I know that a big problem is that they believe that the Orthodox Church is closer to the Islam than to Christinbaity.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could be so ignorant.
I know of at least one Orthodox priest and one Orthodox deacon who went overseas as Protestant missionaries to Orthodox countries with their families and came back Orthodox, then going through Orthodox seminaries until ordination. They too thought of the Orthodox as fallen Christians who needed to be evangelized, until they actually got on the ground in those countries and realized that as far as knowledge of Christian history and theology goes, they were like little children in a sea of black-robed adults.
The problem is one of religious differences maybe more than that political differences.
Possibly. It’s hard to know what Putin really believes, but he presents himself as a pious Orthodox believer who attends services, takes trips to monasteries and of course has spent a huge amount of money rebuilding monasteries and churches damaged by the communists, and who seems to understand that Orthodox Christianity is woven into the fabric of what it means to be “Russian”. You cannot have one without the other.
And that’s regardless of one;s personal belief. The Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, before she died, spoke of the rage she felt when she saw Muslim immigrants in Italy behaving sacrilegiously towards Italian churches and other religious symbols. Same reason — — although she herself was an atheist and had been since young womanhood, she realized that Roman Catholicism and being Italian were too closely related to be separated; and that insulting a Catholic symbol is no different than insulting Italy.