Voices from Russia

Monday, 23 June 2008

For The First Time, the Holy Synod of the MP Confirmed an Episcopal Election in the ROCOR


St John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Mayfield PA, the episcopal seat of the future Bishop George Schaeffer of Mayfield (ROCOR)

For the first time, the Holy Synod of the MP confirmed an episcopal election in the ROCOR at its session in Moscow on Monday. Under the leadership of Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, the members of the Synod confirmed the election of Archpriest John Shaw, a cleric of the Diocese of Chicago and the Midwest, to be Bishop of Manhattan and Vicar of the Diocese of New York and Eastern America. Prior to his elevation to the episcopate, Fr John shall be tonsured into monasticism and advanced to the rank of archimandrite. At the same meeting, the Synod confirmed the election of Archimandrite George Schaeffer of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY as Bishop of Mayfield and Vicar of the Diocese of New York and Eastern America and Archimandrite Theodosius Ivashchenko to be Bishop of Seattle and Vicar of the Diocese of Western America.

In doing this, the Holy Synod confirmed the application of Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the ROCOR, concerning the three men chosen as bishops at the Archpastoral Council of the ROCOR held in May. According to Article 7 of the Act of Canonical Communion, the bishops of the ROCOR are elected by its Archpastoral Council, or, in those cases provided for in the Act, by its Holy Synod. Following this, the candidates for the episcopate must be confirmed by the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias and the Holy Synod of the MP.

23 June 2008




Archpastoral Council to Convene in Moscow

The Archpastoral Council of the Moscow Patriarchate shall convene Tuesday in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and shall be in session until Sunday, 29 June. Ruling hierarchs from all over Russia, the CIS countries, and foreign dioceses, as well as vicar bishops in charge of Synodal Organisations and Theological Academies, arrived in Moscow to attend the Archpastoral Council. For the first time ever, a delegation of the ROCOR, headed by Metropolitan Hilarion of New York and Eastern America, shall participate in the Council.

The opening ceremony of the Council shall be preceded by a Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Three plenary sessions are planned for the first day and Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias shall give a report to the assembled hierarchs. The Council is expected to focus on issues of Church unity. One of the major items on the Council’s agenda shall be the challenges posed by church schisms and attacks against the canonical church in the Ukraine. The Archpastoral Council coincides with the celebration of the 1,020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, which shall officially open during its session on Sunday 28 June.

The Council participants shall also approve documents stipulating the position of the MP regarding human rights, a Regulation on Ecclesiastical Tribunals, and address the universal glorification of Archbishop St John Maximovich of Shanghai, Paris, and San Francisco, a wonder-working hierarch of the ROCOR canonised by that body in 1994. The participants may also address some moral and ethical issues; in particular, they shall express the opposition of the Church to so-called “homosexual marriages”.

Patriarch Aleksei stated his intention to raise all needful issues at the Council “beneficial to the unity of the Church” and noted that all social problems were open to discussion by the MP episcopate. The Archpastoral Council, the highest church administrative body according to the local canons of the MP, is called into session every four years. The last such Council was held in 2004.

23 June 2008



23 June 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Orthodox Sacred Music Festival in Moscow

Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye



A festival of Orthodox sacred music shall take place in Moscow’s Kolomenskoye historical museum and preserve and the Nikolo-Ugreshsky monastery today to commemorate the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. The festival’s artistic director, Aleksei Puzakov, a renowned musician and Honoured Artist of Russia, said the programme boasted a wide range of spiritual music and chants composed by Orthodox bishops of Russia and the Ukraine.

22 June 2008



Russian Day at Sotheby’s Auction House in New York

A Portrait of Anna Grillkhes

Boris Grigoriev



Three canvases by the Russian avant-garde painter Boris Grigoriev, Peasants Playing Flutes, A Shepherd (a portrait of Nikolai Klyuyev), and A Man with a Pipe shall be put up for sale at Sotheby’s Auction House in New York. The paintings are owned by the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts in the USA.

22 June 2008



Music Festival in the Elysée Palace

French President Nicolas Sarkozy (1955- ) with his wife, Carla Bruni (1967- )



French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni welcomed numerous guests to a music festival in the Elysée Palace on Saturday. The idea originated with Ms Bruni, a fashion model-turned-pop singer, whose third album, Comme si de rien n’était (As If Nothing Had Happened), shall come out this summer.

23 June 2008



Moscow Culture Days festival Opens in Dushanbe

Ismail Samani Monument. Dushanbe (Federal Region) TAJIKISTAN


The Moscow Culture Days festival is getting under way in Dushanbe today. The chief Russian delegate to the event, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, is due to address an audience at Russian-Tajik (Slavonic) University. He shall receive a briefing on the construction of a residential complex built with the assistance of Russian businesses and shall also visit Russian military base 201. The guests shall pay a visit to the Museum of Tajik Antiquities, the location of a 14-metre-high (@46 foot-high) 7th century clay sculpture of the Buddha in Nirvana restored with the assistance of experts from St Petersburg. An exhibition of photos entitled A Tour Around Moscow kicked off in Tajikistan’s capital. Russian pop stars are due to perform in a square that’s been named after the 800th anniversary of Moscow.

23 June 2008



Waterloo Re-Enactors Battle Yet Again

The French Army again suffered a crushing defeat at Waterloo. A performance by military re-enactors took place this past weekend on the site of the famous battle, in which the Anglo-Prussian coalition defeated the Napoleonic troops 193 years ago. The battle reconstruction involved over 1,200 men, clad in the uniforms of the 19th century armies. They had come from 12 European countries to take part in the staging of the historical event.

23 June 2008


Voice of Russia World Service


Russian Theatre Art Collection to be shown in St Petersburg

Costume design for Cléopâtre

Lev Bakst



A 16 million dollar (378.13 million roubles. 10.302 million euros. 8.136 million UK pounds) collection of Russian theatre art from the late-19th to the early-20th century shall go on display at the St Petersburg State Museum of Theatre and Music, said Vladimir Kozhin, the head of a private foundation. The collection entitled Russian Theatre and Decorative Art of the 1880s to the 1930s, belonged to Nikita and Nina Lobanov-Rostovsky, and was bought by the St Petersburg-based International Konstantinovsky Charitable Fund. The deal was reached on 19 February, but Kozhin requested that the deal remain secret until early June. Prince Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky, a distinguished art collector, said he wanted the collection to be returned to Russia. The collection is currently being stored in Germany. “We didn’t bring it to Russia until we decided where to display it”, Kozhin said, who is also the Kremlin property chief, adding that the decision to exhibit the collection in St Petersburg was made two weeks ago.

The collection features over 800 watercolours, drawings, theatre posters, engravings, and gouaches by nearly 140 artists. The most important works include Lev Bakst’s costume designs for the ballets Cléopâtre, Thaïs, and Bayadère with Peacock, as well as Aleksandr Benois‘ costume designs for Le Pavillon d’Armide, and Giselle. The collection also includes Natalia Goncharova’s designs for Liturgie and Aleksandra Ekster’s designs for Aelita. The Lobanov-Rostovsky family fled Russia after the 1917 October Revolution when the Bolsheviks seized power. Prince Nikita Lobanov-Rostovsky was born in 1935 in Bulgaria and started his art collection in 1959. In 1987-1994, he donated 80 Russian drawings and a porcelain collection to Russian museums. In February, Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky donated two 20th century works of art to the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow worth 255,000 euros (9.359 million roubles. 396,024 USD. 201,378 UK pounds).

20 June 2008



23 June 2008. A Day at the Races…

Filed under: Russian,sport — 01varvara @ 00.00

Russia advances to Euro 2008 semi-finals

Russia advanced into the Euro 2008 semi-finals with a thoroughly deserved 3:1 extra-time win over the Netherlands in Basel on Saturday night. The sides were at 1:1 level on 90 minutes, but, goals from Dmitri Torbinsky and Andrei Arshavin finished off the Dutch team in the extra period. Russian coach Guus Hiddink said he was very proud of his team. The Russians will face off against Spain or Italy in the semi-finals in Vienna on Thursday.

22 June 2008


Spain feels that Team Russia is a dangerous rival

Luis Aragonés (1938- ), Coach of Team Spain

Spanish football team coach Luis Aragonés feels that the Russian team is a very dangerous rival. He made the admission right after the quarter-finals match between Spain and Italy at the European Football Championships, a game that the Spanish won with penalty shoot-outs. On the forthcoming game with the Russian team in the semi-finals, Coach Aragonés said that the Spaniards should forget about their beating Russians 4:1, since Team Russia has gained greatly in performance during the championships and it is now a very dangerous rival.

23 June 2008


Pelé skunked in Brazil

Pelé (Edison Arantes do Nascimento) (1940- ), international football legend from Brazil

The fact that former Brazilian footballer Pelé is world-famous failed to protect him from armed robbery in what proves to be a very unusual case, given the adulation and popularity in Brazil of the former striker of FC Santos and the Brazilian national football team. But, then, the occurrence could hardly be described as exceptional. Anyone who is a five-time world football champion and a legend in Brazil can be expected to be quite rich. Therefore, one would think that there might be quite a few people seeking to improve their quality of life at his expense.

23 June 2008


Kiel Week festivities in Germany

4,500 yachtsmen from 50 countries are tasking part in the traditional Kiel Week maritime festival. The yachting holiday, the biggest both in Germany and the world, expects to see a total of 3 million visitors. This year is its 114th anniversary and it is due to run until next Sunday.

23 June 2008


Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavliuchenko make it to the list of the 20 best footballers at Euro 2008

Andrei Arshavin and Roman Pavliuchenko made it to the list of the 20 best players of the present European football championship according to the rating of Castrol, the tournament’s statisticians. In keeping with the quarter-finals game results, Arshavin moved to ninth place in the overall rating, while Pavliuchenko is thus far 17th best. The best footballer of Euro 2008 is, according to Castrol statistics, David Villa of Spain. Arshavin and Pavliuchenko will take him on in the semi-finals match on Thursday. Thursday will be Team Russia’s second meet with the Spanish as part of the championships. Russia lost their first match to Spain 4:1.

23 June 2008


Wimbledon tennis tournament starts in London

Maria Sharapova (1987-), Russian tennis champion

The Championships, Wimbledon, open tennis competition, also known as the Wimbledon tournament, the most prestigious in the Grand Slam series, kicks off in London later today. Eight Russian women are among the 32 players seeded, specifically, Maria Sharapova, Yelena Dementyeva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dinara Safina, Anna Chikvetadze, Vera Zvonareva, Maria Kirilenko, and Nadezhda Petrova. Taking part in the Wimbledon tournament are also three Russian men, namely, Nikolai Davydenko, Mikhail Yuzhny, and Dmitri Tursunov.

23 June 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

Russia to seek revenge against Spain in Euro 2008 semis

Russia will face Spain in the semi-finals of Euro 2008 after the Spaniards defeated Italy on penalties on Sunday night to set up an encounter with Guus Hiddink’s resurgent side and its inspirational playmaker, Andrei Arshavin. It was a little under two weeks ago that Spain demolished Russia 4-1 in the opening match of Group D after a series of what Hiddink called “childish mistakes” undermined any attacking potential the Russians may have displayed.

However, with Russia looking to get out of their group for the first time since the split up of the USSR, the team showed real character to beat Greece 1-0 in their next game. The following match, against Sweden, saw the return of Arshavin, and Russia were a side revitalised, running rings around the ageing Swedish defence to win 2-0. Holland was next up, and with the elf-like genius of Arshavin creating chance after chance, Hiddink’s side ran out 3-1 winners, the Dutch coach Van Basten commenting that “on that performance, Russia is one of the strongest sides in the world”. Yuri Zhirkov, Russia’s attacking full-back, said after the Holland victory that, “If we can beat opponents like this; it really makes no difference who we play”.

Indeed, Spain is sure to find Russia an entirely different proposition from the team they humbled in Innsbruck on 10 June. The side is growing in confidence, and having already far exceeded domestic expectations, will be free to play with the same style and attacking nature they showed against Sweden and Holland. After the victory over the Dutch, some 700,000 Muscovites took to the streets of the Russian capital to celebrate, the largest spontaneous celebration in Moscow since the end of WWII.

The players, however, are not letting the win over Holland go to their heads. “We are full of emotion, but we’re trying to keep calm”, said Konstantin Zyrianov, the midfielder whose tireless running did much to crack the Dutch defence on Saturday. “Let the people back home celebrate, though, after all, we haven’t given them much to be happy about in recent years”. Some 10,000 Russian fans are expected to support their team in Vienna on 26 April. Those fans already in Austria and Switzerland for the tournament had their visas extended until two days after the final on 1 July. International and Russian bookmakers make Germany, who faces Turkey in Wednesday’s first semi-final, favourites to lift the trophy. Russia is at a generous 4-1.

23 June 2008


Russia’s Sharapova seen as favourite to win 2008 Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova (1987- ), Russian tennis champion, favoured to win the women’s side at Wimbledon

Seventeen Russian women and seven men will compete for the singles titles at the 2008 Wimbledon tennis tournament, the oldest and most prestigious Grand Slam, which kicked off Monday in Britain. Maria Sharapova, the No. 3 seed, is seen by many experts as the likely winner of the tournament, which would be her fourth Grand Slam and second Wimbledon, adding to the title she won as a teenager in 2004. Sharapova began this year by winning her third Grand Slam at the Australian Open and is ranked No. 2 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association after Serbia’s Anna Ivanovic, who is also the tournament’s top seed.

The Russian women competing for this year’s singles title also include Svetlana Kuznetsova (seeded 4), Yelena Dementyeva (5), Anna Chakvetadze (8), Dinara Safina (9), Vera Zvonareva (13), Maria Kirilenko (19), Nadezhda Petrova (21), Yelena Vesnina, Yekaterina Bychkova, Vera Dushevina, Alisa Kleibanova, Alla Kudryavtseva, Yekaterina Makarova, Anastasiya Pavlyuchenkova, Yevgenia Rodina and Galina Voskoboyeva. In comparison to the women’s competition, there are only seven Russians in the men’s singles, Nikolai Davydenko (seeded 4), Mikhail Yuzhny (17), Dmitri Tursunov, Marat Safin, Igor Andreyev, Igor Kunitsyn, and Yevgeny Korolyov.

The 2008 Wimbledon tennis championship runs until 6 July.

23 June 2008


Zidane praises Russian star Arshavin and his “great feet”

The legendary French international star Zinedine Zidane praised Russian star Andrey Arshavin, the player of the tournament so far at Euro 2008, and the target for a host of top European clubs. “I call him No. 10 because I can’t say his name properly. What he does at this stage is more difficult than at the World Cup because it’s the first big tournament he’s played in. I was very happy to see the type of football he played. He has great feet”, Zidane told journalists before Sunday’s quarter-final between Spain and Italy in Vienna. “Everything he does is surprising. He’s very young and it’s his first major tournament, so, to be able to play the way he does is surprising enough to talk about”, Zidane said, according to the UEFA website.

Since returning to the side after missing the first two games of the tournament due to a two-match suspension earned for punching an Andorran player in Russia’s final qualifier in November, Arshavin has lit up Euro 2008, dribbling his way past first the Swedish, and, then, the Dutch defences and scoring a goal in each game. He also provided chance after chance for his often wasteful team-mates as Russia stormed to the semi-finals following a disappointing 4-1 defeat to Spain in their opening match. “Arshavin is a player who can decide very, very, fast where he can be a danger. He can turn left, right. He’s a very smart player”, said Russian coach Guus Hiddink. The Dutchman has transformed Russia from a side that failed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, losing 7-1 to Portugal along the way, to a team that plays modern and attractive football.

Already on the shopping list of a number of European sides following his performances in taking FC Zenit St Petersburg to a UEFA Cup victory in May, Arshavin’s elf-like genius looks to have attracted the attention of a number of the continent’s big guns with Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Arsenal rumoured to be preparing bids. Arshavin, an avid Barcelona fan, would prefer to play in Spain. Even if his dream move to the Nou Camp fails to come about, it seems certain that the most talented Russian player of his generation will quit St Petersburg before the end of the Russian season in November.

“It’s possible that the time has come to try my strength at another club. I know that there’s been interest from England and Germany, but, I would like to play in Spain. There haven’t been any offers from Spanish clubs yet, though”, Arshavin told the Spanish paper AS. “Andrei dreams of playing for Barcelona”, Russian football chief Vitaly Mutko told the Spanish newspaper Sport on Monday. “It is, together with the Russian national team, his favourite team”. FC Zenit’s Dutch coach Dick Advocaat already said that Arshavin has told FC Zenit that he wants a move abroad. “Arshavin told us his intention is to change clubs”, he said. “And we are already looking for a replacement, if his departure is confirmed”. Russia faces Spain on Thursday in the semi-finals of Euro 2008. It would be hard to imagine a better stage for Arshavin to rid the Barcelona bosses of any doubts they may have about adding him to their ranks.

23 June 2008



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