Voices from Russia

Monday, 28 July 2008

Large-Scale Celebrations in the Ukraine Mark the 1,020th Anniversary of the Baptism of Russia

Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias (1929- ) at the Anniversary Liturgy on Vladimirskoi Hill

Today, the Orthodox Church celebrated the feastday of the Grand Prince Equal-to-the-Apostles St Vladimir, the Baptiser of Russia. The main celebrations were held in Kiev as a part of the festivities surrounding the celebration of the 1,020th anniversary of the Baptism of Russia. Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, who is in the Ukraine on a pastoral visit, was the main celebrant of a Divine Liturgy served at the Kievo-Pecherskogo Lavra.

The Orange leadership in the Ukraine cast a pall over the anniversary of the Baptism, for they attempted to create a “purely Ukrainian Church” “independent” of the MP. [Yushchenko] invited [Patriarch Bartholomew], the head of the EP, without hiding his intention of having him bless a church schism [in the Ukraine]. In the course of preparing and carrying out the celebration, the Ukrainian government showed every preference to Bartholomew, and openly demonstrated contempt (even in the smallest details of protocol) to Patriarch Aleksei II of Moscow and all Russia, even though, strictly speaking, the Ukraine is under his canonical jurisdiction. In the run-up to the festivities, the government forbade advertising agencies from placing posters with the portrait of Patriarch Aleksei on the streets, whilst Kiev was literally flooded with posters bearing the image of Patriarch Bartholomew. Yushchenko personally met Bartholomew at the airport and even drove him to one of the receptions. However, when Patriarch Aleksei arrived, the most high-ranking official to meet him was the Supreme Rada speaker Arseny Yatsenyuk.

In the opinion of many observers, a kind of “Ukrainian front-line” passed through Kiev. The Orange leadership tried to erect a wall between the Ukraine and Russia, they tried to sunder their present from their past with loud denials of the spiritual links that our fraternal countries share due to a common baptism in the Dnepr font and a millennium of shared history. Nevertheless, despite all the efforts of the Ukrainian government, the current visit of the First Hierarch of the MP to the Ukraine proved to be a celebration of a great victory over those who tried to destroy the unity of these two peoples. No, he was not met at the airport by Viktor Yushchenko. However, thousands of ordinary folks from Kiev enthusiastically greeted Patriarch Aleksei when he arrived at the Kievo-Pecherskogo Lavra. People threw flowers at his feet, waved thousands of Russian flags, chanted “Aleksei is our patriarch!”, and responded with a tremendous ovation when he ascended the steps of a platform set up before the main cathedral of the Lavra. Indeed, the next morning, as he processed to serve the Divine Liturgy with Bartholomew, the crowd shouted, “Aleksei, Aleksei!”.

The same excited and dynamic atmosphere was seen in the rock-concert held on the Kreshchatyk (the main street of Kiev: Interfax) the day before, where a crowd in the thousands sang together with the rock-band DDT, they shouted out the slogan  of Metropolitan Kirill proclaiming the indivisibility of Holy Russia, and even strangers congratulated each other on the festival. It is remarkable that Patriarch Bartholomew of Istanbul, in spite of his indefinite statements, did not approve the creation of an “independent Ukrainian Church” and he did not bless the Ukrainian schismatics, but, on the contrary, demanded that their absence from the celebrations. Thus, the political plans for a “second Baptism” of Kievan Russia, nurtured by certain factions in Kiev and subjected to just criticism by the Russian Foreign Ministry, proved to be an utter failure.

28 July 2008

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=dujour&div=12

Editor’s Note:

At the vantage point of this evening, it appears as though churchly elements have destroyed the hopes of Yushchenko and the schismatics. It is not unimportant that Yushchenko is not a member of the legitimate Orthodox Church; he is a member of a schismatical conventicle. It is why he launched his abortive effort. However, we cannot slacken our vigilance. We are dealing with a foe that is tenacious and without scruple. Do not forget that these are sorts who have murdered clerics who did not agree with them, including a Metropolitan of Kiev (Aleksei Gromadsky).

Indeed, there is not going to be less turmoil in the near future, there may even be more. The intensity and stridency of the attacks on the canonical Church may even increase in the short term. The very depth of the victory of the Church may inspire worse acts than were committed in the past. The Church triumphed even though the powers of this world put every conceivable obstacle in their path. I fear that there are more trials to be passed through before the hydra of nationalism is crushed definitively. Spare a prayer for the clergy and faithful of the canonical Church in the Ukraine tonight. They need your aid. Do not forget them, do not forget their struggle, and, most of all, do not forget to honour their courage in the face of some of the nastiest opposition the Church has ever encountered.

As for me, I bow in respect to the wondrously courageous people who have preserved Christ’s Church intact when it would have been so easy to give up and go into schism. God bless you all.

BMD

World War II Partisan Veteran Kononov Calls 30,000 Euro Compensation “Mockery”

Filed under: Baltic states,EU,history,patriotic,politics,Russian,Soviet period — 01varvara @ 00.00

World War II veteran Vasily Kononov said Monday the 30,000 euros (1.102 million roubles. 47,252 USD. 23,687 UK pounds) the Strasbourg court ordered Latvia to pay him as compensation for being held in custody was “a mockery”. Mr Kononov had originally demanded 5 million euros (183.769 million roubles. 7.875 million USD. 3.948 million UK pounds) in compensation for being illegally held in custody by Latvia on charges of war crimes. “The sum to be compensated in moral damages is a mockery. Latvia was able, through its representative and the judge from Latvia, to move to its side the judges from Sweden and Iceland”, Mr Kononov told a press conference in Moscow. He said the sum should be at least several hundred thousand euros.

The European Court of Human Rights made the ruling in favour of Mr Kononov on 19 June, but, it was only announced in full last week. The court rejected Mr Kononov’s other demands, which included moral damages and compensation for the apartment and plot of land he had been forced to sell in order to pay court expenses and for medical treatment. Mr Kononov, who led a group of resistance fighters against Nazi Germany in the Baltic state during World War II, was convicted by Latvian authorities of ordering the killing of nine villagers in 1944, with some reports saying the dead included a pregnant woman. He admitted to the killings, but said the dead were Nazi collaborators who were caught in the crossfire. Latvia was under German occupation at the time of the incident.

A retired police colonel born in Latvia, Mr Kononov was arrested in 1998 and sentenced to six years in prison in 2000 on genocide charges. In 2004, after several years of litigation, his sentence was cut to 20 months and the charges changed to “war crimes”. Mr Kononov filed an appeal with the Strasbourg court the same year. Russia subsequently applied pressure on Latvian and European authorities over the case and, in April 2004, Mr Kononov was granted Russian citizenship by then-President Vladimir Putin.

In 2007, the European court dismissed all charges against Mr Kononov, and ruled he was not guilty. “This is my final victory, one I have been seeking for eight long years”, he said then. While Russia maintains that the Red Army liberated the Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia from German invaders, many Latvians and Estonians put the two “occupations” on a par.

28 July 2008

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20080728/115096044.html

Editor’s Note:

This is obviously NOT a war crimes case. Mr Kononov was a partisan operating behind enemy lines. The killing of nine people in a single incident is hardly “genocide”. Well, there is a hidden message in all of this, and since Tyotya Vara has the Eastern European decoder ring (do look for the bright orange “Veeties” box with Yelena Isinbayeva pole-vaulting on the front), she will unravel it all for you.

It is obvious to all. Mr Kononov was a former colonel in the MVD and he was born in Latvia. Therefore, he spoke Latvian and Russian perfectly (as His Holiness Aleksei speaks Estonian and Russian perfectly, for he was born in inter-war Estonia). This meant that he was invaluable in tracking down the so-called “Forest Brothers”, who were ex-SS soldiers fighting the Soviets in the immediate post-war years. No doubt, quite a few of these banditos were caught due to his efforts. Their families resolved to get even, and the “war crimes” charges were trumped-up in an effort to “pay him back”.

You have a choice. You can support a man who fought for allied victory in World War II and was an honourable veteran, or you can support disgruntled families of ex-SS men. As General Sherman put it, “War is hell, unrefined”, so, nine collaborators shot in the course of a battle is no “crime”. I do daresay that General Le May killed more in a single “fire-storm” raid on Japan. Be careful when you get on the “moral high horse”, it might take you where you do not wish to go. My view is simple; don’t go to war unless you must, for innocents suffer on all sides at the hands of all combatants. That, I think, is the harsh reality of it all.

BMD

Russia to Field One of the Biggest Olympic Teams in Beijing

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

The National Olympic Committee approved the lineup of the Russian team that will soon be leaving for the 8 August opening of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The Russian squad will be one of the largest Olympic delegations to be presented at this year’s Games. The nearly 900-strong delegation includes 467 athletes from all across Russia and will compete in all 28 Olympic events and 38 disciplines except football, tae kwon do, baseball, softball, field hockey, and one cycling event.

Team Russia, which hopes to win big in many events, is fielding a star-studded synchronised swimming team which features three time Olympic champs Anastasia Yermakova and Anastasia Davydova. Our track and fielders, swimmers, basketballers, volleyballers, and gymnasts are equally ambitious, to say nothing of our women’s tennis squad which boasts such top-drawer players as Maria Sharapova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Yelena Dementyeva.

Sport and Tourism Minister Vitaly Mutko believes this country’s team has everything it takes to make the list of the Games’ top three winners. “We have some of the world’s very best athletes and we do hope that, cheered on by millions of fans back home, they will put up a real good show in Beijing”, Mr Mutko said. The 29th Summer Olympics will be held in Beijing from 8 through 24 August and our national basketball team captain, Andrei Kirilenko, will carry the Russian flag at the Games’ opening ceremony.

28 July 2008

lada-korotunLada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=30208&cid=63&p=28.07.2008

Vojislav Koštunica says that the International Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia has not been an Impartial Court for quite some time

Vojislav Koštunica (1944- ), former Prime Minister of Yugoslvia

The international criminal tribunal for former Yugoslavia has long since ceased to be an impartial court; for it takes a consistently anti-Serbian stance, according to Vojislav Koštunica, the leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Serbia, in an interview with the Belgrade-based newspaper Glas Yavnosti (The Voice of Obviousness). Commenting on the arrest and forthcoming extradition to the Tribunal of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, he said, “No one has the right to demand that Belgrade should send Serbs to The Hague, when the Tribunal acquits those who committed crimes against them”. Mr Koštunica stated that last March, the Hague Tribunal acquitted Ramush Haradinaj, the commander of the “Kosovo Liberation Army”, who was accused of launching ethnic cleansing against those living in the Serbian enclaves in Kosovo. At that time, as the head of the Serbian government, Mr Koštunica suggested that the legitimacy of the Hague Tribunal is open to discussion. In principle, Moscow shares the stance of Mr Koštunica.

Here is the opinion of First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Denisov about the arrest and forthcoming extradition of Radovan Karadžić to the Hague Tribunal. “Our position is very obvious. Firstly, it is an internal Serbian affair whether it should or should not extradite persons accused of various criminal acts. Secondly, we proceed from the assumption that any court investigation should not be politicised and should be based on objective evidence proving the guilt or a lack of guilt of a person facing trial. Finally, we believe that it is necessary to dissolve the Hague Tribunal, as it exhausted its mandate long ago. The remaining problems should be resolved by legislation passed in the various states. Recent decisions adopted by The Hague Tribunal call into question its objectivity as a serious judicial forum. What I mean is the fact the Tribunal acquitted persons who, in plain language, ‘are as crooked as dog’s hind leg’”.

What is noteworthy is that Radovan Karadžić was arrested a fortnight after a new government was formed in Serbia and the Democratic Party of President Boris Tadić and its partners in the Liberal opposition took control of all special services. Therefore, Mr Koštunica said that, today, Serbia has no independent policy. Belgrade is only trying to fulfil the endless demands of Washington and Brussels in its aspiration to become an EU member at any price. The British Financial Times says that in line with this is also Belgrade’s decision to return EU ambassadors who recognised the UDI of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

28 July 2008

Vyacheslav Solovyov

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=78268&cid=19&p=28.07.2008

Editor’s Note:

The extradition of Radovan Karadžić to the kangaroo court in The Hague is a travesty, and all Orthodox Christians should oppose it and speak out loudly. Of course, our Serbian co-religionists shall not be silent, even though they have NATO’s dagger pointed straight at their throats. I have every confidence that the Greeks shall stand tall, as 97 percent of ordinary Greeks support Serbia and Russia. We Russians are 100 percent behind our Serbian brothers in the faith. However, one cannot be sure of the OCA and AOCANA because of the American phyletism that infests both bodies.

We have an obligation to support our Orthodox compatriots whenever they are attacked. Orthodoxy is not merely a religion, it is a civilisation, a culture, a way of life, and ethos that we must cherish and defend. Any time any one reduces Orthodoxy to a religion, they reduce and diminish Christ. I am not alone in this opinion. If Christ was both human and divine, why is it surprising that His Church, His Body, also has both elements? The Church without the nation is a bodiless ghost; the nation without the Church is a headless and gyrating chicken. There is no other way.

BMD

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