Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

5 September 2012. “It’s Deja Vu, All Over Again”… It’s All So Friggin’ SORDID


We all know that OCA Bishop Matthias Moriak was suspended some time ago. Finally, oca.org commented on it all:

Statement Issued by OCA Chancery

On 24 August 2012, an allegation of misconduct was received at the Chancery concerning His Grace, Bishop Matthias, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest. The allegation centres on how certain telephone and text communications directed by His Grace to an adult woman member of the OCA were understood to have been intended. There are no allegations involving physical contact or criminal conduct. Even so, in accordance with church policies, the bishop is on administrative leave while the investigation proceeds.

5 September 2012


Official OCA website



One of the Cabinet disgustedly wrote:

You mean to tell me that they couldn’t get this miserable statement out 8 days ago? Seriously? What’s WRONG with these people! Also, note how they’re trying to bury it with an insipid, nondescript title, Statement issued by OCA Chancery. Hey, how about, Chancery Statement on Bishop Matthias, or something like that? Oh no, that would only call attention to this matter we’re desperately trying to hide! Well, newsflash, geniuses… it’s already made the mainstream press. When will they learn to beat gossip and reporting by coming clean up front? Who’s responsible for this delay?

I wrote to another Cabinet member:

That’s ridiculous. However, all that this stuff will do is piss people off about Syosset (and Lyonyo and Jillions). I’ll get to it later… it’s just another “Slowpoke Matusiak” story. Do you understand why I enjoy covering Team Russia at the Paralympics and dread all the OCA shit? Maybe, we should have that Greek powerlifter and that Russian discus thrower go to Syosset and “clean house”… they’re REAL Orthodox guys, after all!

It’s all so SORDID…

Who’s responsible for this state of affairs? It’s the same ol’ gang… Lyonyo… his sockpuppet Jillions… Tosi… John Behr… apparatchiki like Piggy Iggy Burdikoff… Benjamin Peterson… Michael Dahulich. They’re so slow because they’re fighting amongst themselves and the lawyers are really running the show. Quite frankly, the parishes gave up on this set of creepozoids a long time ago. I’ll say this… if Lyonyo, Peterson, Tosi, and Dahulich think that they can convene a packed Sobor, they’d best think again. As I wrote my friend, It’s all so SORDID. I feel like I’ve been mucking out a byre in a nonstop shit-storm. I think that I’m not alone… to paraphrase Marx…“A spectre is haunting the OCA; the spectre of the truth”.

The truth WILL set you free from the shackles of Syoset… but only if you let it…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Albany NY

This Just In Department:

A Cabinet member said:

Yes, pissing me off was precisely the effect this had on me. I’m sure that’s true of many, many others. I’m with you! Let’s all chip in to fly that powerlifter and that discus thrower to New York! The money would be better spent in that than in assessments.

Could you see Lyonyo shittin’ his skivvies if Aleksei Ashapatov were to show up with discus in hand (he is over two metres tall, by the way)? I’d PAY to see that!



The Ashes of Beslan


On 1 September, friends and strangers wrote on social networks, “They think we’ve forgotten! They want us to forget!” Of course, it isn’t that the authorities necessarily want anyone to forget the Beslan hostage crisis of 2004, it’s just that they’d prefer that people focus on a certain narrative of the tragedy that occurred at the local school there, one that doesn’t involve any mention of possible mistakes made by the officials in charge. Islamic militants took over 1,100 people hostage at the school during celebrations commemorating the start of a new school year. On the third day of the hostage crisis, security forces stormed the school… 186 children never made it out alive. Including security officers and rescuers who perished at the scene, the total number of victims stands at 334.

Legal proceedings surrounding this act of terrorism and its aftermath have outraged many… including survivors and relatives of the victims. The courts were careful to shield the security forces from responsibility. Yet, there was a consensus that the authorities botched the rescue operation… although no one was punished. The security apparatus is enormous and, as such, it isn’t a monolith. I can’t abide blanket condemnations of all security forces members… because I know that many of them risk life and limb and see the worst of what the world has to offer, and they remain humane. However, few of us can look at the outcome of the Beslan hostage crisis and hold back tears… and anger.

The problem here is also one of lack of transparency… and general public mistrust. Whilst a culture of secrecy is an important aspect of any security organisation… the biggest challenge is the promotion of at least some form of a culture of accountability. I’m not saying that this will somehow help people get over Beslan… some wounds won’t heal in our lifetime, nor should they. Nevertheless, ultimately, it’d help the country move on from the Soviet (and Imperial) notion that the importance of a human life should pale in comparison to the grandeur and majesty of the state. A Russian saying goes, “The ashes of Klaas beat on in my heart”. It’s taken from a translated book on Till Eulenspiegel and references the execution of Till’s father. Well, I guess you can say that, for many people, “The bones of the children of Beslan beat on in our hearts”.

Tracing my own professional and personal trajectory so far, I can tell you that Beslan played a crucial role in bringing me to Russia. I was a college student in the USA in 2004, and in the aftermath of what happened, I saw far too many Western attempts to justify or excuse the actions of the terrorists. You see, 9/11 was an attack of radical Islamists… and moral nihilists. However, the Beslan terrorists were “just fighting for their freedom, man”. The idea was, if only Russia would only give up a good chunk of the North Caucasus… then, all problems would find a solution, and candy and teddy bears would rain from the sky!

The notion that a state ruled by a group of radical fundamentalists… who have no problem murdering fellow Muslims, as we just saw with the killing of venerated Sufi leader Sayid Afandi Chirkeisky… would then be formed right next to Russia is somehow seen as not all that bad. Of course, even this scenario is an optimistic one… what would probably happen is years of growing chaos, violence, turmoil, public executions, an out-of-control arms trade, and so on. This Western narrative of Beslan made me, an aspiring journalist born in the Soviet Ukraine, seriously consider my possible future place in the Western media. All the same, there was something else too, something deeper… my horror at the tragedy was profound and unrelenting and ultimately alienating. The tragedy dislodged something inside of me… some trapdoor that opened up on inner doubts about my entire life’s purpose. I realised that I wasn’t treating the bad news from Russia as mere reports from a distant land… this was personal. For better or for worse, the needle on my inner compass started its slow progress toward Russia.

In Kitaigorod, a historic Moscow neighbourhood, a monument commemorating the victims of Beslan had many Muscovites, regardless of political affiliation, crying foul. It’s a work by Zurab Tsereteli, favourite sculptor of former Mayor Yuri Luzhkov, and it’s characteristically bombastic… if sculpture can be bombastic. Yet, I find something appropriate in the banality of the monument, after all… perhaps, it’s the banality of the dead-eyed toys it features. There’s the same kind of horrific banality in the accounts of the survivors. One minute, you’re at a celebration, surrounded by families and small children. The next minute, you’re in hell… and when you think it can’t get any worse, it gets worse. What possible good can come of Beslan, in the end? None, for the people who lost loved ones. For the country as a whole, perhaps, it’s allowed a new kind of national soul-searching. Maybe, in a hundred years, historians will refer to it as a kind of breaking-point. Maybe not.

3 September 2012

Natalia Antonova



5 September 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The Russian Post “Lottery”: How Not to End Up a Statistical Error

The Russian Post “Lottery”: How Not to End Up a Statistical Error

Sergei Yolkin



Russian Post gets quite a few gripes… all too often, letters and parcels are delivered late, if not lost. Meanwhile, the volume of shipments constantly increases, especially with the end of summer and the approach of the New Year holidays. in an interview with the Prime news service correspondent Tatiana Belyakova, Aleksandr Timofeyev, the head of Organisation for Production Processes for Russian Post, told how the post office is preparing for the “high” season, the problems this causes, and how they plan to address them.

5 September 2012

Sergei Yolkin



Editor’s Note:

In Russia, the post office still has a monopoly on parcel post… that’s as it should be. UPS and FedEx are commercial buccaneers… we need to close them down. You see, these commercial bloodsuckers only deliver to “profitable” areas. Previously, the US Post Office used profits from “profitable” areas to subsidise delivery service to more inaccessible regions. Nowadays, those monies are going into the pockets of greedy soulless and godless investors, not to help the common good. That’s why we need to shut down UPS and FedEx and return parcel delivery to the Post Office… they’re leeches on society and sucking out money that doesn’t belong to McMansion filth. It’s quite that simple…


5 September 2012. Greek Paralympians Bring Home the Bacon, Too

Powerlifter Pavlos Mamalos


Powerlifter Pavlos Mamalos after winning the bronze in the 90 kilos (198 pounds) competition


Paschalis Stathelakos won the silver in the men’s discus throw


Grigorios Polychronidis of the boccia team during the mixed-pairs competition


Gold-medallist mixed-pairs boccia team of Maria-Eleni Kordali, Nikolaos Pananos, and Grigorios Polychronidis


Haralambos Taiganidis won bronze for Greece in the men’s 100-metre backstroke S13


Bronze-medallists Aristidis Makrodimitris, Alexandra Dimoglou, and Haralambos Taiganidis


Alexandra Dimoglou in the women’s 400-metre race


Swimmers Aristidis Makrodimitris and Haralambos Taiganidis won Greece’s first medals in the 2012 Paralympic Games, with Alexandra Dimoglou following suit in track and field. Makrodimitris earned bronze after finishing third in the 100-metre freestyle S2 final on Monday, clocking 2:21.04. A few hours later, Taiganidis added a second bronze medal by claiming the third spot in the final of 100-metre backstroke S13. Then, Dimoglou finished third in 400-metre T13 with a new personal best of 56.91 seconds. Team Greece at London’s Paralympic Games has 61 athletes.


On Tuesday, Greece secured its first gold medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games; the national boccia team in the BC3 category beat Portugal in the final with a 4-1 score. The Greek team consisted of veteran Grigoris Polychronidis as well as Nikos Pananos and Eleni Kordali. Also on Tuesday, Paschalis Stathelakos grabbed Greece’s first silver medal as he ended up second in the final of discus F40, with a European record of 44.11 metres. Pavlos Mamalos earned bronze in powerlifting after finishing third in the 90 kilo category with a lift of 232 kilos (512 pounds). This was Greece’s fourth bronze at the London Paralympics.

4 September 2012

George Georgakopoulos




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