Voices from Russia

Friday, 1 August 2008

1 August 2008. A Day at the Races…

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

Yelena Isinbayeva set new world record in pole-vault

Yelena Isinbayeva (1982- ), Russian champion pole-vaulter

Russian athlete Yelena Isinbayeva set a new world record in the women’s pole-vault. She attained a height of 5.04 metres during the Super Grand-Prix competitions in Monaco. The previous world record was set by Isinbayeva on11 July in Rome. This is the 23d world record for the 26-year-old athlete, who is an undeniable favourite in the women’s pole-vault competitions at the upcoming Olympiad in Beijing.

30 July 2008


Pallada in final stretch of circumnavigation

The Russian sail training vessel Pallada, is now in the closing stages of its around-the-world tour. It left Nagasaki and is heading for Pusan, the last foreign port on its journey. The vessel, carrying students of marine research academies, set sail from Vladivostok on 2 November 2007 and will return home on 11 August 2008. Pallada has called at 22 countries in more than nine months. She now has an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest sailing vessel.

31 July 2008


Russian Olympic residence opens in Beijing

The official residence of the Russian Olympic Committee in Beijing is ready to welcome guests from Russia, including artists, politicians, and business figures, who are arriving in Beijing to support the athletes. Every night, the house, located in a Beijing suburb, will host a cultural event. One of the days will be dedicated to classical music, featuring ballerinas Maya Plisetskaya and Diana Vishneva and opera stars Maria Gulegina and Olga Borodina. On the programme are concerts by Russian pop stars and on the menu are the best of Russian cuisine to be cooked by the best of Russian chefs who will arrive from Russia too.

31 July 2008


Top football clubs coming to Moscow for tournament

FC Lokomotiv logo

The second soccer cup tournament of the Russian Railways is opening in Moscow. The strongest players of the Moscow-based FC Lokomotiv, London’s FC Chelsea, Italy’s FC Milano, and Spain’s FC Sevillla are going to play. Milano will be pitted against Sevilla, and Lokomotiv will meet with Chelsea in the semi-finals of this tournament. The winners will meet in the finals, and one of the losers will take away the bronze. The Dutch FC Eindhoven got ahead of Milano, Real of Madrid and Lokomotiv last year.

1 August 2008


Voice of Russia World Service

Russia’s Isinbayeva breaks women’s pole vault record in Monaco

Yelena Isinbayeva (1982- ), Russian champion pole-vaulter

Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva cleared 5.04 metres in the pole vault competition at the Monaco Super Grand Prix, breaking her own world record and setting herself up as a clear favourite for Olympic gold. Isinbayeva, 26, set a women’s pole vault record on July 11 this year at the Rome Golden League with a height of 5.03 metres, one centimetre lower than her leap on Tuesday evening. “The record just happened”, she told reporters. “Monaco is my home town and it’s my first competition [in Monaco] since I’ve been living here. That motivated me”. Looking ahead to the 8-24 August Beijing Olympics, she said: “To win there I think I’ll have to beat the world record again”. Isinbayeva has now broken the pole vault record 23 times.

30 July 2008


Spartak Moscow icon Yegor Titov to leave club

Yegor Titov (1976- ), famous Russian footballer for FC Spartak in Moscow

The manager of perennial 1990s Russian champions FC Spartak Moscow said that there is no place in the side for Yegor Titov, the club’s former captain and one of the country’s most famous footballers. Stanislav Cherchesov recently told Russian journalists that he informed both Titov and another out-of-favour player, Ukrainian international Maksim Kalinichenko, that he saw “no place in the starting line up for them and that he had no moral right to keep such players sitting on the bench”. He added that the players were “in need of motivation”, and would “look for new clubs”.

Titov, an attacking midfielder who joined Spartak’s youth side in 1983 at the age of eight, broke into the first team in 1995 and made his name as the Moscow club won title after title under Oleg Romanstev, the chain-smoking, at-times eccentric genius of the Russian game. The 32-year-old has also made 41 appearances for the national side, scoring seven goals. In 2003, after a Euro 2004 play-off against Wales that Russia won 1-0, Titov tested positive for bromantan, an attention-enhancing substance produced for Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan. He maintains his innocence to this day, claiming that the club doctor simply failed to carry out a proper diet check. He was, however, banned from football for a year, during which time he became a regular on Russian chat and reality shows.

The only player left at Spartak from the Romanstev era, Titov was dropped from the first team after the club’s recent 5-1 defeat at home to deadly rivals CSKA Moscow. Speaking on Thursday to the Russian sports paper Sport Express, Titov said, “I’d like to thank everyone for their support during my career. My departure is not the end of the world. A lot of prominent players have left Spartak… but this has never stopped the fans from supporting the team”.

The veteran of the Russian game was at one time rumoured to have been a target for a number of top foreign clubs, including FC Bayern Munich and FC Arsenal, the latter famously beaten 4-1 in Moscow by a Titov-inspired Spartak in a Champions League group match in 2000. However, Spartak were reluctant to let him go, and Titov, who has said that his childhood dream was “to play for Spartak”, remained with the club throughout the crisis years of 2003 and 2004, when the club came eighth and tenth in the Russian Premier League. Spartak finished runners-up for the second consecutive season in 2007, earning a Champions League spot. Summing up the feelings of the majority of Russian soccer fans, ex-Spartak manager Aleksandr Starkov told the newspaper Sovetski Sport on Thursday that, “There isn’t a single philosopher in the world who could sum up in just one phrase exactly what Titov leaving Spartak means”.

31 July 2008


Russian tennis star Sharapova to miss Olympics

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova said on her website Friday that she would “have to miss the Olympics” in Beijing with a shoulder injury. Sharapova, No. 3 in the Women’s Tennis Association world rankings, made the stunning announcement as she withdrew from the WTA Rogers Cup in Montréal after her marathon second-round win over Marta Domachowska of Poland on Thursday. “After yesterday’s match I knew there was something seriously wrong with my shoulder”, Sharapova said on her official web site. A scan revealed two small tears in her right shoulder.

The 2004 Wimbledon champion and this year’s Australian Open winner said, “Coming into this tournament I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to compete”. As a result of Sharapova’s withdrawal, Japanese veteran Ai Sugiyama moved into the quarter-finals in Montréal. The match against Domachowska was Sharapova’s first since she was sensationally defeated by fellow Russian Alla Kudryavtseva and failed to make it into the third round of Wimbledon.

At the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Russia will be represented in the women’s tennis event by Yelena Dementyeva, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Dinara Safina. Each country can be represented by up to four players per gender. The tennis tournament runs from 10 to 17 August, while the Games start with the opening ceremony on 8 August and close on 24 August.

1 August 2008




Fr Gerogi Ryabykh Compares the Current Situation of Christianity in Europe to the Epoch of Militant Atheism in the USSR

Sources in the MP expressed concern with the contemporary position of Christianity and the general state of morals in Europe. “We see the Soviet atheistic policy of a bygone era echoed in attempts to artificially limit the influence of faith on the larger society and restrict it only to divine services and social care for poor people”, Fr Georgy Ryabykh, Secretary for the Interrelation of Church and Society at the MP Department for External Church Relations, said as a part of a dialogue attended by delegates from the MP and members of the European People’s Party in Kiev.

He said that Orthodox Christians “cannot help but be concerned with the development of aggressive secularism in Western European countries, as its spirit is similar to the Soviet attitude towards religion. Frequently, an unattractive or even intentionally-perverted image of Christianity is promoted in the public sphere. Indeed, some believers in the West seriously speak of seeing Christophobia [in some quarters]. They even created a website to record such incidents”, Fr Georgi noted.

He pointed out that “frankly anti-Christian films and materials” are increasingly and more frequently seen on the public square. “People from Eastern Europe, where new churches are being built, are pained to hear that Christian churches in the West are sold or leased for commercial purposes. Some European cities are even thinking of selling Christian churches to other religious communities”, Fr Georgi said. From time to time, he further said, “one sees outbreaks of hostility against Christian symbols in public places, for example, the removal of crosses and Christmas trees from schools”, and the heads of some European states greet their citizens with “season’s greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas”.

Fr Georgi also worried that we shall have to contend with “moral relativism and lawless nihilism” in Europe. “Contemporary European pop culture promotes material consumption, homosexual relations, debauchery, and a relaxed attitude to abortion and drugs. On the political level, it’s difficult to give moral tolerance to the violations of the rights of national minorities in some counties of the European Union along with glorification of various types of fascism” (Fr Georgi is speaking of the situation in the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, where the Russian minority is largely denied political rights and the local veterans of the SS are honoured: editor’s note), he said.

Furthermore, Fr Georgi believes it is an “explicit deviation from moral standards” that “some European states are indifferent to the heritage of the Orthodox people of Serbia and the situation in Kosovo. Sometimes, Orthodox Christians get the impression that they see a new dogmatic ideology appearing, but, today, in a ‘liberal’ variant. It has the same hostility to moral values as Communist ideology did”, he concluded.

31 July 2008



Editor’s Note:

This is worth reading twice. Reflect on the fact that as Russia returns to the Faith, the West is abandoning it. That is to say, NATO and the USA no longer stand for freedom, free speech, and a freedom to worship as one pleases. Rather they have become politically correct, restrict expression through “hate speech” codes, and believers are told to restrict themselves to private belief. Russians are aghast at this. One of my Russian friends said, “If you do not have the freedom to offend, you have no freedom of speech”. She is right. If one says the “wrong” thing in the US, Canada, and Western Europe, one can lose one’s job or position at school. How the worm has turned… The rights of pornographers are protected and the rights of ordinary folk are trampled in the dust. No wonder that my Russian friends are bemused… so am I.


There is nothing wrong with heavy metal rock… I just thought that the logo for the band Nihilist was a great illustration for “nihilism”. It is NOT a criticism, explicit or implicit.


Shall Radovan Karadžić get a Fair Trial? Russia Doubts the Objectivity of the Judges of the Hague Tribunal

Radovan Karadžić (1945- ), former President of Sprska Bosna, unjustly accused of war crimes

Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžić, accused of war crimes committed in the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1992-95, was brought before the Hague Tribunal (informal name for the UN International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia). The court hearings involved in the case may take several years. Meanwhile, quite a few Russians doubt whether the judges of the Hague Tribunal shall take an objective and unbiased view of his case. Sergei Markov, a member of the lower house of the RF Gosduma and director of the Institute of Political Studies, pointed up that most judges on the court come from countries that are either political allies of the United States of America or members of NATO.

He thinks that the Hague Tribunal is more an American rather than an international court of justice. Because the punitive operation against the Serbs was planned by the American government, Mr Markov wonders how the Americans can sit in judgment over Serbians. “A glaring fact about this court is the obvious political bias of the judges. I suspect that the allegedly-independent judges are actually part of the political establishment of their countries. Who shall judge Radovan Karadžić? The case shall be considered by jurists who come from the Netherlands, Belgium, and South Africa. The Netherlands and Belgium are members of NATO. Those who come from member-nations of NATO, who bombed Yugoslavia, shall sit in judgment over a former Bosnian Serb leader. In my opinion, judges from the member-states of NATO should play no role in any legal action against Serbian defendants because NATO launched an act of aggression against Serbia according to the UN Charter. They bombed Yugoslavia in 1999 without permission from the UN.

The Hague Tribunal has repeatedly demonstrated its political bias. It absolved from guilt indisputable war criminals if they happened to be Bosnian Muslims or Kosovar Albanians. For example, take its recent scandalous decision to acquit Ramuš Haradinaj, a field commander of the separatist ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’. Witnesses in this case either recanted their testimony or dropped out of sight. Why they recanted their testimony is no secret, they were threatened and bullied into keeping silent. Haradinaj was protected by the new ‘government’ of Kosovo, including Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi, who has the nickname of ‘The Snake’. There is no doubt in my mind that Hashim Thaçi is a war criminal and must be placed behind bars”.

Mr Markov accused the Hague Tribunal of taking an undeniably-biased view of Serb cases and cites the Milošević case to prove his charge. He said, “Slobodan Milošević, the former President of Federal Yugoslavia, died in 2006 because he was denied adequate medical assistance. Let me point out that Mr Milošević made a successful effort to defend himself and could, on more than one occasion, proved his innocence of any war crimes. Radovan Karadžić wants to do what Mr Milošević did, defend himself in court hearings. He intends to answer the accusations against him on 29 August and he has been quick to protest the numerous illegalities involved in his detention and handover to the Hague Tribunal”.

1 August 2008

lada-korotunLada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

It is a legal principle that no one with a personal or institutional interest in a case may sit as a judge or a member of a jury. Let me illustrate this with an example drawn from recent Orthodox history in the US. At the 2005 sobor in Toronto, a motion was tabled asking the withdrawal of the OCA from the NCC. It was known that a majority of the delegates favoured the motion. Then, one Leonid Kishkovsky, an OCA cleric, made a motion that the tabling of the motion for a vote was improper.

However, Rev Kishkovsky is a salaried official of the NCC. That fact was known to all present, not merely to the leadership. In other words, Rev Kishkovsky had both a personal and institutional interest in the OCA remaining a member of the NCC. In short, he would lose a pay packet if the OCA left that organisation. By all standards, his motion was out of order and should have been overruled due to his “interested” status. However, this faulty motion was accepted by the leadership, and the motion to leave the NCC (still favoured by the majority of attending delegates) was withdrawn. An injustice was done so that Rev Kishkovsky could continue receiving his NCC salary (the cost of living on the Island isn’t low, you know).

It is the same with the UN Tribunal. Quite obviously, any nation involved in belligerent action against any of the parties in the Balkan War of the 90s cannot sit on this court, as it is clear that they have an “interest” to protect their countries’ roles in the fighting. Therefore, no member of ANY NATO state can sit on this court. In fact, it would be best if the members on the court were drawn from non-European states. That would ensure a fairer hearing… unfortunately, that is not what the US wants, for it does not wish its role in the destruction of Federal Yugoslavia to come to light. Remember… Washington bombed Belgrade on Easter, not the other way around.


Political Manoeuvres using Double Standards Wreck the Objectivity of the Hague Tribunal

Radovan Karadžić (1945- ), President of Srpska Bosna during the war against the Islamofascists and their US backers in the 1990s. Give ’em hell, Radovan!

Today’s extradition of Radovan Karadžić, the former leader of Bosnian Serbs, to the Hague War Crimes Tribunal bore more resemblance to a political circus than to a proper judicial proceeding. It is difficult to say what the organisers of the action were afraid of, but, it reinforces the immutable truth that political manoeuvres and double standards have long been the hallmarks of the policy of the Hague Tribunal. The disappearance of Yugoslavia in the 1990s was an unmitigated disaster for millions of people in that country. For many years, Yugoslavia was home to Serbs, Croats, Slovaks, Montenegrins, Bosnians, and Kosovars; Catholic, Orthodox, and Muslim lived together in peace and harmony, as they went through the trials and ordeal of World War II together.

One can speak a multitude of words about the mistakes of the erstwhile leadership of this Balkan state, but, external forces played the major role in the collapse of Federal Yugoslavia. It prevented the creation of a more malleable Europe in which NATO and Brussels movers-and-shakers could dominate a prostrate continent. Traditionally, the Serbs were the force behind the drive for Yugoslav unity, and they tried vainly to maintain the country’s unity. According to the tribunal, they, more than any other nationality, are guilty for the calamities that befell Yugoslavia. At any rate, such is the reasoning behind the Hague Tribunal’s activity, a court set up allegedly to objectively look into the causes of this bloody Balkan tragedy. Alas, objectivity can’t be found in the Tribunal’s Dictionary. One need only look at the outrageous sentences passed down by this “court”. The few Bosnian and Croat defendants brought before the Tribunal have all but been allowed to go scot-free; either they receive derisory prison terms or they are acquitted. 75 percent of those who received real prison terms were Serbs, which reduces the Tribunal to an instrument of pressure of the West on Belgrade.

Russia repeatedly drew the attention of the world community to the palpable bias and bigoted subjectivity of the judges sitting in judgement at the UN Tribunal in The Hague. One must say that Serbia bent over backward to show its readiness to honour international obligations, and delivered Mr Karadžić into the tribunal’s hands. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stated Russia’s misgivings about the tribunal. “The Serbian government fulfilled their obligations to the Hague Tribunal. They are trying to ensure an objective proceeding [for Mr Karadžić], as well as to consign to the dustbin of history the political manoeuvring that characterised the previous work of the Tribunal. In any event, I hope that the Tribunal will complete its work before the stipulated date and day set by UN Security Council [for its termination]. It’s time to move away from relying on ad hoc judicial bodies. Instead, we should work out a permanent consensus on the basis of judicial procedures embodied in international conventions”.

Moscow minced no words in vowing that it will never again vote for extension of the mandate of the International Tribunal for former Yugoslavia, since its work is characterised more by farce than substance…

30 July 2008

Aleksandr Vatutin

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

It should be noted that so-called “war-crimes trials” are rarely objective proceedings, being nothing more than “victor’s justice”. If you wish vengeance, I say, “Do not dress up revenge in judicial robes”. If one must, hang ‘em high from the nearest mesquite tree or shoot ‘em in hot blood. Give ‘em to their victims… rough, but, sure justice would be handed out on the spot.

Whether one likes it or not, there is no objective law covering the problem… nor is there ever going to be, this side of the veil. Judicial vengeance veils the sinfulness of revenge, it gives the illusion of having clean hands after one has done a dirty deed. Best to have revenge straight-up, if one insists upon it, for one does feel guilty afterwards (for one must, for it is a foul emotion and act), so, one would seek confession and absolution. To seek vengeance through the courts is devilish, for it masks the place of our sinful pride in all of this. In short, kill ’em in hot blood or leave ’em be. However, one needn’t be silent about their deeds…

Be careful of the moral high horse, it goes where it wills, not where you will it. It is better to say that war is an abomination best not engaged in. In any case, most countries and people lose their taste for it after getting a good dose of it. As for “war criminals”, God does see and judge. No one shall escape that tribunal…

As for this Tribunal, the sooner the curtain falls on this comedy, the better it shall be for all concerned.


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