Voices from Russia

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Petersburgers are surprised by the Bright and Positive Attitudes of Zenit Fans after the UEFA Cup Victory

Filed under: inspirational,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Hundreds of joyful people embraced each other; they gathered together in the squares, they shouted loud greetings to one another… that was the scene in St Petersburg the night after FC Zenit won the UEFA Cup. A reporter from Interfax was there whilst all of this was going on. People from all over the city converged on the main avenue, Nevsky Prospekt. When night fell (it was late, for the “Northern Capital” is in the time of twilight evenings), a salute was fired to celebrate the victory, and the fans continued their celebrations as it was fired. Petersburgers gathered in groups on the thoroughfares, passed around beers, and patriotically ate koryushki (smelts), a food considered a very symbol of the city by its residents.

However, all of this passed without practically any profanities, crudities, or aggressive shouts. This was a night where the people of Petersburg gathered en masse without crimes or unpleasant incidents. Our correspondent reports that they live in the same neighbourhood as a family of dipsomaniacs, and they count on being “ragged on” by them daily. However, on this night, they did not give out the traditional scandal. The members of this family were caught up in the universal merriment; they mingled with their neighbours, and kissed one another. Can you believe it? They went to bed quietly, without a peep, without the customary fight!

In one of the apartment buildings, some of the fans were stuck in an elevator that stopped in the shaft. It took rescuers two hours to get them out, but, whilst they were waiting for the emergency team, the neighbours passed beer and smokes to those stuck through the hatch of the elevator and kept their spirits up. The old-timers said that the only times that such a spirit of glad togetherness and genuine happiness was seen in “the City on the Neva” was when the Nazi blockade of the city was broken and on the first Victory Day, 9 May 1945.

Today, the spontaneous festival continues. You see people of all ages from teens to grizzled grey-hairs sauntering about the city painted in the FC Zenit colours, bearing the FC Zenit banner, and having as many tokens of the team about them as they can. Amongst the happy revellers was 85-year-old Baroness Margarita Konten de Roman, whom our correspondent found emerging from the shops with a banner in one hand and a stein of beer in the other. Around her neck was a scarf in the FC Zenit colours and she wore a cap with the symbol of her beloved team on her head. As she waved the team colours, she yelled, “Happiness to you!” (s prazdnikom vas! in the original) This evening, Margarita Aleksandrovna, along with her friends, is going to set up a table in the courtyard and invite all the neighbours over to share her happiness over the victory of her beloved St Petersburg footballers.

15 May 2008




15 May 2008. A Day at the Races…

Filed under: Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Russia qualifies for semi-finals of world ice hockey championship

Russia qualified for the semi-finals of the world ice hockey championships in Canada after beating Switzerland 6:0. It will now play Finland on 17 May.

15 May 2008


Zenit side wins UEFA Cup Final

Football Club Zenit from St Petersburg won the UEFA Cup Final. In the final match in Manchester, it defeated the Scottish FC Rangers from Glasgow, 2-0. Thus, Zenit is the second Russian team that won the UEFA Cup Final (second in significance after the Champions League cup) football club trophy. The first Russian side to win the UEFA Cup Final in 2005 was the Moscow TsSKA club. Zenit achieved success under the leadership of Coach Dick Advocate, who from 1998 to 2002 trained FC Rangers (how ironic!). Football fans of St Petersburg and all over Russia rejoiced over the victory of FC Zenit. Thousands of people went into the streets of St Petersburg to celebrate Zenit’s victory. President Dmitri Medvedev congratulated the Zenit footballers and their fans on a deserved, brilliant, beautiful victory. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin described it as a glorious victory.

15 May 2008


St Petersburg celebrates

Traffic cops in St Petersburg restricted traffic in the centre of the city because of massive public celebrations by fans of FC Zenit, after the side won the UEFA Cup. On Wednesday, Zenit beat Glasgow Rangers 2-0 in Manchester. Residents of St Petersburg marked the victory throughout the city. Thousands of people rallied on the central avenue, Nevsky Prospekt, but, there were no reports of any incidents.

15 May 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

The Moscow Patriarchate Shares the Joy of Russian Sport Fans over the Victory of the Zenit Side in the UEFA Cup Final

Filed under: Russian,sport,Vsevolod Chaplin — 01varvara @ 00.00

Logo of FC Zenit of St Petersburg

The Moscow Patriarchate believes that the victory of the Zenit side in the UEFA Cup final is another indicator of the revival of Russia. “We reached a success which was remarkable even by the standards of Soviet football achievements, indeed, it exceeded them. This points up the fact that a Russian football club has become one of the strongest forces in Europe”, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the MP Department for External Church Relations said to InterfaxReligion on Thursday.

He watched the game at the Russian Embassy in Rome, where was staying whilst he was on a business trip, and according to Fr Vsevolod, the audience watched the game “with great patriotic enthusiasm”. He believed that the victory of “Zenit was well-deserved, and earned in a very beautiful and dynamic competition of two teams of equal class. Therefore, I’d like to share the joy of Russian sport fans and stress that it’s not only a matter of scoring goals, rather, it is a matter of Russia recovering its vitality, optimism, energy, and a hope for a better future, and a decent independent place in the world, and this tendency manifests itself through our success in sport as well”, Fr Vsevolod said.

15 May 2008



Professor Osipov of the MDA says that Orthodoxy is Sceptical of the Existence of Intelligent Extraterrestrial Beings

A still-shot from the famous sci-fi classic film The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)


Professor Aleksei Osipov, an eminent theologian at the Moscow Theological Academy (MDA) said:

From the point of Orthodox theology, there are no grounds for talking about extraterrestrial civilisations that have reason and are capable of creating artefacts. Such a position is based on the fact that allusions to intelligent extraterrestrial life-forms are not found in the New Testament. Secondly, there have been very many people in the Church who reached the highest degree of God-likeliness and sanctity, but, not one of them ever mentioned [extraterrestrial civilisations], although they spoke about many other things. This argument is very important. Besides, modern astronomy, in its advance into the depth of the Universe, still hasn’t found any planet with life similar to that on Earth. We have solid grounds to refuse to accept the existence of any intelligent extraterrestrial civilisation. The Orthodox Church didn’t consider this question on purpose to arrive to at a given conclusion. There are some theologians who studied the question of extraterrestrial civilisation and concluded that the universe is very rich and there are phenomena that remain unknown. However, they believe these to be astronomical phenomena, rather than spiritual ones.

Also on Wednesday, the chief astronomer of the Roman Catholic Church, Fr Gabriel Funes, stated that he does not rule out the possibility of life on other planets. In an article entitled “Extraterrestrials: My Brothers” in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, he wrote that other intelligent life-forms created by God might exist.

14 May 2008



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