Voices from Russia

Saturday, 5 July 2008

St Nicholas Church: Orthodox Holy Place or Uniate Advance Post?

In the old historical part of Kiev, in Podole, where popular tourist routes intersect, at the head of Pokrovskoi Street, it is possible to see a church built in the characteristic 17th century Moscow style of architecture, which, surprising many visitors to the city, is a non-Orthodox establishment. In the store that is attached to the church it is possible to buy a guidebook released by the Svichado publishing house of Lvov that gives some information on the history of this Kiev landmark. However, this is a publication aimed at tourists; so, it is unable to give a complete idea of the complicated history of this Orthodox holy place, which, for some 15 years now, has been taken over by a group of Ukrainian Uniates.

According to local legend, in Old Russian times there was a church dedicated to St Nicholas on the spot where the church of St Nicholas the Good arose in the late 16th century. In the period of Polish rule, the Catholics exerted much pressure on the parish to join Uniatism. The parish of St Nicholas the Good, without counting the cost, remained staunchly Orthodox. It is significant to note that the peak of the parish complex that grew around the church was reached in the glory days of the Russian Empire, and, in 1807, a new stone structure was erected. At the time of the Revolution in 1917, besides the main church, there was a church dedicated to the Great Martyr St Barbara, a belfry, and a hostel for pilgrims that came to Kiev from all over the Russian Empire. In addition, there were other buildings for clergy residences and other utility purposes.

From the historical description found in St Nicholas the Good Church with Belfry in the City of Kiev: Description of the Complex, we learn that the benefactors of the church were the leaders of the Little Russian Cossacks, the petty bourgeoisie, merchants, and bureaucrats of the Russian Empire. For example, in the 1850s, the Governor of Kiev guberniya, Ivan Funduklei, gave 300 roubles for the repair of the church buildings. We should make special mention of the fact that amongst the benefactors of the church of St Nicholas the Good was Tsar Aleksandr I. He gave the parish title to land in the very centre of Kiev and two additional plots for building residences for the parochial clergy. The reason that this church was known all over Russia was its wonderworking icon of St Nicholas, which was a copy of the original in the Novosilsky Monastery in the diocese of Tula. Specifically, it is this venerated icon that gave the church its unusual name of St Nicholas the Good.

Today, the only structures of the imperial-era complex that survive are the three-storey belfry and the church of St Barbara, which was taken over in 1992 by Uniates led by Fr Valery Shkarubsky. No wonder that the Lvov publishers of the guidebook dedicated to the church of St Nicholas the Good did not report these or other interesting facts of its history, for these days, when Russia and the Ukraine have been forced apart, they acquire a special importance. For example, the authors call attention to the fact that in 1799 the Governor wished to tear down the decrepit church building then extant and move the faithful into adjoining parishes. In the guidebook, this is given the usual sensationalist slant by nationalist writers, according to which, the pre-Revolutionary Russian authorities were nothing but dictators and oppressors of the people, whereas they actually took many efforts for the betterment of the city of Kiev and its inhabitants. Without even touching on the problems raised by a group of Uniates taking over Orthodox church buildings erected during the time of the Russian Empire, the authors of the guidebook write in such a way as to mislead uninformed readers into thinking that the buildings of the complex were always in the hands of the Uniates!

Of course, it is needless to say that the present situation, caused by a decision of the Kiev authorities in 1992 to hand over the belfry and the church to the Uniates, seems unnatural and false to most Orthodox believers in Kiev. I think that the Uniates themselves understand the groundlessness of this decision, as one can see in such publications such as the article of Viktor Zaslavsky, “Blessed are the Peacemakers, or, the Heroes of Pokrovskaya Street” posted on the website of the Lvov Uniate University. In this publication, which includes a reference to the “small church of St Nicholas the Good”, sketches a sympathetic picture of the joint existence of Orthodox and Catholics in medieval Kiev, who, in the opinion of the author, united in both “a common cause and the general misfortune”. This is in defiance of the historical evidence.

Most of the preserved church structure is taken over by a commercial operation, the store of the Svichado publishing house. According to information published in the book The Unia in the Ukraine in the 20th Century written by Fr Aleksei Dobosh, Svichado is the largest Uniate publishing house in the Ukraine, which puts out, per year, some 60,000 different religious publications. The books shown in the shop windows are diverse in their subjects and cover a wide variety of topics from the retention and development of the Ukrainian language to family relations and sexual ethics. The Uniate parish that functions in the belfry chapel is widely-known because of its proselytism and propaganda, which its rector, Fr Valery Shkarubsky, carries out both in the Ukraine and abroad. He is well-known on the internet; he combines his pastoral duties with social and political activity in nationalistic circles.

He started his activity in Kiev in 1988, at first, holding services in various apartments, and later, in the offices of such offensive organisations such as Rukh and Prosvita. In the last years of the USSR, Valery Shkarubsky supported the close connection of those in the Western Ukraine with relations who had gone to the eastern regions to seek employment. He supported the illegal nationalistic organisation Spilka in Kharkov. By the way, the members of this movement can be “proud” of the fact that they were amongst the first to use in public marches the red-and-black banner of the OUN and UPA. In short, the activity of Valery Shkarubsky serves as evident proof of the fact that the Uniates, as seen by the actions of their most active members, lend support and aid to pro-Western and anti-Russian political forces.

It is significant that when he went to Moscow, he gave lectures entitled “The Ukrainian Church and the Special Features of its Confession” and “The Union of Brest and Pyotr Mogila” in one of the hatching-beds of the ideology of Ukrainian nationalism, the Ukrainian Historical Club of Moscow. At present, one of the priority items for the work of Valery Shkarubsky, a man that his supporters call a “great missionary”, is proselytising amongst the “Ukrainian diaspora” in Russia to get them to join the Uniate movement and organise parishes. Besides being the rector of the community in Kiev, Valery Shkarubsky also heads a Uniate parish in Moscow, which although it has been in existence for two decades, it does not have permanent accommodations. We should note that one can find out detailed information about other Uniate communities in Russia in the Ukrainian diaspora media, but, in this case, they do not even give out who its patron saint is.

Thus, the take-over of an ancient Orthodox church by the Uniates gave an organisational base for Uniate and Ukrainian nationalist propaganda both in the Ukraine and in Russia. It is obvious that the patriotic Orthodox community must oppose Uniatism and Catholic proselytism, it must insist upon historical justice and insist that this holy place be returned to its rightful owner, the canonical Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church of the MP.

1 July 2008

Andrei Shirokov

Orthodox Brotherhood of St Aleksandr Nevsky in Kiev

Official website of the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church (MP)

Quoted in Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=radio&div=895

Editor’s Note:

Many Orthodox are unaware of the vicious war waged against Orthodoxy by “Ukrainian” (actually, Galician) Uniates. These people are the fanatic soldiers of Rome; they even put the old Jesuits to shame. Do not forget that their hero Slipyj was a chaplain to the Galician SS. The Orthodox population in the western regions of the Ukraine has been subjected to outright persecution at the hands of these poseurs. Do not forget to pray for them. Likewise, the Orthodox population of Carpatho-Russia, led by the courageous priest Fr Dmitri Sidor, have suffered at the hands of these people.

The Orthodox in these regions, from bishops down to the smallest child, are standing up for the faith, and you must pray for them daily. Never forget that the strongest supporters of church unity are found precisely here, at the point of struggle. Do not let them down by showing wishy-washy behaviour in front of Catholics.

That is why you must reject ecumenism… no, not to break all contact with others… that would be wrong. Rather, one should gently reprove all Roman Catholics who think that union is around the corner because of the treacherous activities of Black Bart and his EP minions. We should not break contact, but, we should make it clear that collaboration with people of good will in projects for the common good is not the same as the sharing of the chalice. We should also make it clear that they must oppose those such as the Uniates who are oppressing others in the name of the Pope of Rome.

I fear that most Catholics would reject us if we made it clear that we are not going to accept the Pope under any circumstance. However, we must not be the ones to break contact. Let them do it… it shall be upon their souls, not ours.

BMD

Point of Action:

As a small bit for you to do, never use the spelling “Kyiv”, it is incorrect. Always use “Kiev”, for that is the correct usage. Do not encourage the Uniates in even the smallest ways. Also, in correct English usage, it is always “the Ukraine”, never “Ukraine”. In these little ways, you can help our Orthodox brothers by distracting the Uniate diaspora abroad. Do not give aid and comfort to those who are persecuting our brothers and sisters. You owe them that much.

5 July 2008. A Day at the Races…

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

Medvedev meets Russian National football team

President Medvedev once again congratulated the Russian National football team on winning a bronze medal at the Euro 2008 championships. He met with them Wednesday afternoon at a presidential retreat outside Moscow. A Russian team in the semi-finals of the European football championship is something not seen in 20 years.

2 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29173&cid=52&p=02.07.2008

Marat Safin enters Wimbledon semi-finals

Marat Safin (1980- ), Russian tennis star

Marat Safin advanced to the Wimbledon semi-final for the first time in his tennis career. On Wednesday, he beat Feliciano Lopez from Spain. He will play the World’s number-one player and five-time winner of Wimbledon, Roger Federer, from Switzerland. Marat Safin’s best achievement at Wimbledon was reaching the quarter-finals in 2001.

3 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29182&cid=52&p=03.07.2008

The children’s Olympic Games have started in the Russian republic of Yakutia

The Children of Asia International Games, considered by many an unofficial youth Olympics, started in the Russian republic of Yakutia. The slogan of the event is “From friendship in sports to world peace”. Competitions in 18 events, including football, artistic gymnastics, and track and field events will be held in the cities of Mirny, Neryungri, and Yakutsk. Over 2,000 young sportsmen from 18 countries are taking part in the competitions. Teams from Iran, Laos, Indonesia, Yemen, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan are attending the games for the first time.

3 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29198&cid=52&p=03.07.2008

Voice of Russia World Service

UEFA talks of Polish and Ukrainian problems preparing for Euro 2012

Michel Platini, the president of European soccer’s governing body, said Thursday that the Ukraine and Poland have problems in preparations for hosting Euro 2012. Mr Platini was wrapping up a two day visit to Poland and the Ukraine with a UEFA delegation to inspect the countries’ progress with the construction of stadiums, transport, and other infrastructure for the major European soccer event. Poland and the Ukraine were chosen to co-host the tournament in 2007, but, in January UEFA expressed its dissatisfaction with the start the countries had made getting ready for the event.

At a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, Mr Platini said the responsibility lay both with the host countries and UEFA, but, added that the current situation did not meet his expectations. Ms Timoshenko assured the UEFA president that yhe Ukraine would do everything possible to make Euro 2012 a true holiday for the world of soccer. Mr Platini said Wednesday that the results of the meetings and inspections in Poland and the Ukraine would go into a report to be discussed at a UEFA meeting in the fall.

“A report will then be given to the UEFA Executive Committee in order that they can fully review the situation in the two countries at our next meeting on 25 and 26 September in Bordeaux”, Mr Platini said. Before the Euro 2008 final last weekend, he denied that there were plans to move the tournament. Media reports have suggested Scotland was eager to host the event in case Poland and the Ukraine drop out, whilst Italy and Spain have also been mentioned as possible replacements.

3 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/sports/20080703/112926914.html

Editor’s Note:

A modest suggestion from Tyotya Vara… Move the championship to Moscow, where there IS enough infrastructure to support a proper tourney, and a proper government, not the Keystone Cops lot in Kiev. It would be done right proper and smartly, no excuses given, thank you very much! Vivat Rossiya!

BMD

Russian-Australian Tszyu says fight with movie star Jackie Chan cancelled

Kostya Tszyu (1969- ), famous Russian-Australian welterweight boxing champion, the “Thunder from Down Under”

Russian boxer Kostya Tszyu said Thursday he would go to the Beijing Olympics only to support his boxing compatriots as his exhibition fight with Chinese actor-director and martial artist Jackie Chan had been cancelled. In April, Tatiana Trubnikova, one of the exhibition fight organisers, said Chan liked the idea of the demonstration fight and gave his preliminary permission, but, approval was needed from the Chinese Olympic Committee, as Chan is China’s official face for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. “There will be no fight with Jackie Chan”, said Tszyu, the undisputed junior welterweight world champion. “At first, the Chinese authorities gave their permission, but, then, after considering all the details, decided that the Olympic ambassador should not be punched in the face”. The 54-year-old Hollywood star has been given the honoured privilege of singing the Chinese national anthem at the Olympic opening ceremony on 8 August.

3 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20080703/112928045.html

Russian pair through to mixed doubles semifinal at Wimbledon

Maria Kirilenko (1987- ), Russian tennis star

Russian pair Maria Kirilenko and Igor Andreev won their mixed double match at Wimbledon to book a place in the semi-finals and a chance to take on the number one seeds. The two Russians beat third seeds Pavel Vizner and Kveta Peschke from the Czech Republic in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday in a one-sided match that the Russians never really looked like losing. They will hope to enjoy more success than their compatriot, Elena Dementieva who lost her semi-final match against Venus Williams Thursday, when they meet the top-seeds, American Mike Bryan and Katarina Srebotnik from Slovenia.

4 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/sports/20080704/112952758.html

WBA decides on Valuev vs Ruiz heavyweight title bout

Nikolai Valuev (1973- ), heavyweight boxing champion, 2.13 metres (7 feet) tall, 147 kilos (324 pounds) in weight. Shall you escort me home, sir? I’ll warrant I’ll have NO troubles with Kolya at my side!

The World Boxing Association approved a heavyweight title fight between former champions Nikolai Valuev of Russia and John Ruiz as current titleholder Ruslan Chagaev of Uzbekistan is unable to defend it due to health problems. Boris Dimitrov, a manager of the “The Beast from the East” Valuev (48-1, 34 KO), said the bout had been tentatively set for 30 August. “The final decision on the date and place of the bout will be made in the next few days”, he said. “The bout will be held either in Germany or the United States”.

Valuev, 34, became the first Russian world heavyweight champion in December 2005 when he defeated John “the Quietman” Ruiz (43-7-1, 29 KO). In April 2007, he lost his title to Ruslan “White Tyson” Chagaev from Uzbekistan. Since then, Chagaev (24-0-1, 17 KO) held one title defence bout and was named recently as “champion in recess” after he suffered ankle injury while sparring last week and had to undergo a surgery on his left torn Achilles tendon. Chagaev’s health problems have caused the postponement of two mandatory challenges with Valuev and on Thursday the WBA administration decided to sanction the bout with the Russian’s closest contender, the Puerto Rican-American Ruiz.

4 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/sports/20080704/113120162.html

Federer dispatches Safin in straight sets at Wimbledon semis

Roger Federer (1986- ), Swiss tennis champion, ranked World Number 1 since 2 February 2004

Five-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer brushed aside Russia’s Marat Safin in a clinical 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory in the semi-finals, to set up his sixth-straight Wimbledon final appearance. The Russian had reached the last four for the first time after an impressive career comeback, following early round exits at a string of recent tournaments, and a battle against injuries. However, the Swiss world number-one stamped his authority from the outset, winning his first service game to love and breaking Safin’s serve in the second game.

Safin served powerfully to take the second set to a tie-break, but, lost after a series of unforced errors. Despite some impressive shots from Safin in the third set, the Russian grew visibly frustrated at his inability to break Federer’s serve, and smashed his racket just before the Swiss took a 5-4 lead. Federer has now extended his record for consecutive grass court victories to 65, and will be seeking a 56th career title. Federer is almost certain to meet Spain’s Rafael Nadal for a third consecutive Wimbledon final showdown between the world’s top two players. Nadal’s opponent in the second semi-final, Germany’s Rainer Schuttler, is ranked 94th in the world.

4 July 2008

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080704/113145362.html

RIA-Novosti

5 July 2008. Out and About…

President Medvedev puts the defence of Russian national interests at the top of his political agenda

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- )

President Medvedev puts the defence of Russian national interests at the top of his political agenda. Russia is building its relations with the outside world on the basis of pragmatism, mutual benefit, and regard for each other’s interests. Briefing international media on Thursday, Mr Medvedev criticised UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who advocates replacing UN peacekeepers in Kosovo with an EU mission. On the Iranian nuclear issue, he urged world nations to speak to Tehran in the language of “positive incentives”. Mr Medvedev emphasised the need for a multi-currency global economic system. Speaking about Russia, Medvedev said it would remain a presidential republic, and that nothing, including the state itself, should be above the law.

3 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29234&cid=45&p=03.07.2008

Russian government submitted a draft law for a new form of punishment

electronic ankle bracelet to track convicted criminals

The Russian government submitted a draft law that stipulates a new method of punishment, limitation of freedom, to the RF Gosduma. Those convicted of minor offences will serve out their sentence without leaving home. They will be controlled by electronic bracelets, which are impossible to remove or reprogram. The new method of punishment paves the way to reduce the number of convicts in prisons.

3 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29200&cid=48&p=03.07.2008

War-crimes conviction of ex-commander of Bosnian Muslim forces quashed by the UN tribunal in The Hague

Naser Oric (1967- ), Bosnian thug guilty of murdering countless Christians “acquitted” by the ICTY under American pressure

The war-crimes conviction of the ex-commander of Bosnian Muslim forces in Srebrenica was quashed by the UN tribunal in The Hague. Naser Oric was earlier convicted of failing to prevent men under his command from killing and mistreating Bosnian Serb prisoners in 1992 and 1993. The prosecution insists that Oric commanded Bosnian Muslim troops who destroyed 156 Serb villages and killed nearly 1,300 people, including old men, women, and children. The verdict set off a wave of angry protests in Serbia where people described it as a mockery of justice.

3 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29232&cid=47&p=03.07.2008

Polish government holds hectic consultations about hosting American interceptor silos

Next Wednesday or Thursday, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will be in Warsaw to sign an agreement for ten American interceptor silos on Polish territory. Poland demands huge sums in defence aid in return. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Donald Tusk discussed the matter at a meeting with the American Ambassador Victor Ash and in a telephone conversation with Vice President Dick Cheney. On Friday, the issue was before a session of his inner security Cabinet. The Americans also seek a permission to build anti-missile radar site in the Czech Republic. The say they need missile defences in Eastern Europe for warding off missile threats from Iran. Russia sees threats to its security instead.

4 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29277&cid=47&p=04.07.2008

Editor’s Note:

Would it not make more sense to have ABM silos in Turkey, Bahrain, or Pakistan if one was actually countering Iran? Russia is right on this one. Bush and his running-dog-lackey Ms Rice are actually trying to threaten Russia. America has truly fallen in the world. We have become amoral thugs. God help us.

BMD

Voice of Russia World Service

Americans Mark Independence Day with Concerns over Their Country’s Future

Filed under: economy,patriotic,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Ahead of Independence Day, US President George W. Bush greeted his fellow-Americans on their country’s biggest official holiday. In his presidential message, he said, in particular, that Americans “pay special tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces, both past and present, who have answered freedom’s call and defended the values that make America the greatest country on earth”.

This year’s presidential message on Independence Day said, “More than two centuries ago, bold and courageous visionaries pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honour in signing the Declaration of Independence. Guided by ancient and eternal truths, our forefathers proclaimed to the world that liberty was the natural right of all mankind and in doing so began one of the greatest chapters in human history. On the Fourth of July, our country commemorates the great achievements of these heroes and reaffirms its unwavering confidence in the power of freedom”.

Just a few days earlier, the New York Times conveyed a more critical message in an article by Times columnist Thomas Friedman. “My fellow Americans, we are a country in debt and in decline, not terminal, not irreversible, but, in decline. Our political system seems incapable of producing long-range answers to big problems or big opportunities. We are the ones who need a better-functioning democracy, more than the Iraqis and Afghans. We are the ones in need of nation-building. It’s our political system that is not working”.

This week’s gathering of America’s elites in Aspen, Colorado reportedly gave a feeling of unease in the topics and tone of the panel discussions. According to one distinguished panellist, “The economy is virtually unfathomable”. Jamie Dimon, who runs J.P Morgan Chase, noted sombrely, “I hope we have hit bottom, but, I can’t really say”. Mr Dimon believes that the crisis America faces now is the result of a “lack of political will”. Even Carlos Gutierrez, the Bush administration’s normally optimistic and affable Secretary of Commerce, admitted that the mood in Washington is sombre. The reason, he said, is that “everything is stalled” in Washington. “No one there seems to be able to deal with, or reach an agreement on, the myriad problems we face, from energy to immigration to the future of tax policy. This situation can’t last, if we are to move forward as a country”, he said.

Thomas Friedman in his piece this week recalled the old saying, “as General Motors goes, so goes America”. If that’s still true, he argued, America is in “a lot of trouble”, because General Motors’ stock market value now stands at just 6.47 billion dollars (152.051 billion roubles. 4.118 billion euros. 3.261 billion UK pounds), compared with Toyota’s 162.6 billion dollars (3.821 trillion roubles. 103.495 billion euros. 81.95 billion UK pounds). On top of it, GM shares sank to a 34-year low last month. The Times columnist concludes: “We’re at a 34-year low. And digging out of this hole is what the next election has to be all about”.

4 July 2008

Yuri Reshetnikov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29256&cid=87&p=04.07.2008

Editor’s Note:

No America-bashing here. All of the above is all too true. Our country does have to decide what to do about some of these problems, or, it shall lose power and credibility in the world. We should spend less time meddling in affairs not our own and concentrate a bit on our country. We should have the same love of motherland as the Russians do; we should not think that the world is ours for the taking. If America and Russia were to stay in their respective spheres, there would be peace, true peace, not merely a lack of war. Baltic, Ukrainian, and Albanian fanatics are not worth the blood of a single American soldier. Let no American family be forced to shed tears over a lost son because of such amoral monsters. Let there be peace.

BMD

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