Voices from Russia

Friday, 9 July 2010

Spy Barter as a Symbol of “Reboot”

The “Russian spyware” story shows us that if the political will exists, we can solve any problem in the relations between Russia and the United States…

The loud brouhaha exposing “Russian spies” that burst forth like a bolt from the blue shortly after the official visit of the Russian President to the USA, has finally reached its last act. The ten accused Russian spies arrived in Moscow. Earlier, a special flight took them to Vienna, where they were exchanged for four persons serving sentences in Russian prisons, who were pardoned by a decree of President Medvedev the day before. The spy scandal between Russia and America is over. An Emercom Yak-42D airliner, with the ten Russians deported from the USA for illegal activities aboard, landed at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, according to the airport’s online record. At 12.40 CET (14.40 MSK 11.40 UTC 06.40 EDT 03.40 PDT) the Emercom plane took off from Vienna Schwechat Airport for Moscow, after having arrived in Vienna at 11.15 CET (13.15 MSK 10.15 UTC 05.15 EDT 02.15 PDT). A few minutes after it landed, an American airliner arrived. Both aircraft taxied to a spot on the outskirts of the airport in close proximity to each other. The Russians who arrived from the USA did not go through passport control, there was virtually no intervention from the local Austrian authorities, and they went directly from the American craft to the Russian one and flew home.

One of the Russians deported to the United States was scientist Igor Sutyagin, convicted of treason and given a 15-year sentence; he was a former members of the GRU and the SVR, and even a manger of the security service of the TV channel NTV Plus. They appealed to the President for a pardon; in return, they fully admitted their guilt in past crimes, namely, spying for the USA. However, the actual identities of the Russians arrested for spying in America will probably remain a mystery. At least, they were not formally charged with espionage and they were not convicted of conspiracy to work as illegal agents in favour of Russia. For greater effectiveness in their task, the so-called agents assimilated as normal Americans, held routine jobs, and had ordinary family lives. Under their agreement with the court, the defendants admitted that they used aliases, and revealed their true names. Each of them also agreed to immediate deportation from the United States.

Despite this spy game, Russia and America intend to continue the constructive dialogue that has existed between them in recent years. In this case, of course, both sides looked after their own interests zealously. According to political expert Dmitri Suslov, “Both parties made every effort to depoliticise this most unpleasant situation. Moscow and Washington were interested to see that there was a prompt exchange between the sides to stop the spy scandal. Today, neither the Russian nor the American side is interested in a deterioration of relations. This scandal would adversely affect these relationships. To prevent this, the parties resorted to a fast-track scheme. After all, a constructive relationship with Russia is essential for the USA if it is to deal effectively with its most important international problems, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and the reduction of nuclear weapons”.

However, in recent statements, the Americans began to make moralising noises. For instance, White House spokesman Ram Emanuel said that what happened with the Russians would send a “clear signal” to foreign governments what awaits their nationals if they engage in espionage against the United States. An American official, who spoke via teleconference on condition of anonymity, called the presence of active Russian agents an “echo of the past”. However, it is obvious that neither the USA nor Russia nor any other country will give up a Foreign Intelligence Service as an institution of the state, no matter what ideological clichés are bandied about in the world community. Perhaps, this very strange “spyware scandal” will not be the last one. Nevertheless, the political will of the leadership of Russia and the United States rose above those particulars to focus on the progress of US-Russian strategic cooperation. The latest statement of the Foreign Ministry confirms this. It stated that the SVR and the CIA acted on behalf of their respective leaderships to carry out a prisoner exchange “based on humanitarian considerations and the principle of constructive partnership”.

9 July 2010

Natalia Kovalenko

Ilya Kharlamov

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

This didn’t take long at all. Indeed, anyone who has worked on the routine transfer of small numbers of personnel abroad knows the amount of work involved. It’s not minor. The American court system is wheezy, sclerotic, and clogged (it’s why certain well-known light-fingered clerical gentlemen have “beat the system”, kiddies). It takes WEEKS to decide on who sits on a jury, for instance.

The work involved in this took longer than the publicity… I believe that it started with Medvedev’s visit. Panetta wanted these four VERY badly. They must know SOMETHING and he wanted them out where they couldn’t spill the beans. The US traded ten for four… that’s not how it’s usually done.

Let’s see… Panetta proved himself a competent DCI by this action… he seized ten of the baddies without a hitch. He’s a big winner. Barack Obama wins by not losing. Dmitri Anatolyevich wins, too. He gets all his people back… the Americans won’t have a chance to “turn” any of them (and the more people involved, the better the chance of succeeding). There were two people missing in all of this… Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton. Sergei Viktorovich is a pro… he’ll take it in stride… the only effect will be that he’ll light up another Marlboro. Hill is another story. She’s the big loser. Everybody got new bikes… she got the cardboard box. Does BO think that Hill is going to try to knife him in the back politically? It puts her statements in Georgia in a new light, no? It looks like she is staking out an independent path… it may lead to a dispute… and Hill will be history, without her Senate seat. We’ll have to see.

This was a well-planned op, which means Panetta. BO is a pol… he’s never done anything in the real world. Leon gets first prize… don’t forget he was the “brains” of the Clinton White House. I wouldn’t bet on the loud “conservative” commentators… don’t forget, Limbaugh lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan… and he claims to speak for “Flyover Country”… I believe there is a SLIGHT discrepancy there.



President Medvedev Welcomed Slavyansky Bazaar Participants

Filed under: cultural,Dmitri Medvedev,music,pop,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

The Russians are coming! Join the fun… smile a while… and do pass me the jug whilst you’re at it!


President Dmitri Medvedev welcomed participants to the 19th International Art Festival “Slavyanksy Bazaar in Vitebsk”…


Dmitri Khvorostovsky doing a pop crossover with Igor Krutoi


Larissa Dolina


Nikolai Baskov and Taisiya Povaly


His message of greetings stated, amongst other things, “This Festival offers us great opportunities for the deepening of multilateral ties between the peoples of Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine, it allows us to realise promising ideas in the field of humanitarian cooperation, and serves as a good incentive for the further creative development of our gifted youth”.




Taisiya Povaly


Nikolai Baskov


By tradition, the opening ceremony takes place at one of the largest venues in Belarus, the Summer Amphitheatre in Vitebsk. Yuri Antonov, Nikolai Baskov, Larissa Dolina, Aleksandr Serov, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, the Belarusian bands Syabry and Pesnyary, People’s Artist of the Ukraine Taisiya Povaly, and many others will perform at the event.


Yuri Antonov




Aleksandr Serov


In total, the festival programme, which has run since 1992, included about 70 cultural events… there are concerts, performances, exhibitions, and film premières, there are more than 5,000 participants in the festival, according to ITAR-TASS.

9 July 2010

Voice of Russia World Service


Over 30,000 People Will Gather In Yekaterinburg for “Царские дни” (Royal Days) Festival

A scene from a previous “Imperial Days” Festival in Yekaterinburg


From 13 to 18 July, in Yekaterinburg, the Ninth International “Царские дни” (Royal Days) Festival of Orthodox Culture “Imperial Days” will be held to commemorate the 92nd anniversary of the massacre of the imperial family. The festival will bring together more than 30,000 people from Russia and abroad who will come to Yekaterinburg to honour the memory of Tsar Nikolai II, Tsaritsa Alexandra, Grand Princesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia, and the Tsarevich Aleksei, as well as that of Grand Princess Fyodrovna, according to the Division of Cultural Heritage of the Diocese of Yekaterinburg. There will be solemn worship services, religious processions, concerts, a bellringing spectacular, a film festival, and photography exhibitions at the event. In particular, from 15 to 21 July, the Orthodox Exhibition-Fair От покаяния к воскресению России (From Repentance to the Resurrection of Russia) will run. In addition, the Myrrh-Streaming Icon of the Mother of God “of Kiselevsk” is being brought from Orenburg, and the icon of St Aleksandr Nevsky along with his relics is coming from the Aleksandr Nevsky Lavra of St Petersburg. For the first time, Koutloumousiou Monastery of Mount Athos will take part in the exposition; its podvorie in Tver will bring a miraculous icon of the Mother of God, “The Inexhaustible Cup”. All told, there are 325 exhibitors, including 145 parishes and podvories from 127 localities in seven countries. The exhibition will feature icons, books, and movies with an Orthodox message, goods produced in the monasteries, as well as linen, knitwear, gifts, jewellery, honey, and dried fruits, amongst other items. You will even be able to ask a priest for a consultation. Admission is free.

9 July 2010



THIS is why JP’s Concordat with Nashotah House is SO Reprehensible…

Fundamentally, when we “dialogue” with outsiders, Orthodox do not ask, “What do you believe in?” … rather, we ask, “With whom are you in communion with?” Nashotah House is a constituent part of The Episcopal Church (TEC). Therefore, they are in communion with THIS. Look at these photos! I thank my correspondent who sent me the link to this. (Normally, I don’t look for such stuff… it just depresses me…)




Orthodox, Protestant, and Catholic… Christian and non-Christian… they’re all jumbled together. This is supposedly the sanctuary of a so-called “Christian” parish of the TEC. What’s the definition of this… it’s nothing but nihilistic syncretism. Nashotah House is in communion with such rubbish. What is more, since this church is in San Francisco area, JP knew of its existence. On this ground alone, he should have declined (politely, of course) the invitation to be part of Munday’s event at Nashotah House.

Nashotah House is NOT going to break its ties with the TEC. It shall remain, therefore, in communion with such nihilism. You cannot get around this stubborn fact with pretty arguments. This means that Jonas Paffhausen and Chad Hatfield, in particular, do not give a tinker’s damn for Orthodoxy or for what it stands for. When you sign an agreement with any part of the TEC, you implicitly support such syncretism. Munday should have been told, “We hold nothing against you as a human being. We have sympathy for some of your intellectual positions. Nevertheless, you remain in communion with the TEC, and that means that you are one with them. Therefore, we cannot participate in your conference. We CAN and shall send an observer who shall take no part in the discussions. In addition, we shall not allow them to be part of any group photos; they will attend only to report to us what happens at your event. I hope that you can understand these restrictions. At present, due to your decision to remain a part of the TEC, this is all that we can do in good conscience. May God watch over you and yours, and may no ill befall you”. THAT is what should have happened. Instead, JP and Hatfield signed a pact with the TEC via one of its seminaries and gave them legitimacy by posing in Nashotah House’s group photo. Furthermore, they then kept their participation secret until an internet brouhaha forced them to acknowledge their action. Birds of a feather… do draw the proper conclusions.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 9 July 2010

Albany NY

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