Voices from Russia

Friday, 25 January 2008

Orthodox Activists from “Nashi” Prepared to Hold an Anti-Abortion Rally in Moscow

Filed under: abortion,church in society,moral issues,Pro-Life,religious,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00


Activists from the Orthodox Section of the youth group Nashi shall hold an anti-abortion rally in the centre of Moscow with the theme “Do Not Murder” on Monday. “We wish people to think about the fact that when we convert abortions into routine affairs it isn’t only against the commandments of Christ, but, it’s also in opposition to the best secular values as well. Abortion is murder, a murder without mitigation. Man ‘chooses’ who shall have ‘the right to life’… even before the baby comes into the world. We’d also desire that people would think of the cost to our country over the past 10 to 15 years because of the scourge of abortion”, said Boris Yakemenko, the head of the Orthodox Section of Nashi, in a press release given to Interfax. The rally shall be held on Novopushkinsky Square, and activists shall erect 200 crosses with the inscription, “Here could’ve been a great mathematician, physicist, or philosopher”. Funereal music shall play in the background of the rally location. The organisers wish that the public should ponder the question of abortion not only as a moral dilemma, but, also, as a social problem.

25 January 2008



The Last Stand of Baron Wrangel: Turkish Authorities Open Access to a Unique Archive of White Guard Material

Filed under: inspirational,patriotic,Revolution/Civil War,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

General Pyotr Wrangel (1878-1928)


In May 2008, in Turkey, where White Guard Russians emigrated after their defeat in the Crimea in November 1920, a monument shall be dedicated in Gallipoli to the army of Baron Pyotr Wrangel. Recently, when a joint delegation of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation and the Centre of Russia’s National Glory came to Gelibolu (the Turkish name for Gallipoli) to lay a capsule at the base of the future memorial, Turkish authorities allowed them access to a collection of photographs nearly ninety years old. They were a mute witness of the story of how the exiled remainders of the armies of General Kutepov and Baron Wrangel settled for a time in Turkey. History tells us that the regular army and Cossack cavalry of General Wrangel could’ve taken all of the Ukraine, and Russia in due course, but, internal feuds and divisions amongst the White leadership helped the Red Army under Mikhail Frunze to break the back of the White movement. The Reds defeated the forces of Denikin at Oryol, and routed the troops of Wrangel in the environs of Kharkov. The successful Red assault on Perekop was the harbinger of tragedy for the White Guard Russians.

On 15 November 1920, the remnants of the White Guard forces left Kerch and Sevastopol aboard 126 ships. Some 200,000 exiles (25,000 military) settled in Turkey. The ships crossed the Black Sea and moored at the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Straits of the Dardanelles. Can one imagine the broken morale and sadness of the exiled soldiers? Nevertheless, they preserved their discipline and élan. A veritable tent city grew up on the peninsula. Baron Wrangel, in particular, gave a shining example of composure and devotion to duty. Baron Wrangel was the descendant of a Danish mercenary in the Russian service, and even after his departure from Turkey never went over to the camp of the enemies of Russia. He didn’t emigrate to Denmark or Sweden, although this was possible. Some 22 of Wrangel’s ancestors fell in the Battle of Poltava… on the side of Sweden. Wrangel always carried himself in the Cossack fashion, a habit he retained even in the emigration. After camping in Gallipoli for about a year, the White Guards departed for Europe. Many settled in the Balkans or in France. Many of the Russian ships were interned by the French. Baron Wrangel and his staff left for Belgium, where he finished his days. This emigration was a tragic page in the history of the White Guard movement. However, this period in Gallipoli, when Russian soldiers in a hopeless situation demonstrated a true show of spirit, was a real exploit. Until now, this episode of the bitter end of General Wrangel was little known by modern Russians.

17 January 2008

Timofei Borisov

Тимофей Борисов Российская газета 17.01.2008 № 8

Website of the St Andrew the First-Called Foundation


Russian Students Celebrated the Feast Day of St Tatiana

Filed under: church in society,Orthodox life,religious,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Moscow State University (MGU) at night


Восторг, восторг, питомцы муз!

В сей день благословенный

Наук и счастия союз

Мы празднуем священный!


Rapture, rapture, the wards of the Muses!

On this blessed day,

Learning and Happiness unite

In our reverent celebration!

Aleksandr Polezhaev

declaimed on 12 January 1826 on the anniversary of the foundation of Moscow University.


With every passing year, the celebration of the feast day of St Tatiana (the patroness of students) spreads further in Russia in both religious and secular colleges and universities. Increasingly, there are more and more activities planned to mark this well-loved holiday. There’s already a tradition to hold the Divine Liturgy in the chapel of St Tatiana attached to Moscow State University (MGU) on the morning of 25 January. Viktor Sadovnichy (the rector of the MGU), professors, and fellows of the Russian Academy of Sciences shall be present at the service.

Virtually all Orthodox parishes in Russia shall mark the feast day of St Tatiana on 25 January with not only liturgies, but, also with moliebens to St Tatiana for the needs and intentions of all Russian students. Of course, there’ll be a special intensity to the prayers offered in the chapels attached to Russian universities, institutes, academies, and colleges. Most of these chapels were founded on the initiative of the students themselves, without help from higher authorities. As a rule, college chapels in Russia are dedicated to St Tatiana. During the day of 25 January, a student procession shall take place in the Sparrow Hills above Moscow. At the monument to Lomonosov a symbolic cup of knowledge shall be lit, after which event Rector Sadovnichy shall personally pass out medovnik (a honey drink) to the student participants.

The celebration of St Tatiana Day in St Petersburg shall begin with a molieben in the Cathedral of St Isaac. Students will be entrusted with the signs of their heavenly patroness. There’ll be a salute fired form the Petropavlovsk Fortress in honour of the students at noon, and there’ll be a première of a four hour-long musical show at the urban ice palace. The police promised that they wouldn’t interfere with the revelry of the students. Aleksandr Chekalin, the First Deputy Minister of the MVD, said that in the pre-revolutionary days the police would “look the other way” when celebrating students were playing pranks.

25 January 2008



The FEOR Proposed That Schools Carry Out Education against Narcotic, Tobacco, and Alcohol Abuse

Filed under: church in society,Inter-faith,Jewish,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00


V Govorkov


This is one of the most well-known images in Russian “visual culture”, being as immediately recognisable in Russia as James Montgomery Flagg’s “I Want You” Uncle Sam is in America… with the same number of spoofs and takeoffs.


The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR) expressed unreserved support for an idea proposed by Aleksandr Fedorov, assistant to the head of the Federal Service for the Control of Drug Trafficking, that traditional religious groups be more actively involved in the fight against narcotics abuse. “We don’t have the right to do anything that comes into our head with our body. God gave us life, and our duty is to protect it. One of the fundamental rules of the Torah is that we must keep active physically, eat healthy food, and, in general, care for our health. If it threatens your well-being, don’t use tobacco, and that’s even more true with narcotics”, said a statement released to Interfax by the FEOR on Thursday. The FEOR expressed its extreme concern about the fact that “narcotics have acquired wide acceptance in our society, especially in the youth culture, and this problem only grows with each passing year”. The most effective method of fighting narcotics abuse, according to the FEOR, would be “the conducting of special classes in the schools, the showing of films and videos focusing on the problem, and the recruitment of local clergy of the traditional faiths to become involved in this work. We should also limit advertisements for alcohol and cigarettes, and not show people using such things in scenes in cinema films, as this could serve as an inducement to the abuse of narcotics”. In the opinion of the FEOR, all the traditional religions of Russia have the capability to combat narcotics abuse because their basis lies in “an authentic love for people and a true assessment of the value of each human being. Therefore, speaking as religious bodies, which includes our specific Jewish faith, and as a part of our larger civic community, we undertake to carry out all measures necessary to fight this terrible phenomenon”.

24 January 2008




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