Voices from Russia

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Russia Calls for United Front to Combat Drug Threat

Nyet Narkotikam! No to Drugs!

Today is International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drug Trafficking. It was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1987. Moscow students are holding a demonstration with the slogan, Be Stronger Than Drugs! Its aim is to raise the awareness of young people to the danger of drug addiction and to shape a negative attitude to drugs and the illicit drug business. Similar demonstrations shall take place all across the country.

Five years ago, a special federal agency was set up to fight the growing drug threat. About 130,000 drug dealers and traffickers have been arrested and some 2,500 criminal groups have been liquidated over the past five years. More than 171 tons of narcotics and psychotropic substances have been seized, including 7 tons of heroin.

Drug abuse is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind. As this is a global threat, it requires coordinated efforts of the entire world community. Nikolai Bordyuzha, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization which comprises Russia, Belarus, Armenia, and four Central Asian countries, has called for building an international anti-drug coalition. “We started working in 2003, within the framework of the Channel operation, aiming to cut off drug transportation routes from Afghanistan. As soon as it became clear that the operation was a success, 17 countries, nearly all CIS member-states, joined the CSTO. We should deepen this cooperation and, then, many countries along the perimeter of the Afghan border shall join in”.

Afghanistan remains the world’s leading opium supplier. The creation of a cordon sanitaire around it would help cut off and completely eliminate drug trafficking channels. The NATO-led security forces in Afghanistan could play an important role in the international anti-drug struggle.

26 June 2008

Yevgeny Kryshkin

Voice of Russia World Service



Metropolitan Juvenaly says the Archpastoral Council shall Complete Canonical Unification of Orthodox Church

Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomna (1935- ), Patriarchal Vicar for Moscow

According to Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomna, the current Archpastoral Council in Moscow is expected to complete the canonical unification of the Orthodox Church began last year. On 17 May 2007, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, the late Metropolitan Laurus, arrived in Moscow to sign the Act of Canonical Communion to put an end to a 90-year split with the main branch of the Church. After the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, some Russian priests, who could not accept the new political régime, moved abroad to continue the tradition of Orthodoxy there.

However, the act did not automatically remove all the differences between the two branches, as over the past 90 years the ROCOR adopted a range of rules which ran counter to those of the main branch. The process of canonisation of the Russian saints and martyrs killed in the atheist Soviet Union in 1920s and 30s turned out to be a bone of contention between the hierarchs.

During the Archpastoral Council, Metropolitan Juvenaly delivered a report on the issue. “The Russian Orthodox Church gives scrupulous attention to canonisation, and the hierarchs discuss each case separately. For us, it is important to understand whether a priest killed by the Soviet atheists really deserves to be listed among the Orthodox saints. As of today, 1,765 priests are honoured as saints, 177 of them having been added to the list over the past 4 years. The ROCOR used other means to decide on canonisation. The ROCOR did not know the names of the martyred priests, as all the information they managed to get abroad came from the Soviet papers. They canonised all repressed and executed Orthodox priests”.

Different methods of canonisation caused numerous differences between the split branches of the Orthodox Church. Even after reunification, the two branches still do not have a common calendar of saints. Metropolitan Juvenaly believes that the two branches have to overcome these differences and agree on the issue of canonisation to strengthen the authority of Orthodoxy worldwide.

26 June 2008

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

There is much more to this than meets the eye initially. Take for instance, “Metropolitan Juvenaly believes that the two branches have to overcome these differences and agree on the issue of canonisation to strengthen the authority of Orthodoxy worldwide”. That is, Moscow’s main preoccupation is the strengthening of the Church globally. Anything that stands in the way of this goal is going by the wayside. This is VERY bad news for the OCA. At present, the only Local Church that accepts its autocephaly is Moscow, and all others in communion with the OCA do so in view of its acceptance by Moscow, although no other Local Church considers this action canonical.

No doubt, Metropolitan Juvenaly is signalling the imminent lifting of the Tomos of Autocephaly, as it does not “strengthen the authority of Orthodoxy worldwide”. Is that why George Schaeffer’s title is Bishop “of Mayfield”? At present, there are not enough ROCOR parishes in the region to merit a diocese, but, if sufficient OCA parishes were to reconcile themselves with the Mother Church… These signs are small, indeed, but, do recall that mighty oaks grow from tiny acorns. We are on the verge of great things, and the order we have accustomed ourselves to in American Orthodoxy for the past two generations is passing away irrevocably.

Note well the source. Metropolitan Juvenaly is Patriarch Aleksei’s satrap and right hand. If he says something, one can assume it is His Holiness’ viewpoint.

May God have mercy on us all.


A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Wishful Thinking


The official admission that the ranks of redundant workers grew by five percent, swelling more than they ever did in the previous twenty years, puts an end to debates on what’s hit the United States, what President Bush describes as limited economic recession or a full-scale economic crisis. One of the most respected global financial institutions, Merrill Lynch, feels the much-feared economic crisis has begun. The unemployment rate has risen five percent, which adds the last missing link to the mosaic of critical developments. An opinion poll, ordered by the CNN television network, shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans, 78 percent, decided, without consulting their financial gurus, that the economic situation was unacceptably poor. The White House’s attempts to pretend everything was alright left Americans unimpressed.

So did the highly ambitious and highly advertised plan for the encouragement of economic development and the alleviation of the current and yet-to-come crises, which President Bush revealed to the masses last January. With dark clouds gathering in the sky over America, President Bush called for accelerated economic growth. His ten-year plan is neither comprehensive nor down-to-earth. All it calls for is corporate tax reductions. Its opponents were quick to guess it’d widen the gap between budget revenues and budget spending and make things worse for the neediest Americans, instead of encouraging economic growth. Further developments add weight to their point of view. Attempts to avert the crisis proved unsuccessful, and budget deficits and the public debt have skyrocketed. The Bush administration is fully responsible for this state of affairs. It inherited a budget surplus in 2001. In less than a year, the federal savings were reduced to nil and the federal budget entered a negative balance. Worse things are yet to come, as the negative difference between budget revenues and budget spending has grown ever since. Such is the price the USA has to pay for the resumption of the once-interrupted arms race. American military spending has grown by 62 percent under the Republican mandate.

Facts prove that powerful forces, which place their bets on military superiority, have no intention of stopping the arms race which threatens this planet and may bleed white their own country, the USA. They intend to continue this arms race after the Bush administration steps down. There’s no other explanation for the decision to earmark more than half a trillion dollars (11.728 trillion roubles. 317.75 billion euros. 251.7 billion UK pounds) for military spending in next year’s federal budget. Half a trillion dollars spells a 74 percent increase in the Pentagon’s spending compared to eight years ago and is seen as the biggest military allocation of the post-World War II period. The military spending of the USA tops that of all other nations, taken together. It’s important to point out that Washington resumed the arms race two years before the synchronised terrorist attacks on America. Antiterrorist action provided an excuse for the arms race and the invasion of Iraq.

It has since become clear that even the powerful American economy can’t afford to carry that enormous burden of military spending. A key member of the Reagan Administration, Paul Craig Roberts, said in a recent appearance on television that the financially-burdensome war in Iraq was speeding up the economic and political collapse of the USA. It isn’t for nothing that words like “collapse” are used by people of Paul Craig Roberts’ stature. The latest developments in the US economy highlight the ineffectiveness of the White House’s strategies of the past few years. Powerful as it may be, no nation can afford to play the role of the global government. President Medvedev dismisses plans to do so as wishful thinking. However, will future helmsmen of America be capable of shaking off the dangerous burden of wishful thinking and drawing the right sort of conclusions from the current developments?

20 June 2008

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



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