Voices from Russia

Monday, 18 February 2008

FEOR fears tragic consequences shall flow from the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo

Filed under: Jewish,patriotic,Russian,Serbia — 01varvara @ 00.00

Serb protesters in Kosovo

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR) fears that “very tragic consequences” shall flow from the unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovar Albanians. “When so-called ‘progressive mankind’ is glad that the Albanians in Kosovo exercised their ‘right’ to self-determination, there are no doubts that ethnic minorities in other countries, especially those that harbour separatist attitudes, will see hope for themselves in this,” Borukh Gorin, the head of the FEOR public relations department, told Interfax-Religion. That is why “it is too early to be elated concerning independence for Kosovo, because the consequences could be very tragic”, he said. “The international community should act in line with established and uniform rules in such cases, because the absence of such rules easily leads to chaos”, Mr Gorin said.

18 February 2008




Fr Vsevolod Chaplin says that the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by Kosovo is a blow to international law

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

Albanians in Kosovo need to remember that you cannot build a peaceful and happy life at the expense of others, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate said. “Certainly, the Kosovar Albanians, like any other people, can wish for a life of peace and dignity. But, you cannot build such a life at the expense of others”, said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy chief of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, in comments on Kosovo’s unilateral declaration of independence. This event is a breach of international law, “one of the most crucial principles of which is the inviolability of the territorial integrity of states”, he said. “This principle in the international legal system is not inferior to the idea of human rights, and an attempt to otherwise interpret international law is biased”, Fr Vsevolod said. That the global community has failed to prevent this breach by acceding to force and political pressure “is a most serious blow to the very foundation of the legal system of international relations”, he said.

Most non-Albanians have left Kosovo, and hundreds of churches, which are a part of the cultural heritage of the entire world, have been destroyed and vandalised, and “this was accompanied by outrageous nationalist propaganda”, Fr Vsevolod said. Aleksei Rediger, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, spoke of these instances on many occasions in public speeches and during meetings with high officials from various countries, he said. God willing, the remaining Serbs and other non-Albanians will not have to leave their homes and their spiritual and cultural legacy will not disappear completely, Fr Vsevolod said. “I would like to believe that the Serbian Orthodox Church, whose ancient spiritual centre is in this province, will continue to lead a normal life in Kosovo, developing its mission and service”. However, “previous events leave little hope for this”, he added.

Nevertheless, all countries of the world today must do everything they can to make sure that people of various ethnicities can live a free and peaceful life in Kosovo and have an opportunity to fulfil their hopes and expectations and to choose for themselves a lifestyle both on a governmental level and on an ethnic community level. “When one party to a conflict feels injustice and suffers, the conflict cannot be deemed resolved. This should be clear to all those who make decisions in Kosovo itself and in those countries which are taking responsibility for the people who live there”.

In a related move, the Moscow Patriarchate has urged Kosovar Albanians to understand the disastrous consequences that shall flow from their unilateral declaration of independence. “We would like the Albanian side, which did this, to understand that this path is disastrous, and to seek reconciliation with the Serbians”, Priest Georgy Ryabykh, a representative of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, told Interfax-Religion. Any decision concerning several parties cannot be made unilaterally, as it could lead to an escalation of the conflict, he said. “That is why if the crisis in Kosovo escalates, the responsibility will lie with the Albanian side, because they dared to take this unilateral step”, Fr Georgi said. Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias has many times stated that the issue of the status of Kosovo should not be solved disregarding the opinion of the Serbian people.

18 February 2008



(in Russian)

A Majority of Ukrainians Opposes NATO Membership for the Ukraine

Filed under: patriotic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

According to an opinion poll, more than 50 percent of Ukraine’s population opposes NATO membership for the Ukraine. If a referendum were held on the issue on Sunday, 54 percent of those polled would have been voted against NATO membership, while only 21 percent would have supported such a move. The Party of Regions headed by former Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich and its allies press for holding a plebiscite on the issue. Its faction has blocked the work of parliament to protest against the signing of a letter by some Ukrainian leaders proposing that the Ukraine should become a member of the NATO alliance.

15 February 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa said that Ukrainian Officials are Persecuting Advocates of Church Unity with Moscow

00 Ilya Repin. A Cossack of the Zaporozhean Sich. 1870s-90s

A Cossack of the Zaporozhean Sich

Ilya Repin

undated (1870s-90s?)


The Ukrainian government intends to detach the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP from the Moscow Patriarchate some time this year, and it’s pressuring both laymen and clerics, Metropolitan Agafangel Savvin of Odessa and Ismail stated. “Today, the Ukrainian government has set a goal to gain ‘autocephaly‘, to separate the canonical UOC/MP from the MP some time in 2008 at all costs”, he said in an interview with the magazine Russki Dom (Russian Home). Metropolitan Agafangel noted that earlier the Ukrainian state attempted to “force” a split within the canonical UOC/MP by establishing parallel “schismatic pseudo-churches”, while, today, believers face “an absolutely new scenario, unprecedented in its scale and impudence, where they attempt to impose an ‘acanonical autocephaly’ on the canonical UOC/MP”. According to Vladyki Agafangel, local officials were commanded to “lobby for autocephaly”.

“Bishops and clerics of the UOC/MP are being strongly pressured. State officials are using attractive promises, threats, and blackmail. I believe that the lynching of the most active advocates of church unity among both clergy and laymen is in the wings. They spare no effort to harass those public organisations that openly oppose this threat of a new schism”, the metropolitan said. He further said that the canonical Church is forced to “dialogue” with schismatics from the so-called “Kiev Patriarchate” and the “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church”. {The first is a totally uncanonical body illegally set on the canonical territory of the MP under the deposed MP cleric Philaret Denisenko, a known thief and grafter. The second’s a totally heterodox group, since its bishops weren’t canonically and properly consecrated, hence their common name of samosvyatsy (self-consecrators). Both groups are known for their syncretistic and indifferentist concelebrations with Uniates.:editor} “In compliance with the holy canons, there can’t be any ‘union’ with the ‘Kiev Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’ or the ‘Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church’. The only thing that’s possible is for these schismatics is to join the canonical Church. The UOC/MP can’t agree to the conditions set by these schismatics and nationalistic politicos, and it won’t break its holy and God-willed union with the MP. Rather, the schismatics have to accept the teaching, the practise, and the church organisation of the Mother Church”, Metropolitan Agafangel said.

Editor’s Note:

My choice of an illustration for this article was quite deliberate. The Zaporozhean Sich was known for its unwavering support for Orthodoxy and its vehement opposition to the Polish-imposed Jesuit Unia. The use of such imagery by contemporary Uniates is thus not true to the facts, and it is an insult to the memory of the brave Orthodox warriors of the Sich, who opposed the Unia wherever they found it.


15 February 2008



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