Voices from Russia

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Said that the Organisers of the “Forbidden Art” Exhibition Show Us an Example of Totalitarianism and Intolerance

Here is one of the blasphemous art works defended by the secularist Western press… and there are Orthodox who join the chorus… for shame!


Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Synodal Division for Church and Public Relations, accused the organisers of the “Forbidden Art 2006” exhibition of intolerance and deliberate provocation. “In fact, these gentlemen argue that our society should adopt a standard that insists that mankind is the only measure of our values, that it is obligatory and absolute”, he told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Thursday. He went on to say that the organisers of the exhibition “always avoided ridiculing the victims of repression, either of individuals or of a general remembrance of the dead. It seems that they seem to agree that these values cannot be dishonoured”. As Fr Vsevolod pointed up, on many occasions since the art exhibition Caution: Religion! concluded, believers told him, “The inadmissibility of desecration of sacred symbols is very important to us; it is dearer than life itself”. He then said, “So they know what they are doing, and they are actually trying to assert that their worldview (which is only one of many in the world) is unique and universally valid, so they showed us a vivid example of totalitarianism and intolerance”. Fr Vsevolod said that the organisers of the exhibition, so far, refused to recognise their actions as “inappropriate and inadmissible in the future. If that is so, then, any lenience towards their actions is out of the question. On a human level, I feel sorry for them. I don’t think that we have to necessarily deprive them of liberty, but we also have to give an unambiguous legal judgement of their actions”.

Earlier on Thursday, Andrei Yerofeyev, one of the organisers of the exhibition, a former department head of contemporary art at the Tretyakov Gallery, said at a press conference at Interfax, “it is a trumped-up political show trial, which has nothing to do with democratic justice”. Yerofeyev told us they didn’t intend to insult the feelings of believers. For his part, Yuri Samodurov, the ex-director of the Andrei Sakharov Public Centre, said that the exhibition raised an important question, “We had to defend the right to show those works, on our own decision as curators, regardless of any external opinion”. On 12 July, the Tagansk Court in Moscow will announce its sentence against Samodurov and Yerofeyev.

8 July 2010



The defendants had every intention of offending the sensibilities of believers (just as some of their counterparts in the West do)… they deserve whatever is coming to them. It tells you about the true values of the Western press, academe, and politicians… and of the Orthodox who suck up to them!

Editor’s Note:

All the usual cast of suspects are lining up behind Samodurov and Yerofeyev. Amongst them is Gleb Yakunin, who was a hero in Sov times, but who became a Renovationist schismatic and heretic… his beliefs are similar to those taught by SVS and St Sergius… reflect well that the MP considers them heretical. All the rest of those protesting the case are a small group of pro-Western pseudo-intellectuals, whose supporters can be stuffed into one old-fashioned telephone booth. There is much boo-hooing in the Western Corporate Media about these “poor persecuted defenders of free speech”, especially on Fox News. Caveat lector.

Reflect well on the fact that SVS and St Sergius, and all who fawn on them (which includes JP, Behr, Reardon, et al), support Samodurov and Yerofeyev, not Fr Vsevolod… that’s something to consider when you’re thinking on where to send your money…



A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Attack of the Right

US President Barack Obama (1961- )


Shall President Obama share the fate of Roosevelt and Kennedy? Published shortly before the Washington-based USA-Russia summit, the outline of a National Security Strategy, as the current leadership in Washington sees it, finally put out of balance the right wing of the American ruling élite. This was the signal for a massive political offensive against what they deemed, from their viewpoint, the unacceptable course of the current administration in Washington and their personal objection to President Obama. For quite some time, the American president has undergone gross personal attacks in the daily political rough-and-tumble, as it now exists. They’ve turned the guns on him for everything… blaming Mr Obama for everything from natural and technological disasters to dirty and gossipy rumours of a personal nature. The oil well disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused enormous damage to the national economy and it’s a catastrophe for millions of Americans, but political manipulators are trying to use it for their own foul purposes, trying to make it an asset for them in the upcoming November national elections.

Official Pentagon leaders did not dare to speak out publicly against the new National Security Strategy. However, the discontent of the Pentagon élite couldn’t prevent the loss of one of their leading lights, General McChrystal. In violation of military regulations, he brutally attacked his Commander-in-Chief in the press, along with all his advisors, for which he promptly lost his place. Nevertheless, the secret discontent of the American generals towards their president came out. Then, the policy hawks called on one of their permanent reserves… the American secret police… the FBI. At present, a farcical play involving Russian spies is on the stage, it surfaced immediately after President Medvedev’s meeting with President Obama, and it is now known that it was launched against the president, it was clearly directed against his policies and against him personally.

Some time ago, a poster on the nationwide network “Facebook”, which has 250 million users, posed the question “Should we kill Obama?” It was online for one day, and was withdrawn only after the intervention of a vigilant Secret Service. Of course, this is clearly only a provocation, but it’s by no means harmless. Let’s look back. All too suddenly, a month before the Victory over Fascism, there was no call for the removal of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt before his death, but there’s still mystery involving the strange circumstances of his passing. Besides that, let’s consider the still unsolved “murder of the century”, the shooting of John F Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States. Common to both these national tragedies was that the activities of these two great presidents were incompatible with the interests of very powerful forces in America.

Those promoting the recent anti-presidential campaign in the USA, too, are those who don’t agree with the major policy initiatives of the current administration in Washington. A law regulating the activities of banks and putting them under oversight caused a negative reaction on Wall Street. The active opposition of parts of the political élite caused some to call the new National Security Strategy “a waiver of claims to absolute leadership in the world”. There are those who’re still mired in the stereotypes of the Cold War; they’re not satisfied with the current “reboot” in US-Russian relations and the START III Treaty. These are the reasons for this virtually unprecedented-in-modern-US-history anti-presidential political campaign. “Make Obama a one-term President” is the slogan of the instigators and organisers of this campaign. They can’t comprehend that the course of the current administration in Washington isn’t just somebody’s whim, but it’s an inevitable and necessary reaction to changes that occurred, and are occurring, in the world. The world has changed. The place of America in the modern world has changed, too. You can’t change this by merely substituting the players on the political chessboard.

7 July 2010

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service



Spying Without the Politics

Filed under: Barack Obama,Dmitri Medvedev,legal,politics,Russian,Sergei Lavrov,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

The “Russian Spyware” scandal doesn’t benefit any politician… not in Russia… not in the USA…

The current “spyware scandal” between Russia and the United States may be “hushed up quietly” to the satisfaction of both parties. The New York Times, citing its sources, reported that the US government has already held discussions with the lawyers of the ten people arrested on suspicion of spying for Russia, which may lead to a prompt resolution of the incident. In turn, Russian press reports seem to indicate that an exchange of prisoners serving sentences in Russia for the “Americans” is in the cards. The grounds for such inferences lie hidden in the actual course of events. It is indirectly confirmed by the meeting of the Russian Ambassador in Washington, Sergei Kislyak, with Deputy US Secretary of State William Burns, and, most importantly, by the fact that all of the ten suspects in the espionage are being transferred to a single point, New York City .

In fact, so far, the accusations of espionage against those arrested exist only on the pages of the Western media. Officials are not in a hurry to make such statements. Furthermore, the leaders of the USA and Russia don’t seem to be worried about the outbreak of “spyware scandal”. President Dmitri Medvedev, in sending greetings to his American counterpart on Independence Day, said bluntly that Moscow does not intend to succumb to provocations of US intelligence and carry out a “symmetrical response”. In turn, Mr Obama emphasised that what happened should not overshadow US-Russian relations. The most cutting comment, perhaps, was a statement by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who sarcastically noted the “elegant timing” of the arrest of the suspects… immediately after the visit to the USA of President Medvedev.

Andrei Klimov, the deputy chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the RF Gosduma, said, “However, in general, every comment showed that neither party wished a political scandal. In this case, our countries have avoided an escalation of the scandal into a political crisis. In the press, they’ve ‘floated’ many different conjectures, since it’s interesting to their audience. The politicians have done everything possible to turn the page on this”.

Further developments of the political will expressed by the parties depend largely on what kind of charges prosecutors bring against those arrested and how things will go in the American courts. So far, they are charged with violating immigration laws, that is, living in the USA using forged documents, and money laundering. Such charges are not enough to make any one of the arrestees equivalent to, let’s say, Igor Sutyagin, who is serving a 15 year-sentence for spying for the USA, as some in the Russian media were quick to announce.

Andrei Klimov told us, “Such a deal may be unlikely. Of course, exchange as a practise exists. During the Cold War, we exchanged spies between ourselves. However, usually, it’s done on the QT. Neither side was willing to admit that they did this publicly. Typically, go-betweens came to agreement through diplomatic or other ad hoc channels. Such a practise exists, but it does not always apply, because it’s not the only way out of the situation”.

Sergei Maksimov, an international lawyer, a fellow at the Institute of State and Law of the RAN, gave us another scenario. He pointed up, “Those arrested would plead guilty, but not on all counts, only on the least serious ones. American legislation provides for such a plea. Section 18 of the Laws of the United States of America and the United States Criminal Code provides a tool called ‘Plea Bargaining’. Its essence is that a person who pleads guilty to committing a lesser offence shall be exempt from liability for a more serious crime. In this case, it may lead to non-custodial punishment and allows, in particular, for the transfer of a convict to another jurisdiction to serve his sentence. For example, a Russian citizen can petition to serve his sentence in the Russian Federation”.

Since all the evidence suggests that the American and Russian sides are amenable to a quiet and peaceful resolution of the situation, the application of this facet of the American law is very likely. In fact, the case is in the hands of the accused. They may “cop a plea” at any time prior to the announcement of the verdict.

8 July 2010

Natalia Kovalenko

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Doesn’t it seem uncanny how smoothly this is unfolding (let’s face it, the American legal system is known for its sclerotic and constipated pace)? I think that it was set up during President Medvedev’s visit. That is, Panetta had an ID on the FSB spies, but didn’t pounce on them immediately. They kept all of ’em under surveillance… cut a deal for their people in the Russian clink, and voilà, instant deal. Panetta was the “brains” of the Clinton White House… he’s one of the reasons that Bubba served out his term. Note well that Loudmouth Hillary was left out of this. Let’s see… Leon gets a new bike for nicking their spies and getting our own back… Barack gets a new bike for being an honest go-between… Dmitri Anatolyevich looks good for getting his own back without them sitting overly long in the American slam, he gets a new bike too. The Russian media gets a new bike for scooping the Western press. Prima Donna Hillary? She gets the busted and soggy cardboard box! One can see the reason for her inflamed anti-Russian rhetoric in Georgia… she was incensed for being left out of the process. Score ten for Leon, zip for Hill… it couldn’t have happened to a NICER person, no?


Convicted Spy Sutyagin Arrived in Vienna

Filed under: diplomacy,legal,politics,Russian,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Anna Stavitskaya, a lawyer for Igor Sutyagin, a Russian scientist convicted of espionage, said that her client has arrived in Vienna. “Igor’s father phoned me at 16.30 MSK (14.30 CET (Vienna local) 13.30 UTC 08.30 EDT 05.30 PDT) to report that Sutyagin deplaned in Vienna. He said that an officer met him there”, Ms Stavitskaya said to RIA-Novosti. Sutyagin, who was serving a 15-year prison sentence, was transferred from a penal colony near Archangel to SIZO Lefortovo in Moscow. In private, some spoke of the possibility of an exchange of those held in the USA on suspicion of spying for Russia [for those held in Russia on charges of spying for the USA]. An unnamed American government official confirmed that Washington was negotiating with Moscow on the exchange of those involved in the “spyware” scandal in the USA with eleven people held in Russia for divulging state secrets, including Sutyagin. The deal implied that the detainees in the USA would acknowledge their guilt, and, then, be sent back to Russia. “It’s a common practice. It’s been done many times before”, Reuters quoted an official as saying. On Wednesday, in Moscow, Sutyagin’s relatives announced that he, amongst others, was “prepared for an exchange with the Americans”. The RF MID declined to comment on the situation surrounding the spy scandal in the United States. “This is within the competence of the relevant services”, a source in the Foreign Ministry told us.

8 July 2010

Voice of Russia World Service


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