Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

20 November 2012. The Faces of the Church…





As always, the Church is the PEOPLE. It’s NOT the clergy, it’s NOT the bishops, and it’s NOT the buildings. Think on that…



Putin Spokesman Dmitri Peskov Sez Playing with Religion in Russia Dangerous

These people are America‘s Pussy Riot… think about it…


Editor’s Foreword:

I’m using an “old” story for a reason. Check out my comments after the article.



Playing with people’s religious feelings in Russia is dangerous, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said in commentary on the case of female punk group Pussy Riot, telling the Dozhd TV channel on Thursday, “In this country playing with nationalities, playing with religion, is the same as smoking at a filling station”. An edited clip of the Pussy Riot protest posted online showed the group alternately high-kicking and crossing themselves near the entrance to the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, accompanying their song Holy Shit, urging the Virgin Mary to “drive Putin out”. The song contained words insulting to Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and rude references to believers.

A Moscow court found three band members guilty of hooliganism; it sentenced them to two years imprisonment each on 17 August. This attracted both media attention and international criticism, which Moscow dismissed as “groundless” saying the band’s act was not an issue of artistic performance, but was “insulting to millions of Orthodox believers”. Peskov observed, “Most probably, I belong to the part of society that’s genuinely indignant and believes that such deeds should be punished very harshly”.

7 September 2012



Editor’s Afterword:

This is a little old, but it hasn’t lost its relevance. No one has the right to play with another person’s religious observance or beliefs in certain venues. Online, there’s a vigorous debate; let the devil take the hindmost! We can be harsh and astringent… if the situation calls for it. One can be blunt, for the internet is the agora of today’s society… you meet everything and everybody there, it’s an open space, full of life and discussion.

However, in our relations to living institutions and living people, we have responsibilities to one another. The Mormons are chock fulla shit… there are fewer groups more offensive in their greedy rapaciousness or more full of arrant lies (The Book of Mormon is the looniest “scripture” ever created… only an American sectarian could’ve thought it up). However, I’m not going to disrupt a Mormon “service”… I don’t have that right. In like manner, the protesters from “Westboro Baptist Church” at soldiers’ funerals don’t have the right to disrupt them. It’s shouting “fire” in a crowded auditorium, I say… it’s looking for trouble, and, one day, they’re going to find it, and they’re not going to like it one bit (I’d love to see it though, and I’m not alone in thinking that way).

Terry Jones is an arrant liar and extremist rabble-rouser. However, I have no right to disrupt his church services. There are simple souls in his congregation that I wouldn’t wish to hurt. I think that Freddie M-G has a lotta brass to demand that people fork over 25 bucks (785 Roubles. 20 Euros. 16 UK Pounds) apiece to hear her speak. Yet, I’m of the opinion that if you’re stupid enough to pay such an extortionate fee, I’ll not stop Freddie from fleecing you. I’d heckle her good n’ hard, though… a lecture isn’t a church service, a funeral, baptism, wedding, or other family celebration… all of which merit our respect.

In other words, we can be harsh on JP and his nasty lying claque in the agora. Such isn’t only our right; it’s our duty to the truth. On the other hand, we must pay an honourable homage to his sister’s passing and respect the services marking that passing. That’s what decent people do… both so-called “believers” and “non-believers” alike… I think that I have much company in thinking that.


20 November 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Leading Oil-Exporting Countries in Africa and the Middle East


On 14 November, Israel opened large-scale military operations against militants in the Gaza Strip. The subsequent worsening of the situation led to a rise in world oil prices. Which countries in the Middle East are the largest players in the market for “black gold?” In order to stabilise the price of oil, in 1960, major oil-exporting countries established an international intergovernmental organisation, OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries). It has 12 members:

The purpose of OPEC is to coordinate and develop a common policy on oil production among its member-countries, maintaining stable oil prices, to ensure a stable supply of oil to consumers, and to control investment in the oil sector. The member-countries control about two-thirds of the world’s oil reserves. They control 40 percent of global oil production, which accounts for half of the world’s exports of the product.

20 November 2012



Stalingrad: The Battle that Saved the World


Song of the SOVIET Artillerists… Note, the translation says “our leaders are with us” but they’re singing “Stalin gave the call!”


70 years ago, on 19 November 1942, the greatest battle of the Great Patriotic War started in Stalingrad (now Volgograd). Historians consider this battle the first step in the Soviet victory in the VOV. Early in the morning of 19 November 1942, thousands of Soviet cannons shelled the Fascist positions, and the Red Army launched a decisive attack. Several days later, 330,000 Fascist soldiers found themselves locked in a pocket, encircled by Soviet forces. The battle lasted for three months, but all the Fascist attempts to break through the Soviet ring were in vain.

The Soviet side prepared for this decisive operation for two months. A large concentration of forces, mainly from Siberia, converged around Stalingrad. Russian historian Mikhail Myagkov said, “The Battle of Stalingrad was a turning point in World War II. The Red Army managed to stop and turn back the Wehrmacht, which had conquered nearly all of Europe. The Fascists never recovered from the blow that the Red Army gave them in Stalingrad. The Fascist forces that approached Stalingrad were very numerous. Hitler attached much importance to conquering this city, and he concentrated his best forces there. The victory of the Red Army at Stalingrad not only weakened the Fascists from the point of view of troops and arms. It also weakened them morally”.

The victory at Stalingrad required titanic effort from the Soviet people. Stalingrad was one of Hitler’s main aims from the very beginning of his war against the USSR. If he could conquer this city, his army would soon reach the Caucasus, a region rich with oil. The Fascists had little doubt that they’d conquer Stalingrad quickly and with little effort. They considered themselves invincible; they didn’t expect the desperate resistance that they met in Stalingrad. Veterans of the Battle of Stalingrad called it a real hell on Earth. A hill in Stalingrad’s centre, Mamaev Kurgan, passed several times between the Fascists and the Red Army. The Russians fought for every street, every house in the city.

The entire world awaited the outcome of the battle with bated breath. The future of entire Europe, if not the entire world, depended on who’d win it. The Battle of Stalingrad lasted 200 days. Historians say that it was the most large-scale bloodshed in history. About a million Soviet servicemen were killed or wounded in this battle, but the Fascists losses were also great… they lost about one-fourth of their army.

Now, many volumes have been written about the Battle of Stalingrad. It may look like we already know everything about this battle, every minute of it. However, historians believe that we still know too little. Yelena Tsunaeva, a historian from Volgograd (the present name of Stalingrad), and one of the authors of an encyclopaedia devoted to the Battle of Stalingrad, said, “We still know too few details. Many wartime records haven’t survived. We know the names of practically everyone awarded decorations for bravery in the Battle of Stalingrad, but very often, we don’t know any details about what their exploits were. So, it’d be wrong to say that we already know everything about the Battle of Stalingrad”. Soon, the fifth revised edition of the encyclopaedia of the Battle of Stalingrad, with Ms. Tsunaeva as one of its authors, will be published. Another publication expected to be released soon is a book of biographies of the battle’s participants, titled The People of Stalingrad and the Battle of Stalingrad.

19 November 2012

Svetlana Kalmykova

Voice of Russia World Service


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