Kara-ool Dopchun-ool, the “supreme shaman” of Russia, told a Kremlin-run media outlet that he predicts there won’t be a nuclear war as a result of the Ukrainian war. However, he warned Kyiv’s allies that the West must “come to its senses” in its opposition to Russia.
The “supreme shaman” is a recently created elected post, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), but it has reportedly drawn criticism from some shamanism believers because of the political ties of the position. The AFP said Dopchun-ool was elected supreme shaman in 2018 by “the first all-Russian congress of shamans in the republic of Tuva in southern Siberia.”
Dopchun-ool, who is the head of a shaman organization in Tuva known as the Adyg Eeren (Spirit of the Bear), spoke with the state media outlet RIA Novosti during a Thursday visit to Moscow.
Discussing what would happen if another nation turned to using nukes against Moscow, Dopchun-ool said: “Russian nuclear weapons will cover the whole world.
“Therefore, they are afraid, and only negotiations and a peace treaty are needed. Peaceful negotiations, if those countries wish,” he said, according to an English translation of the RIA Novosti interview by the Russian state news outlet RT.
Dopchun-ool also said the West needs to understand that it is “impossible” for it to defeat Russia.
Newsweek reached out to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs via email for comment.
Speaking directly about the war in Ukraine, which Russian President Vladimir Putin launched in February 2022, Dopchun-ool indicated that Ukraine’s current leader, President Volodymyr Zelensky, must be removed from power so that peace can be achieved.
“Ukrainian leaders are prolonging the war by force, asking for money and weapons from other countries. If the Ukrainian people understand that Zelensky is the enemy of the Ukrainian people, if there is a choice to remove him next year and a new person comes, everything will stop,” the shaman said, according to RT’s translation.
Despite his criticisms of Zelensky, Dopchun-ool called for peace in Ukraine. “We must end the war as soon as possible. We must look for a way out,” he said.
Jason Jay Smart, an expert on post-Soviet and international politics, told Newsweek that “the shaman’s statements are something that the Kremlin wishes to get out.”
“This was not coincidental. This was not just off-the-cuff,” Smart said. “This was intended and planned by the Kremlin.”
He continued: “The most important thing the shaman said—which the Russian press wishes to repeat—is that there will be no nuclear war. For whatever reason, that is a message that the Russian government has decided is something the population should hear.”
Seddon also linked to an article on Aleksander Gabyshev, a shaman from the Siberian region of Yakutia who is known for his vocal opposition to Putin’s regime. Gabyshev is being held in compulsory psychiatric treatment, which his lawyer has said is a result of his anti-Putin protests.