Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

21 May 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Filed under: fine arts,intellectual,music,performing arts,pop,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Film festival dedicated to the 190th birthday of Russian writer Ivan Turgenev opens in Oryol

Ivan Turgenev (1818-83), renowned Russian novelist and playwright

Nine feature films and 11 documentaries will be shown as part of a film festival dedicated to the 190th birthday of the great 19th century Russian writer Ivan Turgenev that is opening today in Oryol, 360 kilometres (223 miles) southwest of Moscow.

20 May 2008


Jacques Chirac awarded the Russian State Prize

Alisa Freindlich (1934- ), People’s Artist of Russia and well-loved actress, one of the other winners

The winners of the Russian State Prize for last year have been made public in Moscow, including former French President Jacques Chirac, who won the award for his great contribution to spreading Russian cultural heritage throughout the world. Specifically, M Chirac translated into French the novel Eugene Onegin by the classic 19th century Russian poet and author Aleksandr Pushkin. Some of the other winners are prominent Russian researchers Vladimir Arnold, Andrei Zalizniak, Alexei Khokhlov, and also the film and theatre actress Alisa Freindlich.

20 May 2008


Chirac sees the decision to award him with the Russian State Prize as an honour

Jacques Chirac (1932- ), former President of France

Former French president Jacques Chirac sees the decision of the Russian authorities to award him with the Russian State Prize as an honour. This was reported by a source close to the French ex-president. The Russian State Prize has been awarded to the 75-year-old M Chirac for “outstanding achievements in the humanitarian sphere”. Notably, M Chirac translated into French the novel Eugene Onegin by the classic Russian 19th-century poet and author Aleksandr Pushkin.

21 May 2008


Russian singer Dima Bilan in Eurovision-2008 finals

Dima Bilan (1981- ), pop music celebrity

In keeping with the audience voting results, the Russian singer Dima Bilan made it to the finals of the Eurovision-2008 song contest with his song Believe Me. He performed his three-minute song in the first semi-final in Belgrade, assisted by the Hungarian violinist Edwin Marton and Russian Olympic figure-skating champion Yevgeny Pliushchenko. To enable Mr Pliushchenko to perform, a small special-purpose area was covered in plastic ice. Dima is taking part in the Eurovision contest for the second time. The final of the song competition is due in Belgrade this coming Saturday.

21 May 2008


Download the song Believe Me at:


New Culture Minister says Russia is a bastion of culture

Minister of Culture Aleksandr Avdeyev (1946- )

Russia will continue to seek the return of treasures stolen from it by the Nazis and support Serbia in defending the Orthodox heritage of Kosovo. The new Culture Minister, Aleksandr Avdeyev, told this to reporters at his first news conference since taking the job. He was moved to the post from the position of Ambassador to France.

21 May 2008


Voice of Russia World Service


21 May 2008. Out and About…

Filed under: Dmitri Medvedev,military,patriotic,politics,Russian,the Ukraine — 01varvara @ 00.00

Medvedev gives top priority to judicial reform in Russia

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- )

President Dmitri Medvedev said that ensuring the full independence of the court system is the top priority of judicial reform in Russia. When addressing a conference in the Moscow Kremlin on the subject, he pointed out the need to stop the practise of court verdicts prompted by the influence of high-ranking officials or bribery. Mr Medvedev came out for doing away with red tape in examining court cases, but, not degrading the quality of the examination in question. The President attached great importance to the financing and re-equipment of the courts. Specifically, he wished to provide the courts with up-to-date computers. When elaborating on the Russian judicial system in general, Mr Medvedev said it is in line with the usual principles of law found internationally.

20 May 2008


Russian rescue teams in China are finished with their effort and have returned to Russia

Russian rescue team in front of a Ministry of Emergency Situations aircraft

According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Emergency Situations, Russian rescue teams in China are finished with their efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake and have returned to Russia. Now, an airborne hospital from the Ministry of Emergency Situations has taken over from the rescue teams and has been deployed in the city of Changju. 47 highly-experienced Russian doctors from the Tsentrospas group and the Zashchita All-Russia disaster medicine centre now are in China to treat those injured in the earthquake. Russia also provided China with humanitarian aid. The Ministry of Emergency Situations has flown in some 150 tonnes of humanitarian cargoes to China since the 14th of this month. The cargoes were basically tents and blankets, and also included canned food and rice.

21 May 2008


Yushchenko tries to ban the leasing of bases to Russia

Crimeans rally in support of Russian presence (majority are Russians). The Black Sea Fleet IS here to stay.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko instructed his government to draft legislation to ban leasing bases to Russia after 2017 when Russia is required to wind up its naval presence in Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Yushchenko’s drive to join NATO appears to have received a painful rebuff from recent celebrations to mark the 225th anniversary the foundation of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Crimean campaigners launched a petition asking for the Russian Navy to stay for good.

21 May 2008


Russian economic growth in 2007 was 8.1%

Economics Minister Elvira Nabiullina (1963- )

In the opening quarter of 2008, the economy continued to boom, with no sign of a slowdown in sight. According to Economics Minister Elvira Nabiullina, this is the result of government policies to modernise the infrastructure and invest in human development.


A Delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate met in Kiev with so-called “Patriarch” Philaret Denisenko

Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis of France (EP) (1958- )

A meeting took place in the “patriarchal residence” in Kiev between Philaret Denisenko, the self-proclaimed “Patriarch of Kiev and all Rus-Ukraine”, the head of the schismatic “Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOCKP)”, and a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate consisting of Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Archimandrite Elpidophoros (the Secretary General of the EP Holy Synod), and Archpriest Vassilios. As reported by the press service of the UOCKP, Mr Denisenko presented to the EP delegation the position of the UOCKP on the various matters of church life in the Ukraine. The EP delegation visited the Ukraine on 19 and 20 May at the invitation of Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko. There was no official invitation for such a visit from the canonical Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church of the MP.

Also taking part in the meeting of the Ukrainian schismatics with the EP delegation were “Archbishop of Khmelnitsky” Dmitri Rudyuk (rector of the “Kiev Theological Academy of the UOCKP”), “Archimandrite” Epifany (“secretary of the patriarch”), and “Archimandrite” Evstrat Zorya (press secretary of the UOCKP). Also present were the laymen Yuri Bogutsky, the deputy head of the secretariat of the Ukrainian president, Andrei Tkachuk, the executive of the secretariat, and Pyotr Yushchenko, people’s deputy of the Ukraine. “Patriarch” Philaret stated during the meeting, “We are ready for any dialogue that shall lead to formation of a united and autocephalous Local Orthodox Church in the Ukraine”. In response, Metropolitan Emmanuel stated that the purpose of the visit of the EP delegation was to acquaint the EP with the life and problems of the Ukrainian Church from first-hand observation. He said that the EP follows the events in Ukrainian church life attentively, and it attempts “as its Mother Church” to help to solve its problems. The meeting closed with a mutual exchange of gifts and with the hope that the problems now existing in Ukrainian church life could find a constructive solution.

21 May 2008


As quoted in Sedmitsa.ru


Fr Nikolai Balashov emphasises that any Visit by Patriarch Bartholomew to the Ukraine must have the Express Permission of the MP in Advance

Fr Nikolai Balashov (1958- ), Secretary of Inter-Orthodox Relations of the MP DECR

Sources in the Moscow Patriarchate noted that Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul could only take part in the celebrations of the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Russia after an express invitation was issued by Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias in advance of the fact. “According to the church canons, any invitation to the Ecumenical Patriarch to attend the celebrations marking the 1020th anniversary of the baptism of Russia must proceed expressly from the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias”, Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, Secretary of Inter-Orthodox Relations in the MP Department of External Church Relations, stated to Interfax-Religion on Wednesday. He emphasised that “according to ancient and universally-accepted Church tradition, the First Hierarch of one or another Local Church does not enter the canonical territory of another Local Church without the express permission of the First Hierarch of that Church in advance”.

Recently, in the course of an official meeting with a delegation from the EP, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko invited Bartholomew to take part in the anniversary celebrations at the end of July, saying at the time, “The Ukrainian state and Ukrainian believers are convinced that we must move to make an agreement and seek unity with the Mother Church of the EP”. In response to this, Fr Nikolai stated to Interfax that “the leadership of both the MP in general and the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church of the MP in particular, have been told nothing concerning this invitation of Bartholomew by the Ukrainian government, nor has their permission been sought in this matter”. He reminded our correspondent that the MP has conducted dialogue with the EP on the question of Church authority in the Ukraine for many years, and he noted that this dialogue was dogged by disagreement continually. “From our point of view, the specific obstacle to a successful conclusion to this dialogue was the uncanonical behaviour of the EP in respect to Ukrainian schismatics that are outside of the Church”, Fr Nikolai said. In conclusion, he expressed the conviction that “we need solidarity amongst the Local Churches in the efforts towards overcoming these existing divisions, wherever they may manifest themselves”.

21 May 2008



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