Voices from Russia

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Orthodox Christians Honour the Memory of the New Martyrs of Russia Killed by the Communists


Holy New Hieromartyr Ilarion Troitsky (1886-1929), prisoner for Christ’s sake on Solovki. The writing on his scroll reads, “Without the Church, there is no salvation”.

The commemoration of the Assembly of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia was noted on Sunday by Orthodox Christians. With the blessings of Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias, Archbishop Aleksei of Orekhovo-Zuevsky celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Assumption Cathedral in the Moscow Kremlin, and Archbishop Arseny of Istrinsky did likewise at the Memorial Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia located in Butovo (Editor’s note: a place where many were murdered for Christ’s sake by the communists in the Soviet era). In addition, in many parish churches, services were held to honour those who were killed by the Bolsheviks.

The former NKVD training ground at Butovo was one of the main places where mass shootings and burials of victims took place during the persecutions of the 1930s through the early 1950s.During the period of the “Great Terror”, from August 1937 to October 1938 alone, some 20,765 people were executed here… and this was just from Moscow and its surrounding suburbs! At present, scholars have determined the names of thousands of the clergy and laity who were shot here, and many of them have been added to the list of saints. In 1997, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate glorified the first of the Butovo Martyrs, Holy New Hieromartyr Serafim, Metropolitan of Petrograd, who is considered the Protomartyr of the Assembly of the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Butovo.

Butovo is unique in all of Russia for the number of martyrs who were killed and buried in one location. In 2001, a decree of the Moscow Oblast administration declared it a protected historical zone. In 2004, construction began on the Memorial Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in the midst of the historical district. It was completed in the spring of 2007. In both the laying of its cornerstone in 2004, and in its consecration in 2007, both Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all Russia and Metropolitan Lavr of New York, the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, acted as co-participants.


Professor Ivan Mikhailovich Andreyevsky of Jordanville NY (USA), prisoner for Christ’s sake on Solovki.

In August 2007, a memorial cross was erected on the Butovo field; it was crafted and blessed at the Holy Transfiguration Monastery on the Solovetsky Islands (also known as “Solovki” in colloquial Russian), which are north of Arkhangelsk in the White Sea. (Editor’s note: The monasteries on Solovki were used as political prisons in Soviet times. Two of the most famous prisoners were New Hieromartyr Ilarion Troitsky and Professor Ivan Mikhailovich Andreyevsky of Jordanville, NY) The cross went by ship from Solovki to Moscow through the Belomorsky (White Sea) Canal, Lake Onega, the upper reaches of the Volga River, and the Moscow Canal. (Editor’s note: the Belomorsky Canal was a project completed by the slave labour of political prisoners in the 1930s. Many died in the course of its construction. No doubt, this was one of the reasons why this particular route and mode of transport was chosen, in honour of those cut down by the Reds.) After arriving in Moscow, the vessel with the cross passed the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Novospassky Monastery on its way to the southern port facilities on the Moscow River. This was a symbolic connection of two “Russian Golgothas”, the Butovo field and Solovki.

New names are continually being added to the list of the Assembly of New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia, including constant additions to the Assembly of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Butovo. Today, a joint working group of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is compiling a standard and uniform collection of the names of the New Martyrs and Confessors who suffered for the faith in the Bolshevik persecutions.

10 February 2008




Boxer Faces Charges in Vigilante Killing

Filed under: domestic life,inspirational,moral issues,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00


Aleksandr Kuznetsov, hero stepfather who beat a pederast to death for attempting to rape his 8-year-old stepson

A former boxer from St Petersburg became a national celebrity in Russia after going on trial for beating to death a student from Uzbekistan whom the man said he caught while trying to rape his eight-year-old stepson. The incident took place on 1 January, but, only made it into the Russian headlines by the end of the month. Aleksandr Kuznetsov, 30, had moved to St Petersburg from the Siberian city of Omsk about a year ago. There, he found a girlfriend, and they started living together with her and her small son, Misha.

According to Mr Kuznetsov’s own ac count of the events, published by the St Petersburg-based website Fontanka.ru, the boy suggested that they set off some firecrackers in the yard. While Mr Kuznetsov was getting dressed, Misha put on his boots and coat, and he ran out onto the stairwell. When Mr Kuznetsov followed him out, the boy was nowhere in the yard, and, so, the former boxer went back home. As he walked back into the lobby he saw the boy’s clothes lying on the floor. “His scarf and hat were lying a meter from the door. Then, I saw his trousers and briefs in the dark… I froze. Then, I grabbed the scarf, and rushed up to the second floor…” Mr Kuznetsov was quoted as saying.

The boxer said that he found his stepson lying on the floor and an unknown man with his trousers down lying on top of the boy. Both were not moving, but, suddenly, the boy opened his eyes and called his stepfather by name. The boxer dragged the boy from under the man and started beating the alleged rapist. He says that he could not control himself. “I felt nothing at the moment but blind rage. I was not thinking. I was just punching. When I came to my senses again, I was kneeling and handcuffed, and I heard a policeman saying, ‘this one will be gone in a minute, call the corpse-carriers’”. The boxer’s family had called the police. The victim was identified as a 20-year-old student from Uzbekistan. The boxer was charged with premeditated infliction of grave bodily harm resulting in death, and he can face from five to 15 years in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, public opinion in blogs and tabloid newspapers is showing firm support for Mr Kuznetsov. Articles claim that the boxer always loved children and describe a warm relationship between Mr Kuznetsov and his stepson, Misha. However, some newspapers have published leaks from police sources suggesting that the boxer received a suspended sentence for illegal drug possession. Mr Kuznetsov’s case has parallels with two high-profile trials in Russia involving self-defence and revenge. This was the case of Aleksandra Ivannikova, a girl who stabbed to death an ethnic Armenian taxi driver, who she said had tried to rape her, and that of Vitaly Kaloyev who murdered an air traffic controller in Switzerland after all his family were killed in a 2002 air crash over Lake Bodensee. Ms Ivannikova was eventually acquitted of murder, and Mr Kaloyev was found guilty in Switzerland and served a prison term there, but, he received a hero’s welcome when he returned to Russia, getting himself appointed deputy construction minister in his native republic of North Ossetia.

Mr Kuznetsov, who has been released from a pre-trial detention centre under a travel ban, even participated in a TV link with North Ossetia organised by a St Petersburg TV channel. He spoke with Vitaly Kaloyev, who told the boxer not to give up, and cited his own struggle to “get through all this”.

7 February 2008

Kirill Bessonov

The Moscow News


Editor’s Note:

A few days ago, I posted an article that contained the reaction of Fr Vsevolod Chaplin to this event.

URL for Fr Vsevolod’s article:


Here is the background information. EVERYBODY is on the side of Mr Kuznetsov in Russia, and all decent healthy-minded people everywhere would agree. Isn’t it sad that there are some political jurisdictions in the US that would throw Mr Kuznetsov in jail for this (including the ones where Syosset and Crestwood are located!)? To be fair, in most places in America, Mr Kuznetsov would have his hand shaken by the cops, and the case would “disappear” (as it no doubt shall in Russia, as well!).

Sexual predators… take note and take heed.


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