Voices from Russia

Monday, 21 January 2008

Religious Observance Is Rising Amongst Russian Air Force Pilots

orthodox priests-on-military-base-2007.jpg

Colonel Aleksandr Drobyshevsky, an assistant to the high command of the VVS (Voenny Vozdushny Sil: “Military Air Force”) told Interfax on Monday that military pilots now often attend divine services and do their best to observe traditional Orthodox religious practises. “With every year that passes, more soldiers are attracted to the sources of the moral and spiritual revival in our society. They feel the need to go to services and have their homes blessed. There’s a continuing growth in interest in Orthodox culture and in our religious holidays and traditions”, Colonel Drobyshevsky said. He said that this is according to priests working with VVS and PVO (Protivo-Vozdushny Obrony: “Air Defence Command”) personnel, their families, and civilian employees in the Urals near Yekaterinburg. Colonel Drobyshevsky thanked Archbishop Vikenty Morar of Yekaterinburg and Verkhoturye and his clergymen for this positive development in the relations of the church with the forces. He emphasised, “Indeed, this good development contributes to the revival of the best traditions of the Russian army, and it enhances the training of the defenders of the motherland”.

21 January 2008



Church Historian Fr Georgi Mitrofanov Believed it’s More Important to Condemn Communism as a System, not just Rehabilitate its Victims

Filed under: church/state,patriotic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Ataman Pyotr Krasnov (1869-1947)

The Orthodox Church doesn’t consider the rehabilitation of Cossack Ataman Pyotr Krasnov an urgent matter, despite recent moves by representatives of the Don Cossacks. “At present, what’s more pressing is not the individual rehabilitation of the victims of the communist regime, but, rather, the censure of the system as a whole and the characterisation of its policy as criminal”, stated Fr Georgi Mitrofanov, a well-known church historian and professor at the St Petersburg Theological Academy, in an interview with Interfax on Monday. As regards the fate of Ataman Krasnov in particular, Fr Georgi noted, “He was handed over to Stalin’s agents by the Allies in spite of agreements made at Yalta, so, he was undoubtedly the victim of illegal violence. Unfortunately, under the communist regime, there were many such victims”. Along with Ataman Krasnov, Fr Georgi mentioned General Andrei Shkuro and General Helmuth von Pannwitz of the Wehrmacht as similar victims. “The story of General von Pannwitz, the last leader of the Don Cossacks, shows that individual rehabilitations didn’t remove the main problem, which is that we didn’t condemn the communist regime until now”, he said.

General Andrei Shkuro (left) and General Helmuth von Pannwitz (right)

He thought it would be more profitable for the Cossack representatives to press for a censure of the general communist policy towards the Cossacks. Fr Georgi emphasised, “The victims of the communist regime must be acknowledged in our country as the victims of a criminal system, and we shouldn’t seek a mere individual rehabilitation. It’s necessary to condemn the entire communist policy”. The move to rehabilitate Ataman Krasnov was led by Viktor Vodolatsky, Ataman of the Don Cossack Host and Deputy of the State Duma. “Ataman Krasnov was merely the most famous Cossack to suffer under the communist repressions. We feel that by rehabilitating Ataman Krasnov we atone for the undeserved fate of our ancestors”, an aide to Mr Vodolatsky said to Interfax.

Ataman Pyotr Krasnov (1869-1947) was a Russian soldier and political figure, a leader of the White Guard movement, and a writer and publicist. In 1941, he was associated with the German ministry for the occupied eastern territories. He proposed the formation of Cossack units in the Wehrmacht in 1942. In March 1944, he became the chief of the Cossack units in the German service and organised a Cossack cavalry division. He advocated the creation of an autonomous Cossack state as a protectorate of Germany.

21 January 2008



Revival of the Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow on the 100th Anniversary of its Foundation

The Martha and Mary Convent in Moscow was founded in February 1909 by Grand Princess St Yelizaveta Fyodorovna Romanova, the widow of Grand Prince Sergei Aleksandrovich Romanov. Prince Sergei served as the governor of Moscow and was assassinated by the terrorist I. Kalaev in the Zamosvorechnye district on Bolshaya Ordynka Street in 1905. After the Revolution of 1917, Grand Princess St Yelizaveta refused to leave Russia, and, as a result, was arrested by the Bolsheviks in the spring of 1918, and she accepted a martyr’s death on 4/17 July 1918 in Alapaevsk. The convent existed as a monastic community until 1926. From 1944, the workshops of the Igor Grabar Russian Icon Restoration Centre were located in the old convent buildings. The revival of the Martha and Mary Convent began in 1992, when the Moscow City government turned over the site of the convent to the Moscow Patriarchate. However, the keys to the main cathedral of the complex, dedicated to the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God, were only turned over by the Grabar Centre at the end of 2006. The cathedral is an impressive building designed by the architect A. Shchusev, with icons painted by the great artists Mikhail Nesterov and Pavel Korin. The purpose of our programme is the total revival of the convent’s life. We wish to restore all facets of its former activity, return its spiritual life to its former high level, and re-establish the convent as an all-Russian centre of mercy and charity.

Residents of the girl’s shelter at the convent with his Holiness Aleksei Rediger (1929- ), Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias


Here are the objectives of our mission:

  • Coordinate Russian and foreign efforts to restore the convent, and to foster the Christian traditions of mercy and charity in order to shape a public consciousness of the ideals of disinterested service to God, people, and motherland based upon the example of the life and activity of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta, the convent’s founder
  • Perpetuate the memory of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta
  • Restore the convent’s buildings to their former state
  • Re-establish the spiritual, educational, medical, and social mission of the convent
  • Disseminate the history of the convent and its mission, both in Russia and abroad

Scope of the programme:

We shall realise our programme not only in Moscow and St Petersburg, but, also in all places associated with Grand Princess St Yelizaveta and the Righteous Ss Martha and Mary, the sisters of St Lazarus (he who was raised by Jesus Christ before His Passion and Resurrection).

Basic projects of our programme:

  • Great Mother: the perpetuation of the memory of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta Fyodorovna Romanova, the founder of the convent and advocate of mercy
  • Convent Restoration: the reconstruction of the convent site to its former appearance in the time of St Yelizaveta
  • Continuing the Spirit of the Great Mother: the re-establishment of the social work of the convent, and the revival of the traditions of mercy and charity followed by Grand Princess St Yelizaveta.

We propose to realise the following measures within the framework of the basic projects of our programme:

I. Great Mother

  1. Make plans to realise the decision of the government to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the convent
  2. Establish a museum devoted to Grand Princess St Yelizaveta at the convent
  3. Conduct special exhibitions concerning the life and activity of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta during the centenary celebrations of the convent at the State Duma, the Federation Council, and exhibition halls in Moscow. We’ll also do such throughout Russia and abroad
  4. Organise academic seminars on the topics of the life of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta and the Martha and Mary Convent
  5. Arrange meetings between authors of books dedicated to the life and activity of St Yelizaveta with schoolchildren and university students
  6. Organise “holiday evenings” for the children in orphanages in Moscow and Moscow Oblast with the presentation of the play The Childhood of Grand Princess Yelizaveta Fyodorovna
  7. Plan publishing projects, both republications of old works and new works. They shall include Grand Princess Yelizaveta in the Recollections of Contemporaries, a collection of the correspondence of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta (in Russian, English, French, and German), the reissuing of The Christian Debt to the Martyrs by Igumen Serafim Kuznetsov (originally published in Beijing in 1920), and reprinting other rare and almost-forgotten works about St Yelizaveta and the convent. We also plan to release illustrated commemorative albums dedicated to the life and accomplishments of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta and the Martha and Mary Convent.
  8. Establish a church-public award for achievement in mercy and charity dedicated to St Yelizaveta
  9. Release a commemorative medal to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the convent
  10. Create a documentary film dedicated to the history and restoration of the convent
  11. Organise an all-Russian Mercy Telethon
  12. Hold a press tour for journalists covering the places connected with Grand Princess St Yelizaveta
  13. Re-establish the relations of the convent with Russian and foreign public organisations connected with the life and activity of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta. Also, restore the interaction of the convent with members of the Romanov dynasty
  14. Conduct pilgrimages under the auspices of Reverence to the Sacred, a new organisation dedicated to taking pilgrims to the places associated with the life and activity of Grand Princess St Yelizaveta, such as the Holy Land, Darmstadt, Alapaevsk, and all the other locations that figured in her life

II. Convent Restoration

  1. Restoration of the buildings and churches of the convent
  2. Return to the convent all of its former property and real estate
  3. Organise the restoration of the charitable activities of the convent and provide for the material needs of the sisterhood and those they assist. The following objects shall make this possible:

a)      Pilgrim’s Assistance Service

b)      Iconography atelier

c)       Hostelry for pilgrims and visitors

d)      Bakery “the Bread of St Yelizaveta”

e)      Sewing workshop

f)       Applied workshops

g)      Church goods shop

h)      Publishing house and other activities

III. Continuing the Spirit of the Great Mother

  1. Caring for the needs and growth of the sisterhood
  2. Expansion of patron services
  3. Continuation and development of the convent’s charitable activities
  4. Maintenance and expansion of a shelter for girls
  5. Give assistance in the operation of a charitable pharmacy
  6. Help to operate a free dining room for the needy
  7. Establish a Holiness of Motherhood Centre to carry out educational activity and assist Orthodox women in resolving complex medical and psychological questions
  8. Assist in creating a library, Sunday school, coordinating office, and vocational training for the residents of the girls’ shelter
  9. Recruit volunteers to carry out this programme and educate the young concerning their duties to mercy and charity
  10. Creation of an office to coordinate the charitable activities of the convent and its regional departments with other charitable organisations
  11. Create a charity named Merciful Aid to Russian Soldiers to give assistance to soldiers in hospital
  12. Assist in the creation of associated sisterhoods in Tver, Oryol, and Sverdlovsk oblasts, among others

Board of Trustees of the Programme


YAKUNIN Vladimir Ivanovich: President, Russian Railways. Chairman of the Council of Trustees of the Centre of Russia’s National Glory and the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation.

VLADIMIR Metropolitan of Tashkent and Central Asia.

LUZHKOV Yuri Mikhailovich: Mayor of the city of Moscow

Members of the Council of Trustees:

ALEKSANDR Bishop of Dmitrov, Patriarchal Vicar of Moscow

ANISIMOVA Yekaterina Valdimirovna: Member, Council of Trustees for the charitable foundation for the support of formation, culture, and sport Yutis

AT’KOVA Yevgeniya L’vovna: staff-member, Centre for Russia’s National Glory

BAIKAKOV Sergei L’vovich: Prefect of the central administrative region of the city of Moscow

VASILI’EVNA Yekaterina Sergeyevna: Actress, Honoured Artist of Russia

GAGARINA Yelena Yur’evna: General Director of the Museums of the Moscow Kremlin

GROMOVA Anna Vital’evna: Scientific Researcher, IVI-Russian Academy of Sciences

DRAGUNKINA Zinaida Fyodorovna: Member of the RF Federation Council

YEVTUSHENKOV Vladimir Petrovich: Chairman of the Board of Directors of AFK Sistema

KARASIN Grigori Borisovich: State Secretary and RF Deputy Foreign Minister

KARELOVA Galina Nikolaevna: Chairman of the Social Insurance Fund of Russia

KOZITSYN Andrei Anatol’evich: General Director of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company

MAKSIMOVA Yekaterina Sergeyevna: Ballerina, Honoured Artist of Russia

MARKELOVA Svetlana Ivanovna: staff-member, Centre for Russia’s National Glory and senior researcher at Moscow State University

OBOZOV Sergei Aleksandrovich: General Director of the companyRosenergoatom

OGNEV Vladimir Aleksandrovich: Chairman of the Martha and Mary Charitable Association

PARAMONOVA Tat’yana Valdimirovna: Special Representative of the RF President in the National Banking Council with Bank of Russia

RUDOV Sergei Yur’evich: Chairman of the Board and President of Interbranch Finance House of the Fuel-Energy Complex

SLISKA Lyubov Konstantinovna: First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma

SOKOLOV Aleksandr Sergeyevich: RF Minister of Culture and the Mass Media

FURSENKO Andrei Aleksandrovich: RF Minister of Education and Science

SHEVCHUK Valery Andreyevich: Chairman of the Committee on Cultural Heritage in the city of Moscow

SHMATKO Sergei Ivanovich: President of the company Atomstroyeksport

SHOR Konstantin Borisovich: Member of the Board of Directors of the RF Central Bank, Head of the Moscow Regional Office of Bank of Russia

YAKUNINA Natal’ya Viktorovna: staff-member, Centre for Russia’s National Glory

Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called


Lyudmila Putina is 50. Mnogaya Lyeta Raba Bozhiya Lyudmila!

Filed under: biography,inspirational,patriotic,Russian,Vladimir Putin — 01varvara @ 00.00

Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina (née Shrebneva), the wife of President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, celebrated her 50th birthday on 6 January. She was born in Kaliningrad, and her first job was as an airline hostess. The Putins were married on 28 July 1983 after they met in a chance encounter outside of a theatre. They have two daughters, Mariya (born 1985) and Yekaterina (born 1986). She graduated from the Spanish faculty of the philological department of Leningrad State University in 1986, and she was an instructor in German at the same institution between 1990 and 1994. Parenthetically, the Putin daughters attended the Deutsche Schule Moskau (“the German School in Moscow”). Lyudmila Aleksandrovna actively embraced the Orthodox faith after she was involved in a near-fatal automobile accident in 1993.

Sotvori Gospodi na mnogaya lyeta raba bozhiya Lyudmila! May the Lord grant thee many years, handmaiden of God Lyudmila!

Vara Drezhlo

20 January 2008

Albany NY

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