President Vladimir Putin attended an overnight Orthodox Christmas service at the Transfiguration Cathedral in Saint Petersburg.
As reported by the Russian news agency TASS, the service was led by the dean of the cathedral, Nikolai Bryndin. The cathedral was full, including many children. The service was also attended by Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the North-western Federal District, Alexander Gutsan, and acting Governor of St. Petersburg, Alexander Beglov.
As a rule, Putin leaves Moscow for Christmas, while at Easter he stays in the Russian capital for a night-time service at the cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Last year Putin attended the Christmas service at the church of Saints Simeon and Anna in Saint Petersburg.