Voices from Russia

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Moscow Holds the Trump Cards in the Confrontation Between Russia and the West

cards-table

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Lower prices in the oil market have a negative impact, especially on the US economy, but not so much for Russia. According to some experts, the current decline in oil prices is artificial, that the West is trying to coerce Russia into geopolitical surrender. They allege that the USA fully controls the global internet, and that it can kick Russia out of it at any time. Furthermore, these sources claim that Russian high-tech industry is largely (in some areas, critically) dependent on Western imports. Finally, they state that the West controls the lion’s share of the global news media, which allows it to form the informational picture that the world receives. Can Russia effectively face the West under such conditions and defend its national interests, in particular, in the Ukraine? To find out the answers, we turned to well-known journalist and political pundit A A Vasserman.

As for oil, the claim that the oil sheikhs of Arabia are in cahoots with the USA against Russia is without foundation. The real initiator of the partial collapse of the world oil market is Saudi Arabia, but it isn’t playing on the American side, rather, it’s against them. Fact is, the Americans are actively developing shale oil and gas fields, and want to sell on the world market. If they were to do so, it’d spoil the Arabs’ business. Therefore, Riyadh took preventive measures. Using a decline in world oil prices, the Saudis sought to make the development of shale deposits in the USA (the cost of which is very high) unprofitable. Such deposits are financially insolvent when the price of oil falls below 80 USD (3,350 Roubles. 490 Renminbi. 4,920 INR. 90 CAD. 92 AUD. 64 Euros. 50 UK Pounds) per barrel. The Saudis have accumulated sufficient financial reserves to wait about two years before the current American wells are exhausted. They calculated their budget upon a 90 USD (3,920 Roubles. 550 Renminbi. 5,530 INR. 101 CAD. 103 AUD. 72 Euros. 56 UK Pounds) per barrel oil price. Russia’s budget assumes a 95 USD (4,140 Roubles. 580 Renminbi. 5,840 INR. 107 CAD. 109 AUD. 76 Euros. 60 UK Pounds) price… the difference is insignificant. However, the cost of oil production in Russia is somewhere around 35 USD (1,470 Roubles. 215 Renminbi. 2,150 INR. 39 CAD. 40 AUD. 28 Euros. 22 UK Pounds)… American shale oil costs about 80 USD to extract. Therefore, even if the USA leaves the oil and gas market due to falling energy prices, we’d still make a profit. Consequently, even if we assume that the USA is playing this game to harm Russia, it’d be very difficult tor the Americans to win it.

As regards the so-called “critical dependency” of Russia upon Western goods, I’d emphasise that Russia isn’t Papua New Guinea (with all due respect to the Papuans); our country still has a strong scientific and engineering base, which is quite able to replace supposedly critical imports with articles of own development. They can bar us from the global internet, but it wouldn’t be as disastrous as some think. Fact is, RF sources already duplicate virtually all essential online internet resources; today, work in this direction has significantly accelerated. In addition, the West would hardly dare to take such a step, for the simple reason that it distributes the lion’s share of its anti-Russian propaganda through the internet. Therefore, it’s positively fruitless. If they do have a go at it, then, they’d realise that they’d landed themselves in a situation where they’d lose the information war. However, by then, it’d be over; it’d turn out like when people say, “It’s too late to drink Borzhomi*. Don’t forget, Russia can use very effectively to its advantage in its confrontation with the West the fact that the modern West is extremely heterogeneous and internally contradictory. Playing on these differences, especially between the USA and the EU, Russia could come up with a very significant positive result. Therefore, in fact, Russia holds the trump cards in its confrontation with the West in its confrontation with the West… the West doesn’t.

25 October 2014

Ukraina.ru Rossiya Segodnya

http://www.ukraina.ru/opinions/20141025/1010963007.html

* «Поздно пить боржоми, когда почки отказали»… “When your kidneys crap out, it’s too late to drink Borzhomi”. A Russian way of saying, “To lock the gate after the horse escaped”. This proverbial expression expresses the idea that something isn’t only futile; it’s fatuous and vacuous.

BMD

Uniate Chieftain Shevchuk Sez “UPTs/MP is the Only Canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine”

01 This Ship is Sinking

Is Shevchuk bolting the junta? Is he making his peace with a future pro-Russian reality? It’s a possibility… but we’d have to see developments to be sure, no? The Uniates DO speak with forked tongue…

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S Yu Shevchuk, the head of the UGKTs, said on-air on American radio station SiriusXM, speaking with Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, “Today, there’s no mystery that the only canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, the only one in full communion with world Orthodoxy, is the UPTs/MP. Other Orthodox groups separated from the UPTs/MP after Ukrainian independence at different times for various reasons, but the other Orthodox Churches consider them uncanonical. For us as Eastern Catholics, these divisions in Ukrainian Orthodoxy are painful, but we respect the canons and internal order of the Orthodox side. On our part, we never attempted to interfere in the internal life of the Orthodox Church; we never took part in the debates about its canonical legitimacy, nor did we incite any group to initiate a schism. You can’t solve existing problems with new schisms, divisions, or amalgamations”. He hoped that these schisms would end in the near future, noting, “We interact with the ‘Kiev Patriarchate’ as a part of the ‘All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organisations’. Therefore, I’d say that these relations are more in the realm of public relations, not inter-church contacts. I have deep respect for the Russian people and the MP. In fact, over half the Maidan participants were Russian-speakers and members of the UPTs/MP”.

Earlier, the MP repeatedly criticised the UGKTs for its involvement in politics and for its support of Ukrainian schismatical groups. In particular, recently, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, head of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), spoke at the Vatican during the General Assembly of the Synod of Catholic Bishops. He appealed to the UGKTs delegation, “You should renounce all political statements and end all visible forms of support of the schism, as well as to put a stop to calls to create ‘a single Local Ukrainian Church’. From the beginning, unfortunately, the conflict in the Ukraine, which has already taken thousands of lives, had a religious dimension. In this, the UGKTs played a significant role in its origin and development. From the very first days of the conflict, the Greek Catholics unequivocally stood for only one side of the conflict. Contrary to the respect for canonical norms prevailing in relations between Catholics and the Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholics entered into active collaboration with Orthodox schismatics”.

21 October 2014

Interfax-Religion

www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=56815

Editor:

This is fascinating. If Shevchuk is on the up-and-square (a rather iffy proposition, I’d say, but let’s take it as is, for now), it means that the UGKTs is backing away from its support of Orthodox schismatical groups. Indeed, it appears that Shevchuk is saying that the UGKTs recognises only the UPTs/MP… that it wants NOTHING to do with Ukrainian nationalist schismatical groups. Is this a sign that the Uniate junta is sinking and that Shevchuk wants to conform himself to a new reality? Of course, it could just be bullshit to blow smoke into our eyes. The Uniates have lied all too often in the past… the Uniates DID bless the SS collaborators and the UPA terrorists, after all. We’ll have to see what happens.

Interesting… IF true…

BMD

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29 October 2014. Here’s the “One Thing Needful”

00 Glittersnipe.com. Get Your Shit Together. 2013

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We must start with organising the house from within. That’s our responsibility. The most important thing is that the Church, as an institution, serves the community.

Tawadros Sulaymān

Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa

Coptic Orthodox Church              

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Our Russian Orthodox Church should focus on the “one thing needful”… putting our house into order before we even say anything to anyone else. Our most crying need is to unite our fractious body. The OCA, ROCOR, and MP/USA and Canada are one sociological whole. Why do we tolerate such disunity? The Cold War is over. We should put all minor issues to the side. Better heads than mine have told me that the Calendar issue is something best left to the healing hand of time. However, there’s one thing that many Great Russians haven’t faced… their unconscious assumption that their ways are the only ones in the Church. I wrote a friend:

It’s time for Russian Orthodox people here in the diaspora to start seriously talking unity… it’s the only way that we’ll keep the feral in check. I’ll be blunt… I think that there’d be a “Rump OCA” after such a union… but the healthy parts would “come home”. It’s TIME… it’s time to overlook minor disagreements… we NEED to be together… that’s the lesson of the Ukrainian Civil War… the Ukie nutters have unity, ergo their voice is heard. We’re shunted to the side… it’s our own fault!

They replied:

You’re aware that Great Russian chauvinism is behind our disunity? They disdain Carpatho-Russians, Byelorussians, and Russophile Ukrainians and THAT has been the cause of our disunity. “We’re ‘HIGH Russians’ and You People are ‘Low Russians’. You will do as WE say”. UGH. Can you fight THAT?

I shot back:

Veliki Rus is the core of Holy Rus, but it isn’t the only part… Great Russia is the largest partner at table, but not the only one. God willing, “High Russians” like me can help move things right…

My interlocutor wished me well, and admired my lack of chauvinism. However, we all need to look at our attitudes. Are we furthering “organising the house from within?” If not, the Church can’t serve the community; it lacks any real purpose. It then becomes a pseudo-temple… an abomination. We shouldn’t be talking about ecumenical contacts and missionary work when we can’t even set our own rooms to rights. We have work to do…

Can these dry bones live? It IS up to us!

BMD

29 October 2014. A Point to Ponder… Authenticity is Where You Find It… As is Phoniness, Too

03a Labour Day

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I worked eight years of my life, day and night, with working men. I found myself sharing their table… I know very well what I’m talking about when I speak of working-class people, and I love them.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Authenticity and phoniness are where you find them… one doesn’t need a “guide” to separate the sheep from the goats. Many of us have instincts that guide us without conscious thought. For instance, the above quote shows that Saint-Exupéry loved and respected working-class people, even though he came from the aristocracy. A friend once said to me, “Many saints were peasants, many saints were aristos, but very few were merchants and middle-class”. The so-called “middle class” is often “success-oriented”, which means that they miss out the meaning of most real things. Compare Saint-Exupéry to charlatans such as Sarah Palin, Rod Dreher, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter. Saint-Exupéry’s genuineness draws you to him; he’s an exemplar of “class”… the phoniness of the second lot repels most normal people; they’re paragons of “crass”. Sinful greed DOES seep out of their pores and they don’t care to hide it, either.

God gave you healthy instincts… use them. Don’t vote Republican on 4 November.

BMD

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