Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 June 2008

21 June 2008. A Day at the Races…

Filed under: China,Olympics,Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

IGF to make public its decision in trumped-up case against Irina Viner

Irina Viner (1948- ), legendary Russian gymnastics coach

The Disciplinary Commission of the International Gymnastics Federation in Lausanne shall announce today its decision in the case of Russian rhythmic coach Irina Viner, two months after the IGF sanctioned her Ukrainian rival, Irina Deryugina. Coach Viner, one of the most famous women in Russian sport, is facing charges of abusively criticising the IGF’s dated charter and the decisions taken by the Federation. Coach Viner is also accused of aggressive behaviour in her dealings with athletes, a charge she flatly denies. If the Disciplinary Committee upholds the charges, Coach Viner may be disqualified and barred from participation in this summer’s Olympics in Beijing. Many experts suspect the crackdown on Coaches Viner and Deryugina could be an attempt to undermine the Olympic chances of the world’s two leading gymnastic powers, Russia and the Ukraine.

17 June 2008


IOC experts arrive in Russia

Airport in Sochi

A team of IOC experts arrived in Russia to check out the construction timetable for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. They will meet with the chief executives of the Olympstroy Company handling the Olympic construction work, a subsidiary of the Russian Railways Company, and will visit the sites of would-be sports facilities in Sochi.

17 June 2008


Russia beats Sweden 2:0 in Euro 2008 match

Russia beat Sweden 2:0 in a Group D match of Euro 2008 on Wednesday evening in Innsbruck and thus advanced to the quarter-finals. The team will be facing the Netherlands on 21 June in Basel, Switzerland. The match will be a kind of a repeat of the 1988 final when the Soviets also faced Holland. Sportswriters said yesterday it was probably the most impressive Russian performance of Euro 2008. Thousands of fans across Russia celebrated the victory tonight. President Dmitri Medvedev congratulated the team and the fans on the results.

19 June 2008


Thousands of Muscovites celebrate Russian victory in Group D of Euro 2008

Thousands of Muscovites are celebrating the Russian victory in a Group D match of Euro 2008 against Sweden. It is the first time that the Russian team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Euro Championship after the collapse of the USSR. Russia advanced after defeating the Swedish side 2:0. On 21 June, Russia will face the Netherlands in Basel.

19 June 2008


Russia will face off with the formidable Dutch tonight in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals

Guus Hiddink (1948- ), Dutch coach of Team Russia

Russia will face off with the formidable Dutch side tonight in the Euro 2008 quarter-finals after beating Sweden 2-0 in a Group D match played in Innsbruck. Team Russia’s Dutch coach Guus Hiddink said on Friday he was ready to forget his own country’s interests to ensure the Russian team’s win in the quarter-finals.

21 June 2008


Olympic torch wound Saturday through the streets of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa

In China, the Olympic torch wound Saturday through the streets of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa. Organisers earlier said that the Tibetan leg, originally set for three days, would be cut to one day to make way for a switch in the visit to Sichuan province, the centre of a 12 May earthquake that killed nearly 70,000 people.

21 June 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

Russian ‘political clown’ wants to fire up side at Euro 2008

Vladimir “Mad Vlad” Zhirinovsky (1946- ), Russian politician, deputy speaker of the RF Gosduma. The poster reads “Don’t Lie and Don’t be Afraid”.

A Russian ultra-nationalist politician notorious for, among other things, brawls with fellow MPs, asked the country’s soccer chief for a chance to fire up the national team ahead of their vital Euro 2008 match on Wednesday. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the current vice-speaker of Russia’s lower house of parliament, caused international alarm when his Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) came first in Russia’s 1993 parliamentary elections on the back of a confrontational and fiercely nationalist campaign. Although his party’s share of the votes has gone down since then, it is still the third largest in the State Duma. Mr Zhirinovsky has, in his time, threatened to seize Alaska from the United States, launch a nuclear strike on Japan, and destroy the Baltic states. Many political and social experts have suggested that Mr Zhirinovsky represents and gives vent to the darker side of the Russian character, providing at times a vital outlet for frustrations and prejudices. General Aleksandr Lebed, the man credited with ending the first Chechen War, once famously described Zhirinovsky as “God’s holy monkey”.

“The team needs a special psychological boost, a powerful emotional charge that will ensure their desire for victory”, the LDPR press office quoted Mr Zhirinovsky as saying on Tuesday. “That is why I am asking Vitaly Mutko,  the Minister for Sport and the President of the Russian Football Union, to give me the opportunity to meet with our team and have a talk with the guys before they take the field in Innsbruck”, Mr Zhirinovsky went on. Russia, after losing their first game at Euro 2008 4-1 to Spain, beat Greece 1-0 on Saturday. Nothing less than victory over Sweden on 18 June will see them into the play-off stages of the competition for the first time since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. The Russian Football Union has yet to comment on Mr Zhirinovsky’s offer to give a pep talk.

17 June 2008


All or nothing for Russia against Sweden at Euro 2008

Guus Hiddink (1948- ), Dutch coach of Team Russia

Russia takes the field in their final Group D match on Wednesday evening knowing that anything less than victory against a strong Swedish side will see them fail, yet again, to reach the play-offs of a major European tournament. The team, led by experienced Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, qualified for Euro 2008 after a rollercoaster qualifying campaign that saw a memorable home victory against England.

Coach Hiddink’s men arrived at their Austrian base of Leogang a week before the competition kicked off on the back of three consecutive friendly victories, their preparations spoiled only by an injury to star striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. Pogrebnyak’s injury eventually forced him to quit the side’s training camp, and Russia, already weakened by playmaker Andrey Arshavin’s two-match suspension, were outclassed by Spain in their opening match, going down 4-1. However, despite the defeat and a performance that Coach Hiddink called “defensively naïve”, Russia at least tried to play an attacking, open game, a marked difference from their ultra-cautious tactics at previous World Cups and European Championships.

Coach Hiddink drafted in experienced CSKA defender Sergei Ignashevich, surprisingly left out of the opening fixture, for the next game, against holders Greece, and the side battled to a 1-0 victory, courtesy of a Konstantin Zyrianov goal in the 33rd minute. Sweden, meanwhile, having earlier beaten the Greeks 2-0, lost to Spain after an injury time goal from David Villa. Both Sweden and Russia are on three points, but, Sweden is ahead thanks to superior goal difference.

“We’re happy to have the opportunity to play this decisive game, especially when you see that other teams have gone home already. I’d have preferred the option to go for a draw, but, it’s OK”, Coach Hiddink told the press on Tuesday. Russia will be boosted by the return of Arshavin on Wednesday, although Coach Hiddink has hinted that the FC Zenit St Petersburg star may start the game on the bench. “His presence will definitely lift the team, he’s a quality player. It is hard to say what changes the coach will make though”, Roman Pavlyuchenko, man-of-the-match against Greece, told a press conference.

The Russian press was full of advice for the national team on Wednesday morning, Sovetski Sport featuring interviews with the country’s top ice-hockey players, who recently defeated Sweden at the World Championships in Canada, on “how to beat the Swedes”. There were also calls for the Russian players to recall the early 18th century Battle of Poltava where Russian forces defeated Sweden. The victory is widely considered to have marked the ascent of Imperial Russia. Coach Hiddink, however, in an interview with the Russian press, confessed that he knew nothing of the battle.

Whoever eventually makes it through to the quarter-finals will face Coach Hiddink’s native Holland. The in-form Dutch coasted through their group games, defeating Italy 3-0, France 4-1, and Romania 2-0. “The Russian vs Sweden game will be like a battle of masochists for the whip”, a Russian fan commented on an Internet forum on Wednesday. Russian ultranationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky has offered to give the team a pep talk before the game, saying that, “The guys need a special psychological boost, a powerful emotional charge that will ensure their desire for victory”. Russia’s soccer chief has yet to comment on his proposal.

The match kicks off at 20.45 local time (22.45 Moscow time (14.45 EDT)) It will be shown live on the national Rossiya channel. Although Russia has never defeated Sweden, losing three times and drawing twice, both Russian and international bookmakers make Coach Hiddink’s side slight favourites to win the decisive tie. If they do so, it will be the first time Russia has made it out of their group at a major tournament since the break up of the Soviet Union.

18 June 2008


Russian ice-hockey star Igor Larionov to enter NHL Hall of Fame

Igor Larionov (1960- ), Russian NHL ice hockey star

Russian ice-hockey star Igor Larionov has been selected for inclusion in the NHL hall of fame, the league’s website said on Wednesday. “This is very exciting news, I can’t really put into words or describe what this honour means to me”, the website quoted Larionov, who retired in 2004, as saying. The 47-year-old Russian, nicknamed “the Professor”, is a two-time Olympic Champion, six-time World Champion, and three-time winner of the Stanley Cup. “So many great players from the 1900s to the current day are in the Hockey Hall of Fame. This truly is a great honour”, he said. Larionov will be the fifth Russian to be included in the NHL Hall of Fame after Anatoly Tarasov, Vladislav Tretyak, Vyacheslav Fetisov, and Valery Kharlamov. The official 2008 Induction Celebration is scheduled for 10 November and will be held at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, Canada.

18 June 2008


Russia beat Sweden 2-0

Russia gave a dazzling display against Sweden in Innsbruck Wednesday night, winning 2-0 to secure a place in the last eight of the European soccer championships. With Andrei Arshavin, who was playing for the first time in the tournament after a two-game suspension and Roman Pavlyuchenko both scoring, Russia gave their best performance of the championship to set up a quarterfinal match with the Netherlands in Basel on 21 June. The Dutch coach of Team Russia, Guus Hiddink said after the match that he was proud of the Russian team. “I am proud of them. If you saw the performance tonight and how they tried to get the first goal as soon as possible, it was incredible. The only criticism… is that we didn’t score enough”. Coach Hiddink said he was looking forward to Saturday’s match against the Netherlands and said it would be “a special one because I know the players and their coach”.

19 June 2008


Russian President, press, and players hail progress at Euro 2008

Russia’s 2-0 victory over Sweden on Wednesday night at Euro 2008 has been praised by the country’s president, media, and players as a gigantic step forward in the development of the national game. It was the 19th century writer, Nikolai Gogol who said that Russia’s two greatest misfortunes were its roads and its fools, to which the Russian people, with equal measures of irony and spite, added soccer in the late 20th century. However, after Wednesday’s win ensured that Russia would make it out of the group stage at a major tournament for the first time since the collapse of the USSR, that list may have just got shorter.

“It was a good achievement”, said Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, a long-time FC Zenit St Petersburg fan. “We are going further!” screamed the headlines on the newspaper Sovetski Sport. “We can take on any side as equals”, said Russian captain Sergei Semak after the game, adding, “We are afraid of no one!” It was not just the result that impressed; the skill shown by the Russian players in carving out chance after chance was a joy to watch and had pundits all over the world gushing. “They are just fabulous to watch, this Russia side. Are you watching Holland?” wrote the BBC, with ex-Chelsea player Pat Nevin adding, “Russia could have won by six goals tonight and it would have been a fair result. Sweden hasn’t played that badly but they have been beaten by a far, far, better side”.

Since taking over the side in 2006, Dutch trainer Guus Hiddink has worked wonders with the Russian team, ridding it of the ultra-cautious tactics that stifled the potential of earlier squads. As a foreigner, Coach Hiddink has been able to stay out of inter-club squabbles and has shown an enviable courage in refusing to be dictated to by the country’s soccer chiefs. The man Coach Hiddink built his side around, Andrei Arshavin, missed the side’s first two games at Euro 2008 through suspension, but, his return to the side caused panic in the Swedish defence as Russia got the win they needed and deserved. Russia will now face Coach Hiddink’s native Holland in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Whatever happens in that match, the team has made history, and with the 2010 World Cup always Coach Hiddink’s real target, soccer in Russia looks to be making a long awaited comeback.

Viktor Chernomyrdin, the country’s prime minister prior to the 1998 financial crisis that wiped out the life savings of many Russians, once said, “We hoped for the best, but, things turned out like they always do”. The phrase was subsequently adopted by the country’s sportswriters and quoted throughout Russian soccer’s long dark night of the soul. After Wednesday’s display, coupled with FC Zenit St Petersburg’s UEFA Cup victory in May, it could be a long time before the phrase sees the light of day again.

19 June 2008


Commission says Dakar legend Chagin innocent of French racer’s death

Vladimir Chagin of Team Kamaz, five-time winner of the Dakar Rally

A commission set up to investigate the tragic death of a French motorcyclist during the Trans-Oriental Rally event ruled on Thursday that Russia’s Team Kamaz was not to blame for the incident. French motorcyclist Philippe Tonin was killed on Tuesday after his KTM bike was hit by a Kamaz truck, piloted by five-time Dakar Rally Champion Vladimir Chagin of Russia, on the sixth stage of the 17-day rally marathon between Qaratubak and Torgai in Kazakhstan. “The commission reached the verdict that it sees no guilt in the actions of Vladimir Chagin’s crew”, the Kamaz Team website said in a statement.

According to the investigation, Chagin’s Kamaz caught up with the French racer, who ignored signals given by Chagin that he intended to pass him. The track was turning left and the Russian decided to pass the motorcyclist on the right and later return to the track, but, Tonin all of a sudden also veered right. The team also said in a statement that it viewed the death as a tragedy, the first in the team’s 20-year history of participation in various rally events. Chagin and the whole team expressed their condolences to Tonin’s relatives and friends. The Trans-Oriental Rally event began on 12 June in St Petersburg and is scheduled to finish on 28 June in Beijing. In all, 300 racers from 25 countries are taking part in the event.

19 June 2008


Team Kamaz withdraws from Trans-Oriental after French racer’s death

Crews of all three Russian Team Kamaz trucks withdrew on Thursday from the Trans-Oriental Rally event due to the death of a French racer earlier in the week. French motorcyclist Philippe Tonin was killed on Tuesday after his KTM bike was hit by a Kamaz truck, piloted by five-time Dakar Rally Champion Vladimir Chagin of Russia, on the sixth stage of the 17-day rally marathon between Qaratubak and Torgai in Kazakhstan. The team made the decision to withdraw from the race, even though earlier in the day a special commission set up to investigate into the tragic death of Tonin had ruled that Chagin and his crew were not to blame for the incident. “Although he was not blamed, Vladimir Chagin believes that due to ethical reasons he has no right to carry on with the race because, indirectly, he feels a sense of guilt for the death of Tonin”, said Semyon Yakubov, the head of the Kamaz team.

19 June 2008


Russia looks to stun Holland at Euro 2008

The Russian national team play Holland at Euro 2008 on Saturday evening as Guus Hiddink looks to lead Russia to victory against his homeland and a place in the semi-finals. Russia made the quarter-finals after beating Sweden 2-0 on Wednesday, turning in possibly their best performance since the split up of the USSR in the process. The only negative point is that Russia should have scored more.

Holland meanwhile have steamrolled their way to the last eight, beating Italy 3-0, France 4-1, and Romania 2-0 in their group games. While Holland is the firm favourite, many pundits are tipping Russia to pull off an upset. Some 85,000 Dutch fans are expected to attend the match, to be played in the Swiss city of Basel. Around 5,000 Russian fans are expected.

Coach Hiddink revealed that he would sing the words to the Russian anthem before the game, “If I knew the words”. “We have reached our goal, which was not easy, which was to qualify for the quarter-finals”, Coach Hiddink earlier told journalists. “But, we are not satisfied with that, because I want Russian football and the Russian team to make its progress step by step. Now, we are going to look for the next step”, he added. Whatever happens on Saturday evening, Coach Hiddink has restored Russian pride in its national team, for so long the cause of disappointment and shame. The game kicks off at 20.45 local time (22.45 Moscow time (14.45 EDT)). It will be shown live on the First Channel.

21 June 2008


Russia outclasses Holland to make Euro 2008 semis

Russia turned on the style on Saturday night to defeat Holland in extra time and make the semi-finals of Euro 2008. After the first half had ended goalless, Roman Pavlyuchenko got on the end of a clever move involving Sergei Semak and the outstanding Andrei Arshavin to give Russia the lead in the 56th minute. With just four minutes on the clock, Ruud van Nistelrooy headed home from a free-kick to level the score and send the game into extra time.

However, Russia’s Dutch trainer Guus Hiddink, the man who in less than two years has transformed the Russian team into a side that plays modern, attractive soccer, sent his side back out fired up, and in the 112th minute Arshavin again broke down the left to set up a goal for Dmitri Torbinsky. Holland threw men forward, but Russia held firm, and Arshavin broke with minutes remaining to bury the ball in the Dutch net and send his team into the semi-finals.

“We believed in victory and the people believed”, Russia’s goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev said after the game. A tearful Arshavin, choking back emotion, praised Coach Hiddink as a “wise trainer”. It was not only the victory that impressed, against a side which had earlier beaten world champions Italy 3-0 and world vice-champions France 4-1, but, the manner in which Russia defeated the Dutch. “I don’t want to talk big words now”, said Coach Hiddink, “but, I told the players after Holland equalised it that we can do it”. His players proved him right. The beautiful game, so long a source of anguish and shame in modern Russia, is now alive and well in the world’s largest country. As Russia marched into the last four, an achievement unthinkable after the team had lost 4-1 to Spain in their first game just over a week ago, their fans swarmed into the streets to celebrate until dawn.

22 June 2008




On the Unity of the Church

Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine (1935- ), First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church of the MP, the only canonical Ukrainian Orthodox body in the world, a true confessor of the Faith


At present, the problem of maintaining church unity is especially acute in the Ukraine. This crisis exists both on the dogmatic and canonical planes. However, we should not forget to examine its moral aspects, as well. Today, when the discussion turns to the church schism existing in our country, it is not unusual to hear some people say that some of the church canons are no longer valid, they are declared to be allegedly obsolete, and they made sense only under particular circumstances that long ago passed into history. As a rule, these statements come from those in the quasi-church intelligentsia or political leaders with vestigial ties with the Church. Such sorts are obsessed with ideas of a national self-consciousness and a “state Church”, and they defend the initiators and organisers of schisms explicitly.

Without reflecting deeply on the nature of the Church as a unified divine-human construct, they articulate demands to eliminate immediately the existing divisions amongst the faithful. In this case, they argue that contemporary life is different from the past, and the old canons have changed from being instruments of the protection of the church order into being mechanisms of constraint, which obstruct the development of the living spirit in the Church and the accomplishment of necessary transformations in it. They suggest that one of the main conditions for overcoming schisms in the Church is not to proceed in the “obsolete” canonical way, but, we should search for new ways to do so. That is, they propose that we should not approach the reunification of schismatics with the canonical Church through repentance, but, we should do so in such a way as to spare them the anguish of a moral dilemma. However, in the first place, schismatics must humble their self-importance before the conciliar opinion of the Church. The canonical way also demands that schismatics renounce their posts and honours; this is to kill their pride and love of power.

The approach of the radical consolidators invariably causes indignation in those who are cognisant of the church tradition and who are zealous for its preservation. This is understandable, since any challenge to the canons of the Church is unacceptable from the point of view of Evangelical morals!

In the Gospel according to St John, in Chapter 17, we find the High Priestly prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ, where He turns to His Father and prays for His believers. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me… And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (The Gospel according to St John 17.21, 26). One can readily see that Our Saviour teaches that there is interdependency between the unity of the faithful and their mutual love. Our Lord Jesus Christ likens this unity of all Christians to the unity found in the love of God the Father and God the Son.

Holy Rus

Mikhail Nesterov



This is what we are called to, not meetings, “town halls”, or conferences!


Thus, together with the spiritual and moral unity of Christians in the Church there is also a moral unity through the love of our Lord Christ. It seems to me that this is precisely the way we must carry on if we wish to find the key to the problem of church unity, for it shall be only with the aid of such love that we shall be able to resolve all the vexing questions surrounding the preservation of the unity of the Church.

We must not change anything in the church canons, for such is unnecessary. Of course, there are many important questions that require an in-depth examination by the forthcoming Archpastoral Council. We must discuss the language of church services; we must define the concepts of “canonical territory”, “local church”, and “autocephaly”. However, we must never forget that a true churchly answer to such questions is only possible in the context of the moral ground of the Evangelical truth. If we approach them precisely from such a position, then, such motivations as “I want”, “I have the right”, “I deserve this”, and other such demands, cannot even be seen as admissible, for we would see their nonconformity to ordinary Christian morals.

Shall it bring spiritual benefit to people and bring them closer to God if church reforms are justified using selfish motives? What value in the eyes of God do the so-called “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” and the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate” have, seeing as they originated in political intrigues, nationalist ideology, and the realisation of personal ambitions? I think that you would agree that this is not only the sin of individuals who strayed from the Church, but, indeed, one can say that these bodies are sinful, for we see that a coterie of individuals following their own personal interests led trusting believers astray, retreating from the ideal of unity in love. Therefore, a personal sin was converted into a collective one, which is heavier of its nature, and its repentance is considerably more difficult, since we all know that the sin of schism is so severe that even the blood shed in martyrdom does not cleanse it.

Such people can be compared with the Prodigal Son in the Gospel parable, who lived in complete contentment in his father’s house until a devilish temptation led him to demand his portion of the inheritance immediately. Why? Perhaps, his father offended his son, or, he chased him from the house, or, did he ask him to do hard and humiliating labour? Did the demanded inheritance benefit the Prodigal Son? No. The Prodigal Son “lived prodigally”. So it is in both church schisms in the Ukraine. Both their founders and their supporters in the nomenklatura and nominally-Orthodox politicians had the entire abundance of the Heavenly Father in prayerful union with the Mother Church; nevertheless, they chose to leave it. As for the foundation of those bodies born as a result of this schism, they have nothing in common with the true nature of the Church.

Today, the founders of the so-called “Association of Orthodox Branches”, who came out of the bosom of the canonical Church, assert that the interests of the state and nation insist that this group, and this is the main thing, by the way, is mandated by the need for freedom. Of course, this is not that freedom that, according to the words of the Apostle, is given with the knowledge of the truth; rather, it is the same “freedom” that impelled the Prodigal Son to wander “to a far country”. Those influential modern politicians and government officials who consider their mission to be the support of church reunification efforts in the Ukraine should learn from the example the recent reunion of the ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate.


Metropolitan Laurus Škurla of New York and Eastern America [1928-2008] (Left) and Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all Russia (1929- ), at the MP/ROCOR reconciliation service at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on 17 May 2007


The ROCOR was separated from the Moscow Patriarchate as a result of the Russian revolution of 1917, and for many years it followed a separate path, but, by the beginning of the 21st century, it realised that unity in love is the sole principle of existence in the grace-bearing Orthodox Church. The internal prerequisites for the reunification of the two branches of the Russian Church matured, and it took place willingly, naturally, and without coercion on the part of either party. It is must be understood that the possibility to found the mechanisms of reconciliation was possible because there was a mutual desire for reunion.

Today, we in the Ukraine have the capability to facilitate a harmonious return of the leaders and followers of the so-called “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” and the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate” to the bosom of the Holy Orthodox Church. In any case, it is necessary to understand that there is no grace in a church community that does not consider opposition to the hierarchy and the fullness of the Holy Mother Church a sin. There is no salvation where there is no mutual love and unity in Christ, where one part of the believers attacks another, where sinful pride does not make it possible to say, “Yes, we were wrong! Forgive us, brothers!” Is it necessary for us to fall into the mire for us to understand this, as did the Prodigal Son in the parable of the Lord?  Is there no faith in the Saviour, who tells us that the Father anxiously awaits the Prodigal Son, always awaits his repentance, and yearns for his return?

Only if we overcome hostility and dissension and restore our unity on the basis of Christian love shall the words of the Saviour apply to us, Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world (The Gospel according to St John 17.24). Only through love and unity can we achieve union with Christ in the Heavenly Kingdom, I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me (The Gospel according to St John 17.23).

13 June 2008

Archbishop Avgustin Markevich of Lvov and Galich

Arkhiereiski Sobor Russkoi Pravoslvanoi Tserkvi 2008

Official website of the Archpastoral Council of the Moscow Patriarchate 2008


A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… The Military Budget and the Electoral Race

US Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) (1948- ), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee


Although the American electoral race is just entering its final stage, hundreds of speeches have already been made, a variety of subjects broached, and insulting remarks and what is known as below-the-belt blows exchanged by the presidential candidates. Furthermore, the presidential hopefuls never missed a chance to lash out at Russia. However, there is one thing that they’ve made no mention of. The White House’s draft of next year’s federal budget is left unmentioned. After Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND), the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, became acquainted with the incredibly big three-trillion-dollar  (70.553 trillion roubles. 1.922 trillion euros. 1.517 trillion UK pounds) budget, he accused the outgoing President of leaving a legacy of “utter disaster”.

Unfortunately, it isn’t only the bloated budget for 2009 that the problem boils down to. I assume that presidential candidates have to decide how they’re going to feel about the biggest military spending of the post-Second World War years. The military budget of the USA tops the total of the military budgets of all other nations taken together. Plans to spend nearly 500 billion dollars (11.758 billion roubles. 320 billion euros. 252 billion UK pounds) in all sorts of military ventures are what the next President of the United States shall inherit from President Bush. The black hole of the war in Iraq is where a good part of that money is likely to go. Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner and professor at Harvard University, speaks in his new book about “the three trillion dollar (see above) war” in Iraq, that there’s no such thing as a free war. The reckless war in Iraq definitely weakened the US economy. It’s impossible to spend three trillion dollars (see above) on a sure-to-be-lost war and evade payment for doing this.

What that celebrated Harvard professor speaks about, a weaker economy and today’s economic recession, is the price that the USA has to pay for its military operation in Iraq. Oh… one other thing. According to Professor Stiglitz, America has to pay a price for the highly ambitious strategy for national security known as the Bush Doctrine. That document says that America should aim for military superiority because the USA should rely on only on itself, for if it fails to recruit other nations to join it, it should have the strength to launch unilateral efforts. The Bush Doctrine explains why the USA has heated up the arms race and boosted its arms spending, and this presses down an unbearable burden on the national economy.



Anxious to make both ends meet and reduce the steadily-growing budget deficit, President Bush did what no other President has done; he raised his hand against as many as 140 major national social programmes. With the Bureau of the Census claiming that more than 37 million Americans live below the poverty line, the 43rd President of the United States asks Congress to axe what are vitally-important safety-net programs for his needier compatriots. This is the price that Americans have to pay for the onerous military doctrines drawn up by ambitious Washingtonian policymakers. What shall bring them to reason? It looks like a defeat in the reckless war in Iraq cooked up by the think-tank creators of the Bush doctrine doesn’t, the drawn-out war in Afghanistan doesn’t, the economic problems that explain the shrinking dollar don’t, and, even more, the worldwide wave of anti-American feeling doesn’t. Attempts are being made to saddle the USA and its next President with a record-high military budget that might destroy the ailing national economy.

This makes the silence in the speeches of the presidential contenders unnatural and almost inexplicable. I can find no mention, let alone criticism, of the well-known and notorious Bush Doctrine in what the contenders in the electoral race said. The new round of the arms race isn’t a topic for discussion in electoral debates. However, attempts to cut corners and replace concentration on crucial national problems with idle talk are unrealistic and worthless, from the point of view of politics. No matter what happens, the next President of the USA shall have to bear a heavy burden of obligation to settle those problems.

14 March 2008

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



In their own Words…

Filed under: internet — 01varvara @ 00.00

Together Forever: Russia and the Ukraine

Some may wonder why I feel so strongly about so-called Ukrainians. Well, the following comment (now deleted) showed up in my combox. I shall not mince my words. I have heard variations on this theme for years. I am tired of being attacked merely for being Russian, and being blamed for everything from the common cold to cancer. The crudeness is not rare, it is common, unfortunately.

The 300 year horrific rule of Mucovy over Ukraine is coming to fast end. Out of Ukraine you fucking Muscovite bastards ! Take your Russian Orthodox anti-Christ Church elders with you. Get The message should be very clear to you Moskali Russians: Get the fuck out of Ukraine !!! Now !!!

This is why I pray that Russia reasserts its ancient role in its south and wipes the Ukrainian successor-state off the map. It cannot happen soon enough.

Vara Drezhlo

Saturday 21 June 2008

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