The effort to vandalize the cathedral this way appears to have failed, as the paint only hit the steps leading up to the cathedral in one spot, and close to the street, not really near the cathedral, and by the time the media got there, the paint had been washed away, leaving a faint pink blur.
What makes the event more ominous is that it comes only a few days after the Russian consulate, a few blocks away in the same neighborhood, was much more heavily doused with red paint.
The Russian consulate which is in a grand mansion at East 91st street in Manhattan in the heart of New York City's most prestigious residential neighborhood, a few steps from Central Park.
Clearly in the case of the consulate, the vandals had the right equipment, and knew what they were doing, whereas at the cathedral, the work seems amateurish.
The cathedral is also a few steps from the park, just six blocks north of the consulate, at 97th street. It is the main church of the Moscow Patriarchate in New York City. It was built in 1902 by Tikhon, the future Patriarch (head of the church) in Moscow during the revolution, who was the senior bishop in America at the timeю
Tikhon and the cathedral he built while serving in the US.
As Russian patriarch during the revolution.
The interior of the cathedral
Tikhon was martyred by the Bolsheviks in 1925 and canonized by the Moscow Patriarchate in 1989. At the time of his canonization it was thought that his remains had been lost in the turmoil of the revolution, but in 1992 his casket was unexpectedly discovered at the Donskoy monastery in Moscow, where he lived his last years and was murdered.
Upon opening his casket, his remains were found to be largely incorrupt, an important confirmation of sainthood. They are currently in a reliquary in the main cathedral of the monastery and are a popular object of veneration in Russia.
Tikhon's relics today
The relics when they were discovered in 1992. Third from left is the Patriarch at that time, Alexei.
Here are the steps to the cathedral by the time the media arrived. As one can see, not much damage was done, especially compared the the consulate:
A Russian Orthodox cathedral in New York City was vandalized with red paint late last week. This is the third such incident at the cathedral this year
An eyewitness told CNN that he saw a person in a face mask douse red paint on the steps of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral (Moscow Patriarchate) on the Upper East Side late Friday night.
The Russian Consulate was also vandalized with red spray paint last week. Both incidents came after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the beginning stages of the annexation of the DNR, LNR, and the Provinces of Kherson and Zaporozhye.
“We sincerely do not understand those individuals that allow themselves acts of vandalism in relation to our cathedral. We pray for them,” Igumen Nikdom (Balyasnikov) said in a statement to CNN.
“We want them to realize that the Russian Orthodox Church in the USA carries out important spiritual and peacemaking activities here, and we are open to all people, regardless of their nationality and political beliefs.”
Since Friday, the cathedral parishioners have been actively collecting financial and humanitarian aid for the victims of the war in Ukraine, and half of the parishioners are Ukrainian, Fr. Nikodim emphasized.
The cathedral also receives derogatory calls and emails, some including direct threats against the clergy and parishioners, Fr. Nikodim said.