3 April 2013
11 June 2013 will mark the 400th anniversary of the enthronement of MikhailFyodorovich, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty. The election of Mikhail as tsar by the Zemsky Sobor put an end to the Smuta, an era of great political instability. During the following three centuries, the Romanov dynasty did much to make Russia the world’s largest country… strong, united, and influential in the world politics.
In 1598, the Rurikid dynasty, which ruled Russia for more than 700 years, died out. The next 15 years were a period of political instability. Within this rather short period, many rulers sat on the Russian throne. Finally, in 1613, Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov ascended it. In fact, few people expected Mikhail to become tsar. The two main pretenders for the throne were from the boyar families of the Godunovs and the Shuyskys. Neither of them looked upon Mikhail Romanov, the 16-year-old son of the First Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias, Patriarch Philaret Nikitich Romanov as a serious rival. However, at the Zemsky Sobor, the majority voted for him.
Historian Yevgeni Pchyolov said, “To a large extent, members of the Romanov dynasty made the Russian Empire one of the world’s largest and strongest countries… Pyotr Veliki, Yekaterina Velikaya, Aleksandr Pavlovich, Nikolai Pavlovich, and others. The golden age of Russian civilisation was during the period of Romanov rule”. Many Romanovs married members of other European royal families, which also strengthened the position of Russia in the world. Historian Faina Grimberg stated, “Initially, the Romanovs tried to conclude marriages with Scandinavian royal families. From the time of Pyotr Veliki, a grandson of Mikhail Fyodorovich, an energetic pro-western reformer, who ruled Russia from 1682 to 1725, marriages between Romanovs and other European royal families became common. Mainly, these marriages were with German noble families… in particular, with the ducal family of Hessen-Darmstadt. In the late 19th century, the last Russian tsar, Nikolai Aleksandrovich, married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Nikolai’s uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich, married another of Victoria’s granddaughters. This strengthened ties between Russia and Great Britain”.
However, probably, the closest kinship ties the Romanovs had were with the German Holstein-Gottorp dynasty. A daughter of Pyotr Veliki, Anna Petrovna, married Duke Karl Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp. Their son, Pyotr Fyodorovich, ruled Russia for less than a year in 1762. He was the husband of Yekaterina Velikaya (ruled 1762-96) and the father of Pavel Petrovich (ruled 1796-1801). In Europe, often, the Romanov dynasty was referred to as the Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov dynasty. Other members of the Russian imperial family married into the ducal families of Württemberg and Baden. Tsar Nikolai Pavlovich (ruled 1825-55) was married to Princess Charlotte of Prussia of the House of Hohenzollern (known as Tsaritsa Aleksandra Fyodorovna in Russia). The Romanovs also had family ties with the Nassaus of the Netherlands, the Hanovers of Britain, and the Danish and Greek royal families.
Of course, it wasn’t only ties of kinship, but also the farsighted foreign policy of the Romanov emperors, that made Russia respected by all of Europe. Historian Yevgeni Pchyolov said, “After the 1917 revolution, the Communists tried to distance Russia from ‘bourgeois’ Western Europe. In the Soviet era, Russia maintained more ties with Eastern Europe, Asia, and other regions than with Western Europe. Now, the Russian government realises that Russia should be a full-fledged member of the European family. Here, the experience of Russian emperors, who always tried to maintain close ties with European countries, might be very helpful for us”. Meanwhile, for many Europeans, the Romanov dynasty is associated, firstly, with the well-known jeweller Karl Fabergé, who lived in Russia and made caskets in the form of eggs especially for the Russian imperial family.
31 December 2012
Voice of Russia World Service
On Wednesday, in his state-of-the-nation address in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin said that Russian society lacks the “spiritual braces” to hold it together, and that we should look to education and “traditional values” to change that situation, saying, “It pains me to speak of this… but Russian society today lacks spiritual braces… kindness, sympathy, compassion towards one another, support, and mutual assistance; it lacks those qualities that always made us stronger throughout our long history”.
Putin went on to say that whilst government interference in people’s convictions and views smacks of “totalitarianism” and is “absolutely unacceptable”, the state should focus on strengthening society’s “spiritual-moral foundation” through education and youth policy. He instructed the government to prepare a supplementary educational programme focusing on “vospitanie”… a Russian cultural concept that refers to preparing young people for adulthood, usually through moral upbringing and conferring rules of etiquette, values, and traditions. Putin pointed up that schools are losing out, in terms of impact on young people, to the internet and electronic media, and that we should restore the “unconditional value” of the schools by updating their curricula and by offering a wide range of electives, accessible to all children, regardless of family income.
He also stressed the importance of teaching history and Russian language and emphasised the need to strengthen national identity, in part through connecting “historical epochs into a single whole”. In that vein, Putin proposed creating a memorial to the heroes of World War I and restoring famous tsarist-era military units, including the Preobrazhensky and Semyonovsky regiments, founded by Pyotr Veliki. Whilst Putin didn’t explicitly refer to religion during the live broadcast on state television, the camera panned to a group of clerics as he spoke of support for “traditional values”. Without elaborating, Putin said, “We must wholly support institutions that are the bearers of traditional values and have historically proven their ability to transmit them from generation to generation”. He also praised grassroots charity activism, which is on the rise in Russia, and promised a separate meeting with volunteers in the unspecified near future.
12 December 2012
There are four towering figures in the history of the Russian state… Ivan Grozny, Pyotr Veliki, Vladimir Lenin, and Vladimir Putin. Ivan founded the modern Russian state as we know it. Pyotr set out Russia as a member of the Great Powers. Lenin launched Russia on a course of being at the forefront of the modern world. VVP… even though he’s still in power, he has earned his place in history as the Great Preserver. Gorbachyov was the Great Destroyer… he ripped apart the Soviet state, making the present world of American-fomented permanent warfare possible.
VVP is taking the good from all epochs of Russian history… including the Soviet Union. No future history or ideology in Russia will be able to deny the great achievements and glories of the Soviet state. Indeed, to try to destroy the Soviet legacy is insane… much good came from it, and the present radical rightwing deviation in world history is ending. The grasping oligarchs want MORE… and they don’t care if they crush the rest of us under to do so. It’s most advanced in the USA… since 1981, the country’s been on a radical libertarian course that led directly to the 2007 Great Meltdown.
VVP, on the other hand, is weaving together a New Russian/Eurasian synthesis that’ll replace the present oligarch system in due course. Whatever his personal fate, he has his place in history. He saved Russia from cultural subservience to the USA and the West, and that’s a good thing in itself. Any man who’s remained at the helm of a major power for twelve years is no lightweight, no matter what you might think of him.
The New Synthesis is becoming clearer… a Russia that is:
We are on the verge of a New Soviet Union… but it won’t be called that. However, it WILL oppose the greed of Godless America. Yes… America’s godless… it doesn’t follow the Christianity of the Ages, all too many follow a made-up phony pseudo-religion of a tribal deity called Jayzuss who anoints America as the leading country of the world and who hands out “prosperity blessings” (I kid you not, the Evangelicals truly believe such mind-numbing treacly rot).
Reflect on this, some Orthodox here want to ally us with god-denying Evangelicals… that means that America is a hotbed of Sergianism… sucking up to the powers-that-be for personal advancement. I could name them, but I think that you know them. A Russian monk in exile once said, “What started in Russia will finish in America”. That is, godlessness will reach its apogee in the USA… after seeing the antics of Franklin Graham, Grover Norquist, Willard Romney, George W Bush, and the Tea Party, one can see that the good monk was correct. Remember, most Russian communists are believing Orthodox Christians… most American crapitalists are unbelievers (notice their actions, not their words). Do ponder that.
To Science Day! Let’s raise a glass with something good in it to all hard-working scientists everywhere… thank you for all the good things… as for the bad ones… well, you guys KNOW what they are, so there’s no need to “bad-dog” ya!
Academics in Russia celebrated their professional holiday, Russian Science Day, established by presidential decree in 1999. On 8 February (28 January old style) 1724, Tsar Pyotr Veliki issued a decree “to establish an Academy to study languages, other sciences, fine arts, and to translate foreign books”. The new institution, “the Academy, or Societies of Arts and Sciences”, united both the arts and sciences for over a quarter century until the Senate established the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1757. In Soviet days, Science Day was celebrated on the third Sunday in April, this date was chosen because Lenin issued his “Sketch plan of scientific and technical work” at that time in 1918.
The caricature is by Sergei Yelkin
8 February 2010