The New York Times is reporting that the Russian Orthodox Church is facing a scandal over its leader, Patriarch Kirill, being pictured with a Breguet watch north of $30,000.
The church didn't help itself when it doctored the photo to make it go away on the Web site version. After Russian bloggers discovered the controversy, which led to public outrage, the church issued a hurried apology calling it a "technical mistake" and said in a statement that "[t]he guilty will be severly punished."
The original photo, including the expensive timepiece on Kirill's wrist, was published back to its site.
This isn't the first time an official has come under fire for wearing a Swiss-made watch. A former deputy mayor of Moscow, Vladimir Resin, was once photographed wearing a DeWitt Pressy Grande Complication which goes for about $1 million.
But for many, this is just another example of the kind of corruption endemic in Russian society.
Sources: New York Times, Press Service of the Patriarch