Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Putin said that the Global Crisis is Systemic

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (1952- )


In an article published on his election website and in Izvestiya, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that the world is facing a serious systemic crisis. He wrote, “By their scale, today’s global imbalances are such that they can hardly be overcome within the framework of the current system. Fundamentally, what the world’s facing today is a serious systemic crisis, a tectonic process of global transformation. This is a visible manifestation of a transition to a new cultural, economic, technological, and geopolitical era”. In his opinion, the world’s entering a turbulent period, saying, “This period will be long and painful. We should cherish no illusions about it”. Russia will hold a presidential election on 4 March 2012. Most observers think that Putin, who was President between 2000 and 2008, is the most likely winner.

16 January 2012 (MSK)




15 January 2012. A Picture is Worth Thousand Words… The Presidential Horse Race… and “What’s in a Name?”

The Presidential Horse Race… as seen by the citizenry…


“A rose by any other name…”


“An Area of Legal Vacuum”


The American prison in Guantánamo Bay (on the territory of sovereign Cuba) still contains 171 prisoners. These people don’t know what the future holds for them. The RF MID considers such a situation unprecedented in recent history, according to a statement posted on the MID website.

The prison at Guantánamo opened 11 January 2002; at first, it was a temporary holding camp. On this day, the Americans brought here the first 20 prisoners captured in the “global war on terrorism” declared by the USA. Over the past 10 years, the camp turned into a full-fledged prison. During that time, almost 800 people from 23 countries between the ages of 25 to 62 passed through its gates. Sergei Maksimov, an expert in international law, commented, “Formally, the Guantánamo detainees are suspected of having links with terrorist organisations such as Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others. The prison at Guantánamo Bay’s an unusual phenomenon in modern life. This camp contains those accused of various crimes by the US authorities. At the same time, in fact, it’s on the territory of another sovereign state, for its on Cuban territory. From the perspective of contemporary international practise, it’s a surreal situation, where there are extraterritorial prisons, places where people are deprived of liberty without charge”.

Human rights activists have long sounded the alarm about the prison’s operation. Their main argument is that its existence is contrary to international law. Many of the detainees held there have no formal charges against them, but their treatment doesn’t jibe with any of the rules of civilised society. The Americans themselves admit that they used illegal interrogation methods against the prisoners, such as sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, and loud music. We also know that the Americans used waterboarding, a simulation of drowning, against three people suspected of terrorism.

As a result, the prison at Guantánamo Bay became a headache for the US government. Even during the Bush administration, they released 537 prisoners. Barack Obama, after taking office, gave orders to close the prison within a year. That is, it was supposed to close by January 2010. The closure remained a “paper fiction”. Congress blocked this decision, and President Obama didn’t have the courage to use his veto power. People assumed that some of the prisoners would go to trial, and the rest would go to other countries. Yet, only six people faced actual trial, eight have died, but the others have never received formal charges. According to the MID, this situation is unprecedented, and when you consider that the USA holds about 3,000 people in similar conditions in Afghanistan, this is evidence of gross violations of international law by the USA.

The MID also commented on the situation in connection with the adoption of new US anti-terrorism laws, which strengthen the extraterritorial application of US criminal and anti-terrorism legislation in respect of third-country nationals. Consequently, Washington violated its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. This prohibits false imprisonment and mistreatment of prisoners, and it contains provisions stipulating the need to ensure fair justice. It seems that Washington considers themselves above their international commitments and effectively legalise prisons such as Guantánamo Bay. In fact, President Obama signed the new law, which shows that he’s not trying to restrict his special services.

15 January 2012

Aleksandr Vatutin

Voice of Russia World Service


Western Shock Headlines Misrepresent Patriarch Kirill

Here’s the real deal on His Holiness… he’s NOT a Langley lickspittle like the Blunder, Denisenko, Rusantsov, and Pashkovsky (not to mention Paffhausen, Kishkovsky (père et fille), Reardon, Serge Schmemann, and Potapov)…


The sensational headlines found in the Western and Scandinavian media caused a Christmas shock. Unfortunately, quite a few Russian news outlets repeated these headlines. Through them, an ordinary reader might suppose that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill [of Moscow and all the Russias] and Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin might even support dollar-funded colour revolutionary leaders. The Western media didn’t write any references to specifics about the Orthodoxy (right mind) and Orthopraxis (right practise) of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the worst cases, the above-mentioned journalists had never even attended an Orthodox service.

Many greetings and prayers of the Orthodox Christmas services focus on brotherly love and peace in Jesus Christ. According to Vladimir Lossky (1903–58), an influential Eastern Orthodox theologian, the Christian life of prayer and worship is the foundation for dogmatic theology, and dogma helps Christians in their struggles. Orthodox doctrine has its basis in liturgical life, prayer, and in the experience of church members of the presence of God in Christ. Did the journalists understand the speeches of Kirill and Chaplin in the context of the Orthodox understanding and devotion surrounding Christmas?

In his 2012 Christmas message, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill told his flock that hope resides in the birth of Christ, rather than in political power struggles, personal greed, and relativism:

God was born in the flesh in order to reveal His love, to help people to find the fullness of life, to give this to every man who wants to hear His message. That’s why this holiday gives us hope for help from above even in the most difficult circumstances of our lives.

Patriarch Kirill spoke about the serious challenges facing our modern world:

This challenge aims to destroy the moral sense embedded by God in our souls. Today, there are those who’re trying to convince people that man, and only man, is the standard of truth… that everyone has their own truth, and everyone defines what’s good, and what’s evil.

One can easily see that Patriarch Kirill’s guiding people away from greedy enterprises and moral relativism towards a sense of morality and an appreciation of the spiritual dimension of life.

Personal forgiveness and Holy Communion (Eucharist) are at the centre of Orthodox Christmas worship; this applies equally to small children and old people. For many secular people, to see that believers of all ages participate in Holy Communion at Christmas is an impressive experience, for everyone needs confession of sins and forgiveness. Orthodox Christmas is joyous, but that joy isn’t commercial in nature. Patriarch Kirill invited both the protesters and the government to Confession. His Holiness turned to the government, as the Western media made very well-known, but he turned also to the demonstrators, and exhorted them to be renewed, “Be honest with yourselves”.

His Holiness warned, “Social networks manipulate the awareness” of people. In his Christmas homily he said, “It’s important to learn how to recognise the deceits and illusions of Earthly well-being in our destructive addictions, in our greedy strivings, in the temptations of advertisements, in the entertainment industry, and in political propaganda”. The patriarch’s speech about “social networks” echoes Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin’s cautionary words about “social network hamsters”. The clerics express the Church’s love for people, but they’re concerned about manipulation and incitement.

On 8 January 2012, Patriarch Kirill said in the Word of the Pastor that everybody wants “to express his own judgement, not only to present it to others publicly, but also to lead others”. Everyone lives under the powerful influence of the informational media during times of election campaigns and political conflicts. To better orient us, the patriarch referred to the Christmas Tropar {a short hymn encapsulating the theme of a feast or saint: editor} and reminded us that the birth of Christ the Saviour opened a new era. Christ is “a guiding star, a beacon, which helps to pull out of the darkness”. His Holiness prayed that God would grant Russia the will to follow the mind of God. “Then, we could avoid the many mistakes of the past”. The messages [of Patriarch Kirill and Fr Vsevolod] sprung from the Orthodox theology and devotion of Christmas. The Church shouldn’t incite dispute, rather, it should try to steer people towards divine peace, brotherly love, and peaceful unity. His Holiness and Fr Vsevolod want to direct people away from momentary emotional manipulation towards a deeper spiritual orientation. Everyone needs to listen more to each other, instead of each one inventing consistently wilder campaigns against one’s opponents.

14 January 2012

Juha Molari

Russia Today


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