Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Mollard Ends Trip to Russia… Oddest Ad Limina That I’ve Ever Seen

00 Metr TIkhon Mollard. Moscow. 10.12.14

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Read this. I’ve never seen such an odd ad limina visit. Whilst he was in Petersburg, Mollard did nothing major. On Monday, HH and Varsonofy blessed a reconstructed church at Tsarkoe Selo. VVP and Lavrov were there… Mollard and his delegation weren’t. HH handed out awards… Mollard and his delegation didn’t get any. Mollard had only one major event in eight days of his visit… the concelebration in Moscow. Otherwise, NOTHING of major import occurred… or, at least, nothing of major import surfaced in media reports. It seemed to underline the insignificance of the OCA… HH left Mollard in Moscow, and went off to Kaliningrad on pastoral business. They kept Mollard out of all major events, except for the singular instance of the Moscow Kremlin concelebration. I’ll bet that the Centre picked up the bill for this. The very lack of reportage suggests that both Yustinian the Poof and Paffhausen the Great were on the agenda. If I had to guess, that’s what I’d think. I’ve never seen the like before… and it may never happen again. Pass the jug… reporting on diaspora Orthodoxy is NEVER boring…

BMD

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Mollard Served Liturgy at OCA Podvorie… Went to Piter… To Leave the Rodina Tomorrow

00 Metr TIkhon Mollard. Moscow. 09.12.14

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Mollard took the train to Piter, Varsonofy Sudakov met him at the station… as did the American Consul (do you notice how Mollard always kisses ass with American officialdom? Now, that’s Sergianism!). Mollard visited the Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra, but there’s no other details available. This trip produced virtually NOTHING of a public nature. Mollard met with no government figure, let alone VVP or Medvedev. Literally, it’s been nothing but a tourist junket… externally. It did NOTHING to add lustre to Mollard’s stature… quite the opposite. Was that the point? God alone knows. Mollard served liturgy at the OCA podvorie in Moscow, but no local bishop concelebrated. The only local present of any note was Fr Nikolai Balashov, the effectual head of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). That’s not the usual script for a visit of a First Hierarch of a Local Church. This is a signal to Bart… the status of the OCA is negotiable, but the MP will NOT kowtow to Bart publicly, nor will it give on the issue without Bart giving in on issues of Moscow’s concern (rolling up its opposition candy stores in the Baltics, stopping its interference in the Ukraine, and cutting off the Parisian Russians… interest in the last was shown by HH marking the 80th birthday of V N Tiesenhausen and giving him an award). Of course, the Centre doesn’t trust Bart… but it believes that it can do business with him, as the Centre does have the whip hand.

BMD

Saturday, 25 October 2014

A Photo Essay… Furry Custodians of the Hermitage Treasures

00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 01. 25.10.14

The Hermitage cats are a living symbol of St Petersburg. Not content with simply showing their pictures, this series offers the lowdown on each of them. The first is Assol, at the Nicholas Staircase, a spruce and sociable, yet bashful, young lady. Evening often finds her on the Palace Embankment, gazing pensively at the ships gliding along the Neva.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 02. 25.10.14

Luchik, in the Winter Palace. A striking Siberian tomcat, his fur boasts the hue of what people in Piter call the “Neva Masquerade” hue. An avid football fan, on match day he always bags the best spot to watch his favourite side, FK Zenit.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 03. 25.10.14

Pingva, in the Pavilion Hall. An elderly cat robed in austere black-and-white, descended from palace stock. This cat was born to guard the Hermitage. The modest sombre black-and-white livery is evidence of her aristocratic roots. She shuns feline company in favour of solitude, preferring to live apart from her fellows in the cattery.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 04. 25.10.14

Gauguin, in Palace Square, across from the General Staff building. This brightly coloured cat seems to have sprung from a canvas by the French painter himself. Life’s travails developed in him the most extraordinary skills. Gauguin knows only too well where the provisions are and how to get them, using his ability to open (and close!) any door.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 05. 25.10.14

Francesca, on the Jordan Staircase. Proud of her famous namesake, she performs her own version of arias from the eponymous opera in the dead of night in the museum vaults. Anyone who strokes her trichromatic coat gets special treatment.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 06. 25.10.14

Vaksa, on the Jordan Staircase. The demure Vaksa suffers from poor eyesight; she isn’t overly fond of strangers, and rarely leaves the Hermitage grounds. However, she’s never short of work… fondly rubbing herself against the feet of employees, this near-wholly black cat has polished their shoes to a shine for many years.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 07. 25.10.14

Kisanya, in the Gallery of the History of Ancient Painting. A cordial hostess, Kisanya pays attention to all guests of the Hermitage, who, in summer, obligingly help this voluble gourmet acquire a rounded figure.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 08. 25.10.14

Lipa, on  Soviet Staircase. The self-sufficient Lipa is the very essence of catness, taking herself for strolls and preferring to observe proceedings from the shelter of a tree.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 09. 25.10.14

Rio-Rita, near the Alexander Column. A graceful, expressive, and unusually melodious Abyssinian cat with a wild hue. In anticipation of human caresses, her body becomes like a bouncing ball, her tail and hind legs performing a kind of dance. When she rubs up against your legs, resistance is futile.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 10. 25.10.14

Tikhon, in the Large Italian Skylight Hall. Named after the pagan god of fate, old-timer Tikhon is extremely discreet and thorough. As fate itself would have it, they brought Tikhon from the General Staff building to the Great Hermitage, where he became the unofficial leader of all the palace cats.

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00 hermitage cats. russia. st petersburg. 11. 25.10.14

Caspar, in the Raphael Loggias. A legendary guard and photographic star, he often wanders into camera shots of the most vivid landscapes. Named after German landscape artist Caspar David Friedrich, this romantic feline soul chooses the most picturesque surroundings for his perambulations.

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14 October 2014

Yuri Molodkovets

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.com/multimedia/pictures/2014/10/14/12_custodians_of_the_hermitage_treasures_40589.html

25 October 2014. My life in Russia: Bobby Rome from Virginia… Great Vid About an American Expat in Piter

00 Bobby Rome 02. russia. football. 25.10.14

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click here for the page with the vid

Bobby Rome is a professional football player from Virginia. For several years, Bobby has been in St Petersburg playing for the Vikings. Bobby’s wife Gabrielle convinced him to move to Russia, “I wanted him to pursue his dreams, because I know he has a lot of potential. I had to try to push and convince him… ‘Maybe we should take this risk, maybe we should take this leap of faith and go after it? We only live once, why not take full advantage of it?'”. As Bobby said, it was one of the best decisions he’s ever made.

21 October 2014

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.com/multimedia/video/2014/10/21/my_life_in_russia_bobby_rome_from_virginia_usa_40757.html

 

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