Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Down the Memory Hole… or, Where is the News About this Year’s Pilgrimage to St Tikhon’s?

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox life,religious,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

It is now eight days after the completion of the annual Pilgrimage at St Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan PA. In other words, more than enough time for photos and text to be posted on it. Unfortunately, I found… NADA. Actually, next to nothing, to be precise. There was nothing on the OCA official website, unusual for one of the largest events in the church life of the OCA. There was nothing on the website of St Tikhon’s Monastery, unusual for the largest event in the life of that institution. There was a small series of 10 photos with no accompanying text on the Diocese of Eastern PA website, all tightly focused, and none were panoramic shots of the crowd, as was usual in earlier years. In fact, since I noticed women in “traditional” church garb in some of the photos, it is safe to assume that they were ROCOR faithful who came to venerate the Kursk Root icon.

In short, attendance was abysmal, and sources tell me that attendance was off even compared to last year, which was in the pits. I wish to state that I am sorry to see this development. I remember in the ’80s when people looked forward to the St Tikhon’s Pilgrimage, and it was an EVENT. I remember those years with affection.


Of course! St Tikhon’s Monastery needs to be reattached to a live tree, and removed from the baleful influence of the dead tree of Syosset and the deformed tree of SVS. In short, the Pilgrimage shall only go back to its former glory when the Monastery is back under the Church of Moscow, THE CHURCH THAT FOUNDED IT.

All decent Orthodox Christians should pray to St Tikhon of Moscow (its founder) and St Tikhon of Zadonsk (its heavenly patron) that this happens swiftly. It is our duty and obligation.

Vara Drezhlo

Tuesday 3 June 2008


A Movement against the Deployment of US Missiles is Growing in the Czech Republic

Filed under: military,NATO,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Very soon, former Prime Minister Jiři Paroubek, the chairman of the Social-Democratic Party, intends to send to the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a message requesting her not to sign a treaty on the deployment of a US radar site in the Czech Republic. The decision is of major importance, since the Social-Democratic Party is a major opposition group to the government.

The intention to contact Mrs Rice was prompted by Mr Paroubek’s visit to two activists conducting a protest action, “No to military bases”. They have been on a hunger strike since 13 May. By the way, during the party’s conference, Social-Democrats decided to support the hunger strikers until the authorities reject their intention to take part in the US plans of deploying anti-missile defences in Europe. As is well-known, those plans also stipulate the deployment of 10 anti-missile silos in Poland. Greenpeace activists are also against the deployment of a US radar site in the Czech Republic. They have blocked for a month the military testing ground where it is expected to be installed.

In her TV address, Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova described the protestors as blackmailers and said that the government would conduct talks with MPs who should ratify the treaties with Washington. In fact, the Czech authorities are trying to take hostage the country’s population, for 75 percent are against the radar’s deployment. Among them are Communists and part of the Green Party, integral components of the government’s coalition. Meanwhile, the Czech government plans to sign all necessary documents for the deployment of US radar in June or July.

True, the future of the treaties will be decided by the country’s parliament all the same. A majority of the Czechs believe that a nation-wide referendum should be held on the issue. Be that as it may, the movement of protest against the US plans in the Czech Republic is growing. People understand that their country can become a testing ground for materialisation of US military-political ambitions. In addition, they see that Poland is in no rush to give consent for the deployment of 10 US anti-missiles silos. Clearly, the Czechs and the Poles should first of all bear in mind their own interests. Yet, many of them are aware that the appearance of US anti-missile defences in Europe can destabilise the situation on the continent and in the world as a whole. Russia is resolutely against the US plans. It sees them as a threat to its national security, and therefore, can take measures in response to preserve the strategic balance.

2 June 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service


Today Is International Children’s Day


International Children’s Day falls on 1 June, and it calls on the international community to guarantee the rights and interests of children. Voice of Russia, together with the Moscow Patriarchate, sponsored a charitable undertaking to support children from problem-families and disabled children. The children living in an orphanage run by an Orthodox parish in the Moscow suburbs received nice presents as a part of this action. For the past 15 years, the parish of St Nikita the Great Martyr in the village of Byvalino in Moscow Oblast has operated an Orthodox orphanage. During this time, dozens of children who faced difficult situations were given the blessing of a hearty welcome and they received the warm affection that they lacked in their lives. The orphanage was founded by the parish rector, Fr Amvrosy. He’s an amazing priest who brings up the children in a Christian spirit and cultivates in them both love to their motherland and love to their neighbour, said Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov of Krutitsy and Kolomna, who was one of the sponsors of the charitable undertaking. He noted the important role played by the Orthodox Church in rendering spiritual support to children who are left without the protection of parents.

Metropolitan Yuvenaly said that we thank God that our Church has an opportunity not only to pray with our fellow citizens and restore holy places and objects, but, also to express practical loving kindness. Currently, Orthodox orphanages are flourishing and they’re acquiring a growing number of friends. The reason for such an outcome is that a priest such as Fr Amvrosy not only fulfils his pastoral duties, but, he also takes care of the children with self-sacrifice and enthusiasm. The children see in him not only a priest, but, a real spiritual father and mentor. God willing, his example may bring light into the hearts of the orphans, and prompt other people to help the growing generation, the metropolitan said. Amongst those who work with children are psychologists, theatre workers, musicians, sport coaches, programmers, and speech therapists. In short, the life of the boys and girls in the orphanage is good and the children are quite happy when guests come to see them. The participants and sponsors of the charitable activity were the Familiya chain-stores and the director of the Lyubava shop, Lyubov Shtangei. They presented the children with clothes, toys, and sweets. The VOR children’s chorus staged a concert. According to the chairman of the broadcasting company, Armen Oganesyan, such gestures offer the children an opportunity to feel the care of the society about them and to know that they aren’t neglected in a problematical world and they could grow up as people who’ll be worthy citizens. Oganesyan said that we see that the children aren’t orphans here, and that they have a fully-faceted life and that they can develop their talents to the fullest. The children’s faces show that they are quite happy and interested in everything. As all children are, they’re inquisitive. This is the result of the teachers and those who support and help these children, Oganesyan said.

International Children’s Day is a gentle and bright holiday. Traditionally, children get presents, and concerts are staged for them. Sponsors visit orphanages. However, the most important thing is that this holiday reminds all adults that they must do their best so that our children grow up as real people who are useful in society, wise, and talented.

1 June 2008

lada-korotunLada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service


Moscow Dissatisfied with Washington’s Recent Proposals on Missile Defence

Russia voiced disagreement with US proposals on its missile defence system in Europe. Igor Neverov, the Director of the North America department in the Foreign Ministry, described the proposals as incomplete, insufficient, and at odds with the criteria suggested by Moscow. The statement can well be seen as an epilogue to the last round of Russian-American consultations in Oslo, where US representatives acknowledged yet again that Moscow had enough grounds for concern in connection with Washington’s plans to deploy ten anti-missile silos in Poland and a powerful radar site in the Czech Republic.

Once again, the Americans proposed that Russian military observers be stationed at the two military facilities, but, the proposal suggested nothing concrete. Moscow signalled a need for permanent Russian military observers at the bases during the bilateral talks of the two countries’ foreign and defence ministers. Washington responded with nothing concrete. It announced a bit later that the issue of permanent or temporary presence of Russian military observers should be settled with the governments of Poland and the Czech Republic.

Simultaneously, the United States sidestepped the alternative solutions suggested by then-President Putin at summits with President Bush in Heiligendamm and Kennebankport. The initiatives called for a joint study into potential threats before taking retaliatory action. In a word, Russia called for building a collective security and monitoring system that would embrace Russia, the United States, Europe, and other continents. To this end, Russia suggested setting up information exchange centres in Moscow and at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, and a joint use of the Gabalin radar site in Azerbaijan and the one currently under construction in Southern Russia.

The opinion voiced by Igor Neverov of the Foreign Ministry’s North America department leaves little ground for optimism over prospects for signing an agreement on missile defence between Russia and the US. It has to be remembered, though, that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and President Dmitri Medvedev, have not once expressed hope that a mutually acceptable compromise would be found eventually.

3 June 2008

Viktor Yenikeyev

Voice of Russia World Service


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