What is the connection between "Iaponchik" and Visarion?
On the 13th of October 69 year-old kingpin Viacheslav Inamkov, one of the leaders of the Russian criminal circles nicknamed "Iaponchik" was buried in Moscow. Underworld leaders of the criminal world came to bid him a final farewell.
In an interview given to "Rezonansi" Levan Kiknadze, the president of "the Club of Experts" talked in details about the past of Visarion Aplia and his relationship with "Iaponhik":
"Church administration of Abkhazia is represented by so-called Council of Sukhumi-Abkhazian Eparchy, the head of which is Father Visarion. Visarion Ivanovich Aplia was born in 1947 in a village of Likhny of the Gudayta district is a peasant family. Aplia graduated from Sukhumi Industrial College and Batumi Trade College. Father Visarion in his youth aspired to "underworld" traditions. He was convicted of theft in the past. He served the sentence in a Russian jail. That was then when paths of Aplia and "Iaponhik" crossed".
After serving his sentence and returning to Abkhazia Aplia began to serve as a psalm-reader in the Likhny Church. Later he became a novice and the first person to read prayers in Abkhazian. In 1989 he was ordained deacon and in 1990 he became a priest. He was serving in Sukhumi Cathedral. And, in 1992-1993 during the military actions in Abkhazia, Aplia was a Father superior of Gudauta Church. At the same time he was actively involved in the war actions.
"He was often visited in his Sukhumi Church by high-rank Russian militaries. After feasts Father Visarion being inebriated often used to verbally and physically abuse his congregation. That's why Aplia do not command authority among clergymen of Abkhazia as well as certain parts of believers" – said Kiknadze.
According to Kiknadze, Aplia many times applied to Russian Patriarch with request to include the Abkhazian Eparchy into the Russian Church. On the 10-13th of July 2004 Aplia conducted three liturgies in Abkhazian in the St. Geortge Church in Moscow with the blessing of Russian Patriarch Alexy II. The Russian Church awarded him the Order of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh of the Third Grade.
"During the war in Abkhazia Aplia often visited Cossack, Armenian and Russian mercenary divisions and set them against Georgians" – noted Kiknadze.
(Short version of the article published)