The above link is an impressive paper by Fr Alexander Mazyrin, from the latest issue of Social Sciences, a publication of East View Press. It is a translation of a Russian paper from last year that goes into great detail on how the Patriarchate was literally hand-crafted by the Soviet government, with sufficient history on the actions of Metropolitan Sergius (Stragodorsky) from a non-partisan perspective. It’s worth a read– click the link above to do so.
The first paragraph alone makes for an interesting read and worth recommending here:
“Historians pay much attention to relations between the atheist Soviet authorities and religious organizations. In the early 1990s, it became possible to study not only the official policies in respect of the religions and the Church but also some secret aims behind them. As a result, we have a number of fundamental studies on Church-State relations in the Soviet period. They, however, predominantly consider either the first years after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution (till 1925 inclusive) or the war (1941-1945) and postwar periods. What failed to be studied in depth was the secret aims that the Soviet authorities pursued in allowing the legalization of the Moscow Patriarchate (1927), an organization that refused to accept the communist (atheistic) ideology.”