modern martial art, which is a mixture of aikido, judo and jujutsu techniques.

    The archpriest turns out to be the self-taught saber virtuoso in only only six weeks. He learned how to handle the swords from the Internet, looking at videos and repeating the movements. Being a confessor of local Cossacks, Valeriy wanted to become a good example for the elderly generation, which is hardly able to perform any physical activity, as well as introduce young ones to the secular traditions of the Cossacks.

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    weapon, religion, saber, Internet, video, Russia
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