Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 April 2012

Aleksei Navalny’s “Sphere of Influence”

THIS is what Aleksei Navalny wants for Russia. You see, he and his technocrat pals “deserve” to rule. My observation  is such people tend to be the worst tyrants and despots. Putin would be nothing compared to Navalny. Navalny’s a Kerensky… don’t forget, Kerensky imprisoned the tsar and issued Order Number One… NOT the Reds. If it hadn’t been for the feckless pro-Western rebels who forced out the tsar in February, there’d be a constitutional monarchy in Russia today. In like manner, Navalny and his American paymasters would bring in a despotism that would make any previous one seem pallid and weak. Think on THAT…


Time magazine named blogger and opposition leader Aleksei Navalny as one of the world’s 100 most influential figures for this year. The 100 most influential people in the world include politicians, as well as businessmen, scientists, sport stars, and showmen. Among the world leaders on the list are US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei. Time separately listed the leaders of so-called “rouge states”; amongst them are Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The only organisation on the list is the Anonymous hacker group, which rose to prominence by launching attacks on government and major corporate websites. According to news reports, Navalny was one of the most controversial figures during the internet-voting on the magazine’s official website. In all, 92,000 voted for his inclusion on the list, whilst 77,000 were against the move. Only the candidacy of Syrian President Assad triggered more negative votes.

On what criteria Aleksei Navalny was included on the top-100 list? Time said that by doing so, it decided to honour the service of a blogger in fighting against corruption and uniting Russians on social websites. On his website, Navalny posted documents that unmasked corruption by Russian officials. Moreover, he rose to prominence as one of the active participants of the opposition rallies staged late last year and early this year. The police arrested him several times for organising unauthorised rallies. In response to a question whether he’s truly an influential figure in Russia, the head of the Centre for Studying the Elite, Olga Kryshtanovskaya said, “According to an opinion poll conducted six months ago, only 0.5 percent of Russians knew his name. Many people live outside the Internet; Navalny’s an Internet figure, but he’s invisible on TV. At present, the number of people who recognise him grew, but this percentage is very low. If an opinion poll was conducted in Russia, he wouldn’t occupy a top place, and he wouldn’t be amongst the 100 most influential people even in Russia, not to mention the whole world”.

VOR asked Navalny for a comment, but according to his press secretary, Navalny commented on Time’s decision on his LiveJournal blog. He wrote, “Now, it’s possible to announce at meetings the following… ‘Honourable police officers! Your illegal actions distress one of the most influential people in the world. If you don’t stop, then, he’ll tell it all on Twitter’”. For some experts, Navalny’s success among Western journalists wasn’t a surprise. Political scientist Leonid Polyakov said, “This isn’t surprising because he’s quite a famous figure in the USA. He’s a darling of the political and journalistic élite in America. Many TV outlets throughout the world picture him as an uncompromising revolutionary. To speak plainly, Navalny’s influence is very small, even in the protest movement. There are many other people besides Navalny involved”.

In fact, Time’s editorial board demonstrated its “impartiality” more than once. Suffice it to remember how they chose their 2010 “Person of the Year”. The readers of the magazine voted for the founder of the scandalous WikiLeaks website Julian Assange; in all, 382,000 voted for him. However, unexpectedly, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg became the Person of the Year. In short, freedom of expression may be a good thing, but politics is “über alles”.

19 April 2012

Igor Siletsky

Voice of Russia World Service



Here’s the REAL hero of the protests… Sergei Udaltsov (1977- ), the leader of the Left Front, a patriot, not a bum-kisser of the Americans… that’s why you can’t believe the lies of the Western media on Russia…


Editor’s Note:

Navalny’s a member of the one of the more marginal political groups in Russia, the extremist pro-American Yabloko Party. However, it appeals to a small group of well-heeled pro-Western “professionals”… the same sorts who’re the backbone of the reactionary Right in the West. Yes, the Rightwing in the West appeals to troglodyte blue-collars as its “foot soldiers”, but one finds its ideological true believers and leaders in the New Class of “entrepreneurs”, “lawyers”, and “technical experts”, that is, people with technical training, but without a classical education… that’s to say, they’re trained illiterati, monkeys pecking at keyboards. Note well that Time didn’t honour the real heroic spark-plug behind the protests… Sergei Udaltsov, the leader of the Left Front (oh, dear! A RED!).

It’s easy to see why Navalny’s one of “McFaul’s Pals”… he wants a society just like the USA of Ronald Reagan and George W Bush… where the rich have the right to smash their heel into the faces of the working class with no consequence (at least, no immediate “legal” consequence… the 2007 Depression was the result of Reagan and Bush’s lunacies). Navalny’s nothing but Paul Ryan with a Russian accent… an enemy of everything that’s decent and true. His adulation by Americans says a good deal about our society and its values, doesn’t it? I fear that none of it’s good…



Video. Synodal Choir Performs Amidst Icons and Churches in RIA-Novosti Multimedia Centre


The RIA-Novosti multimedia centre created a religious atmosphere for a performance of the Moscow Synodal Choir. Click here for a slightly-under two-minute vid with English narration.

20 April 2012



The Holocaust is About Today and Tomorrow

11 April: International Day to Remember the Liberation of the Prisoners of the Nazi Concentration Camps

Yefim Tsvik



Holocaust Remembrance Day, 19 April, falls on the anniversary of the heroic Warsaw Ghetto uprising in 1943, when a Nazi SS brigade that was herding its population to death camps paid a heavy price in blood for weeks at the hands of Jewish fighters armed with Molotov cocktails. The commemoration day designated by the UN General Assembly, 27 January, is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops in 1945. These two dates reflect an evolving perception of the Holocaust in our newly-inflamed post-September 11 world, from a uniquely Jewish catastrophe to a universal one. As a survivor of Auschwitz, and currently an Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy of UNESCO for Holocaust education, I’m commemorating that tragedy with the Jews of Turkey… a country that’s welcomed and protected them from the time of the Spanish Inquisition to Hitler’s “Final Solution”.

My mission isn’t only to lament the victims, but also to alert world leaders and the public at large to the risk of new catastrophes that may destroy their universe, as they once destroyed mine. The ashes of Auschwitz speak to us about the present and the future, as well as the past. In the 1930s, when rampant economic and political upheavals unleashed insecurity and fear, popular folly recruited diabolic “saviours”. This is how democracies perished and the hunt for scapegoats began. Since my liberation from Dachau by American GIs, new genocides, ethnic cleansings, and other mass atrocities confirm that the human capacity for evil knows no bounds. Indeed, that the unthinkable is again possible, with plagues of toxic gas, atomic mushroom clouds, and ballistic missiles in the dangerous hands of new despots and fanatics.

Thus, when incendiary demagogues with nuclear ambitions reopen our wounds by calling the Holocaust a “myth”, we, the last living survivors, have a visceral obligation to testify that it was both a gruesome reality for us and an existential warning for all mankind of horrors yet to come. However, we must follow our words with action, with concrete policies of remembrance and education that can raise public awareness of how such slaughters erupt and how we can prevent them. Today, I can attest that this process has begun.

For last year’s commemoration, I found myself in Auschwitz at the behest of “Project Aladdin”, launched by the Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah and UNESCO. Two hundred Jewish, Muslim, and Christian leaders met in Paris for that pilgrimage, including heads of state, mayors of major capitals, Chief Rabbis, Grand Muftis, and Cardinals. In the cursed barbed-wire enclosure of Birkenau, where I once saw the proud ship of civilisation go under, where I lost my family and all the children of my school, it fell upon me to bear witness. Surrounded by relics of gas chambers and crematoria, united by common pain and shared human values, our unlikely assembly transcended all racial, religious, and political strife and prayed to the same God.

After that manifestation of solidarity, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives invited a group of us to testify before it. There, we reiterated the warning that unless we dissipate the abysmal ignorance and distortion of the Holocaust, unite against anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and terrorism, and espouse the core moral values inherent in our great creeds… spiritual and secular… the forces of darkness will return to doom our future. However, my principal focus was on the promising potential for expanded dialogue, revealed by the encounters in Paris, Auschwitz, and Washington. The Grand Mufti of Bosnia, Dr Mustafa Ceric, who was also with us, confirmed that potential with these words, “I came to see for myself the evil man can do to man, and to say that those who deny the Holocaust of Auschwitz or the genocide of Srebrenica, are committing genocides themselves”.

True, one swallow does not make a spring, but his declaration profoundly moved all his coreligionists, of every stripe and from every continent; the palpable evidence of Nazi barbarism shocked them, as it did the rest of us. It was also obvious that the barbarians of today who kill and maim innocents at random, including their own kin, equally disturbed them. This raised the hope of a more tolerable coexistence between vast silent majorities of people who don’t consider themselves “sworn enemies”. That “Project Aladdin” is now making available, in cooperation with local institutions, Turkish, Arabic, and Iranian versions of Holocaust books like The Diary of Anne Frank, films like Shoah, and other links for people-to-people contacts suggests that the hope is real.

It also suggests that political or diplomatic skirmishes of an altogether different nature mustn’t derail UN organisations entrusted with lofty fundamental responsibilities from their legitimate specialised tasks, especially UNESCO. This is all the more so in a deteriorating international environment that’s pushing us toward a fateful crossroads… shall we retreat into a dark age of unmanageable global turmoil, or, shall we move forward with new leaps of imagination, innovation, and creativity that could revive the enthusiasm and energies of younger generations?

Having experienced the lowest depths and a few summits of the human condition in the course of my tortuous odyssey, I’ve learned and written that there’s a way free of hatred and violence to deal with the intractable challenges of our time. That way calls for collective efforts to liberate the inexhaustible resources of human intelligence, knowledge, and compassion that exist in ample measure among peoples of every region, race, colour, and faith. Developed and made accessible through the precious channels of education, science, and culture, these resources can usher in a new era of tolerance, prosperity, and peace… before it is too late.

19 April 2012

Samuel Pisar



Editor’s Note:

We must refuse to support those who offer violence as a first resort in international, domestic, and personal venues. That’s why we must vote against all Republican candidates in the coming election. That’s what they stood for in the Reagan and Bush years, that’s what they stand for now, and that’s the sort of policy that Mitt Romney and Company would implement. Remember the secret torture facilities run by Langley and the Republican coddling of gun nutters and racists when you vote… if you vote for the GOP, you vote FOR hidden torture in secret locations, the scrapping of all reasonable gun laws, indiscriminate bombing of civilians, the protection of racist vigilantes, and perpetual warfare in foreign parts.

We CAN avert that…


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