Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Supporters Plead for Leniency for Priest in St Paul MN Threatening Case

01 gun nut cartoon


Some say that Kirill Bartashevitch, the St Paul man who allegedly pointed an AK-47 at his 15-year-old daughter in a dispute over her getting B’s instead of A’s in school, is a highly respected Russian Orthodox priest who should be treated with leniency. That’s the message from at least 20 supporters throughout the world, including people in Russia, Canada, New York, and Ohio, who wrote to Judge Lezlie Ott Marek on his behalf after she presided at an earlier hearing in the case. The writers describe Bartashevitch as a deeply-religious man who expresses great care and compassion for others, helping them grow in the faith. Some said they didn’t believe reports of the charges.

Bartashevitch appeared Tuesday, 2 April, in Ramsey County District Court, initially asking for another continuance in his case so that he could deal with potential “immigration consequences that are quite significant”, said his attorney, Cullin Smith. Smith didn’t elaborate. Bartashevitch then changed his mind. Judge Joy Bartscher set a pre-trial date of 1 May. Smith entered not-guilty pleas on his client’s behalf. Bartashevitch told reporters after the brief hearing, “Your work has made life miserable for people. That’s all I have to say”.

A Parma OH family wrote to the judge, “In all our conversations with and our many confessions to him, he’s been a great example for us and was without fail kind and patient, leading our souls to God, so we may partake of the liturgy”. They said that Bartashevitch travelled to Parma to see them. A Maryland man wrote that Bartashevitch deeply-regretted that an older daughter had “fallen away from Orthodoxy”, and he was determined not to let the same thing happen to the 15-year-old.

In the 13 January, Bartashevitch and his daughter were arguing at the family’s Hamline-Midway home in the 1700 block of Englewood Avenue when she swore at him and said she “hated” him, according to a criminal complaint. Bartashevitch, 52, grabbed his new AK-47… he’d recently bought it because he feared such weapons soon would be banned… and pointed it at the girl, the complaint said. The girl said her mother jumped between them while Bartashevitch pointed the gun. Bartashevitch ordered the girl to go to her room, which she did, according to the complaint. The complaint said that the teen “said she wasn’t scared because she didn’t think that the gun was loaded. She did say that she was afraid to go home”. She was at her high school when she talked to police, the complaint said.

Bartashevitch was charged with two counts of making terroristic threats, one count involving his daughter and the other his wife, Olga Samsonova, 52. A Ramsey County child protection worker interviewed Samsonova, who verified the girl’s account. She added that Bartashevitch had pushed Samsonova to the floor, the complaint said. A prosecutor said Tuesday that Bartashevitch had rejected a plea offer that would have given him a stay of imposition of sentence and a maximum of 60 days’ jail time in exchange for pleading guilty to one of the two felony counts.

In addition to being a priest, Bartashevitch worked for Minneapolis Public Schools since 2000. He was an IT support assistant at Sheridan Elementary School and Emerson Spanish Immersion Learning Center, but was placed on an unpaid leave of absence on the day he was charged, a district spokeswoman said. He has no prior complaints on file there. Court records show Bartashevitch was convicted of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanour, in 2000, and put on probation for one year. Samsonova was listed as the victim.

2 April 2013

Emily Gurnon

Twin Cities Pioneer Press


Editor’s Note:

If this priest pointed an AK at his daughter and pushed his wife to the floor, he deserves to go to the slam for reckless endangerment and assault and battery. It doesn’t matter if he was “kind” to other people. This guy wants “respect?” Well… let him act as though he’s worthy of it, I say. We expect higher standards of behaviour from our clergy, not lower ones. We have to end the policy of making excuses for crook clergy. Note well that those who call for lenience for clerical mofos are usually those who advocate harshness towards laypeople when they screw up. I say that clergy should get no “breaks”. If they fuck up, they deserve to face the same music that everyone else does. Let the court sort things out; if he’s guilty, let him go to the big house. If he’s not, spring him. Those are the real-world options…



What Will the North Korean “State of War” Rhetoric Result In?

00 Broken clock


  • 17 percent believe it’ll result in a war between the ROK and the DPRK with heavy American involvement
  • 15 percent believe it’ll end in World War III
  • 18 percent believe that the DPRK doesn’t have the firepower or equipment to launch a war
  • 45 percent believe that it’ll result in nothing. The DPRK is infamous for its empty rhetoric
  • 5 percent don’t know. They’re not familiar with the events on the Korean peninsula

246 people voted in this poll.

2 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

This was a VOR poll on the Russian side of the website. What did I vote for? Like most reasonable people, I opted for the fourth option, “It’ll result in nothing. The DPRK is infamous for its empty rhetoric”. The news one’s hearing in the USA is nothing but a Langley provocation and Fox News lies. Anyone who falls for it is a blithering chowderhead, and that’s all that there’s to say on the matter.



Poll Finds that One in Four Americans Believe that Obama is the Antichrist

00 09.11 Patriarch Kirill on President Obama


According to a poll released on Tuesday, about one in four Americans suspect that President Barack Obama might be the Antichrist, more than a third believe that global warming is a hoax, and more than half suspect that a secretive global élite is trying to set up a New World Order. More American voters believe that President Obama is the Antichrist than those who think that the moon landing was a hoaxNational Journal reported that Public Policy Polling looked at some conspiracy theories. 13 percent of respondents said Obama is the Antichrist and another 13 percent are unsure. The survey also showed that 37 percent of Americans thought that global warming was a hoax, whilst 12 percent weren’t sure, and a slim majority… 51 percent… agreed with the overwhelming majority view of the scientific establishment and thought that it wasn’t. The survey also revealed that 28 percent of people believed in a sinister global New World Order conspiracy, aimed at ruling the whole world through an authoritarian government. Another 25 percent were “not sure”; only a minority of American voters… 46 percent… thought such a conspiracy theory wasn’t true.

2 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Look at the above. Such fables are the bedrock orthodoxy of the GOP base. However, don’t discount them because they’re false and asinine. The Republicans are stirring up the ignorant yahoos. We need to organise and vote to beat them back. If you want real freedom, you’ll oppose the voracious and rapacious anti-life programme of the Republicans… oh, yes… their “anti-abortion” plank doesn’t cancel out the demonic and bestial remainder of their agenda. NEVER forget that.



Are White Supremacists On The Rampage In Texas?

01 The KKK Wants You


I’d been in the USA for five years before I encountered my first white supremacist. It happened outside a gas station on a rural back road in Texas, next to a used tire lot that I suspected was a front for skulduggery. We didn’t exchange any words; we just walked past each other, scowling. How did I know he was a white supremacist if we didn’t talk? The “White Power” tattoo on his gut was a dead giveaway. I thought, “Subtle”. Still, I wondered if I should give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he’d gotten the tattoos to celebrate youthful racism, but had long since embraced the rainbow of nations. On the other hand, I didn’t think he’d be wandering about shirtless if he didn’t take pride in his hatred. Then, there were his three boys… they all had shaved heads and looked incredibly angry. I thought, “Yup, dude’s a racist”.

Up until that point, white power freaks were almost mythical creatures for me, like unicorns, only less appealing to preteen girls. Of course, I knew that they existed, but overexposure to British TV documentaries about American weirdoes in the 1990s, not to mention Russian anti-Americanism in the 2000s, bred weariness in me, so, I’d rejected the characterisation of America as a land teeming with survivalists, apocalyptic believers, Hitler fans, and serial killers long before I moved here. I mean, come on… no place could be that interesting.

On the other hand, it’s undeniable that Americans are themselves quite fascinated by their own loons and lavish upon them the attention they crave. A case in point is the Westboro Baptist Church of “God hates fags” notoriety. It’s a repulsive sect, but also miniscule in number… yet, the media constantly reports on their offensive publicity stunts, thus encouraging them. Then, there’s that odd pastor with the strange moustache who occasionally pops up to burn a Quran. He’s clearly a flake, but that didn’t stop Obama from asking him to refrain from incinerating the Word of Allah a few years back. The loon, delighted with the attention, went ahead with his bonfire. These nut jobs represent next-to-nobody; they reveal little about America. For sure, they’re unpleasant people to be avoided, but that’s about it. I felt the same way about white supremacists… fringe lunatics, occasionally dangerous, but by-and-large content to smoke meth and fulminate in their trailers. The days when the KKK could count Democratic senators in their number are long gone.

Sometimes, however, you can be surprised. Since the start of the year, some shocking developments in Texas suggest that I’ve underestimated the racists. When an Assistant District Attorney was assassinated in January, my reflex thought was that he might’ve been investigating the Mexican cartels. Nevertheless, at the same time, that didn’t make sense. Two years ago, I visited Ciudad Juárez at the height of the drug violence, and even then, life in El Paso, directly across the border, was absurdly peaceful. The drug lords are clever; they knew then that whilst Obama might have an appetite for adventures in Libya, he wanted nothing to do with the atrocious violence south of his own border. Therefore, whilst the cartels murdered cops and politicians with vicious abandon on Mexican soil, in the USA, they restricted the carnage to their fellow criminals, about whom nobody cares.

Kill a District Attorney, though, and you’re going to force exactly the kind of attention the US government would prefer to avoid. Then, in March, another Texas DA got killed. Meanwhile, in Colorado, a prison warden was assassinated at home last month, and the suspected killer… who was gunned down by the law whilst he fleeing through Texas… was a white power nut. A friend from CBS Radio called me, speculating that white supremacists were behind the DA killings also. I was intrigued, but memories of overblown reporting on British television made me hesitant. Now, it turns out that my friend might be right… law enforcement is openly speculating that the Aryan Brotherhood, the notorious white power gang, is responsible for the Texas murders. More than that, it seems that the Brotherhood has evolved into a full-blown crime syndicate, with interests in drugs and guns as well as race hatred. If that’s the case, then, I may have to revise my opinion about white supremacists. Yes, they’re in a minority, but they’re no unicorns. Media freak shows aside, history has shown often enough that even a tiny number of extremists can still cause substantial misery for everyone else. Much like the cartoonish buffoon Kim Jong-un, or the murderous fanatics of al-Qaeda, these skinhead freaks may look stupid, they may talk rubbish, but it’s foolish to underestimate those who have gone beyond the fear of appearing ridiculous.

3 April 2013

Daniel Kalder




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