The Metropolitan of St Petersburg and the Ladoga region (Peterburgsky y Ladozhsky) Vladimir
The thirty-third Metropolitan of St Petersburg and the Ladoga region (Peterburgsky y Ladozhsky) Vladimir (his mundane name is Vladimir Savvovitch Kotlyarov) was born in the family of a deacon on May 27, 1929, in the town of Akhtyubinsk (Kazakhstan). He was the sixth child in his parents' family.
Having finished the Dzhambul Statistical Technical School of Gosplan (State Planning Committee of the USSR), the future Metropolitan entered the Moscow Seminary and, later, the Leningrad (now St Petersburg) Theological Academy. On graduating at the Academy he professed the Church Rule and the Scripture of the Old Testament at both Leningrad Seminary and Theological Academy.
Metropolitan Vladimir started his ecclesiastical service as a psalmodist at the St Nickolas Cathedral in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan) in 1952. On May 22, 1953, he was elevated to the rank of deacon, two days later - to that of priest. In 1962, the priest Vladimir took monastic vows, and by decision of the Holy Synod he was appointed the assistant chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. Half a year later he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and sent to the first session of the Second Vatican Council in the capacity of observer. On December 30, 1962, the Archimandrite Vladimir (his monastic name is given in the honour of St Vladimir Yaroslavitch, Prince of Novgorod) was elevated to the rank of the Bishop of Zvenigorod and appointed the Patriarch of Moscow's representative attached to the World Council of Churches in Geneva. In 1964 he was appointed the Bishop of Voronezh and Lipezk, in 1965 - the Patriarch of Moscow's representative attached to the Patriarch of Antioch and all the East. In 1967 the Bishop Vladimir was elevated to the rank of archbishop, and in 1969 he became the Archbishop of Rostov and Novocherkassk. In the middle of the year 1973 the Archbishop Vladimir headed the Irkutsk and Chita Eparchy as well as that of Khabarovsk and Vladivistok, thus governing the vast territory of Northeastern Russia. In April 1975 he was appointed the head of the Vladimir and Suzdal Eparchy, in 1980 Vladimir was transferred to that of Krasnodar and Kuban. In May 1987 he was appointed the Archbishop of Pskov and Porkhov. In March 1992 in the Dormition Patriarchal Cathedral in Moscow the Archbishop Vladimir was elevated to the rank of metropolitan by the Patriarch Alexius (Aleksy). Four years later the Metropolitan Vladimir became the head of the St Petersburg Eparchy.