Voices from Russia

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Fidel Castro’s Sister Denied Rumours that He Suffered a Massive Stroke

Fidel Castro Ruz (1926- ) with Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger (1927- ) in Cuba


Venezuelan media sources said that Fidel Castro’s sister denied rumours that the former Cuban leader suffered a massive stroke and was on the brink of death. On Friday, the American Spanish-language newspaper Nuevo Herald quoted Venezuelan doctor Jose Marquina as saying that Castro suffered a “massive embolism of the right cerebral artery” and had trouble eating, speaking, or recognising people. Juanita Castro, who resides in Miami, said that reports of her brother’s condition were “absurd” rumours. Earlier, Castro’s son, Alex, said that his father’s health was good, and he was “going about his daily life, reading extensively”.

Castro, who ruled the communist island for about 50 years, handed over the presidency to his younger brother Raúl in 2008. Rumours about his deteriorating health circulated on and off for years, but intensified after Castro failed to congratulate Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías on his re-election in October. On 11 October, Venezuelan journalist Nelson Bocaranda said that Castro’s death was imminent. The 86-year-old Cuban revolutionary leader last appeared in public in March, when he met visiting Pope Benedict XVI. Castro also stopped writing his essays, dubbed Reflections, in the local media in June. However, on Wednesday, Cuban state media circulated a congratulatory letter to the graduates of a Cuban medical school purportedly written and signed by Castro. So far, the Cuban authorities haven’t made any official statements on Castro’s condition.

20 October 2012




20 October 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. It’s Yet One More Election Day

Sergei Yolkin. Its Yet Another Election Day. 2012 (2)


An election to choose the members of the Coordinating Council of the Russian Opposition is due on 20-21 October.

18 October 2012

Sergei Yolkin



20 October 2012. Some More “Whispers” in the Agora on the Church Situation

00 You can hear a lot in the agora... 20.10.12


I’ve been listening to the chat in the agora… The following is a reconstruction, to protect my sources.

In the first place, the Centre never really wanted JP. The Centre did sign-off on Feodosy’s retirement and the election of Herman as First Hierarch. The “fix” was in, way before the 2002 Florida All-American Sobor. Sometime prior to it, Herman travelled to Moscow; he met with Patriarch Aleksei, who stated that he “understood” and accepted the circumstances surrounding Feodosy’s retirement. The Centre would’ve preferred having Herman simply continue as First Hierarch.

Alfeyev doesn’t represent “the Centre”; rather, he’s someone they can’t stand, but they can’t get rid of him yet, so, that’s why he’s a vicar bishop and head of a gutted and toothless DECR. Until they can think of something else to do with him, he’s “topped out” in the MP hierarchy, and he’s going nowhere fast. The one to watch is Archbishop Mark Golovkov. He’s one of the few of the younger bishops (born 1964) who’s already a genuine “insider” in the REAL upper echelons of the MP, whose career is really going places. Fathausen never had and STILL doesn’t have the right contacts in the Centre and probably never will.

One of my reliable sources told me that the London Conference is an “iceberg”… most of its work will be “under the surface”. For instance, the leading personalities in the reconciliation, Nikolai Balashov and Alexander Lebedeff, are the leading figures amongst the clergy present at the Conference. In the informal chain of command, both outrank the Blunder.

Do remember that the interactive map of MP parishes worldwide makes no distinction between “MP” and “ROCOR” parishes. Another “voice” told me that’s quite deliberate… the ROCOR will be the vehicle for unification outside of the CIS zone. One reason for the Conference is to get the diaspora bishops together to “brainstorm” the coming body. Note well that the conference deputed Balashov and Lebedeff as effectual negotiators of this body’s “shape”. That is, HH isn’t just storming forward and putting his idiosyncratic ideas into place… he’s looking for input from all the diaspora bishops, to have as few “bumps in the road” as possible. He’s also putting the successful “hondlers” (that’s Yiddish for “dealmakers”) of the reconciliation in place to do the same for the unification.

Most of the stuff that you see on Monomuckos is utter and complete horseshit and lies. The Centre never approved of JP. NEVER. There’s established protocol for the reception of any First Hierarch of a Local Church in Moscow. They’re met with a military honour guard at the airport. They get a reception with the President at the Grand Kremlin Palace, a meeting with Foreign Minister Lavrov, and (usually) a photo-op with the Prime Minister. If they go to the MDA, the rector personally greets them and squires them about the premises. The visit gets full coverage and complete photo albums on patriarchia.ru. Usually, there’s a mention of the visit on VOR, Interfax, and RIA-Novosti. That didn’t happen during Fathausen’s junkets… save for once, when HH made sure that an unflattering image of JP with him and Mel Pleska was sent out to the world.

Simply put, the Monomuckos gang is ignorant of the nuts n’ bolts of everyday Orthodoxy. They may have read the Fathers, but they don’t know who’s who and what’s what. However, they’ve been ploughing their own furrow for quite some time now. The same thing happened with the HOCNA bunch, with the St Edward the Confessor gang, and Basil Osborne’s nutters in the UK. They all started out by doing their own thing, and, before you knew it, they were gone. The same will happen here, I fear. Yet, if the OCA dies, it won’t be with a bang… it’ll be a parish-by-parish die-off. It’ll be a long painful cancerous death, not a swift heart-attack. It’s not edifying, is it?

We could even end with the real Orthodox going off to the New ROCOR and the konvertsy continuing to call themselves the “Orthodox Church in America”. However, I don’t think that Georgia would have the stones to give such a group “canonical coverage”. It’d cause far too many problems with the Centre, and all of Langley’s money, and all of Langley’s men, couldn’t make them do such a dumb thing (a Georgian acquaintance said that, and it “rings” true).

However, we’re in a period of transition, there’s NOTHING “solid” and “dependable” to count on. Expect people such as Lyonyo and Tosi to act as though nothing has changed. Yet… all bets are off until the Sobor. Although, the question now is, “Shall it even take place, given the dearth of registrations?” None of us knows the answer to that one. For the immediate near term, not I, not anyone else either, has a handle on what’s coming down. God willing, the transit won’t be overly painful… but it shall be painful, do count on that. Are you willing to swallow a kopeck’s worth?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 20 October 2012

Albany NY  

20 October 2012. A Point to Ponder… Why is NATO Fighting in Asia When It’s a EUROPEAN Defence Bloc?


The critics of the KPRF dismiss it as “a bunch of oldtimers; it’s just babas and dedes nostalgic for the USSR“. I don’t see many “grey heads” in the above image. A new generation is picking up the dream… and it’s a dream of CHRISTIAN Socialism. You see, both the Church and the Party learned harsh lessons from the Soviet period and the chaotic Nasty Nineties. The Party learnt that fighting God wasn’t a good move… the Church learnt humility and that Western Liberalism  (AKA “Conservatism”) wasn’t its friend. Yes, Virginia, there were GOOD results that came out of the repressions and the New Time of Troubles. The Left is sounding the alarm about NATO aggression and American hegemonism… and Russia‘s responding.

The only really well-organised and institutionalised Russian political bloc is the Communists… and they’re no longer atheistic by ideology. Once VVP‘s off the scene… I think that you can see what I see… Orwell‘s Neo-Bolshevism… with a CHRISTIAN grounding. Now, that’s something to look forward to…


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