Voices from Russia

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Are the ROCOR Rightwingers in Obedience to HH and Marking Victory Day or are They in Contempt of His Decree?

01 Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev Kharkov 2


In 2011, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russia issued a decree stating that all churches, monasteries, and establishments under his authority must serve a Molieben on Victory Day in memory of the deliverance of the people, “from a terrible deadly enemy, from such a danger that we hadn’t seen in our entire history”. In addition, sources at the Centre assure me that he also decreed that all parishes serve Pannikhida in memory of all those who fell in the VOV and for all the civilian victims of the war.

Perspirin’ minds wanna know… are Victor Potapov, James Paffhausen, Alexander Webster, Rod Dreher, and the monastery at Jordanville fulfilling this decree in letter and in spirit? Has the ROCOR forsworn its support of Nazi collaborators and their organisations (and their unwholesome repulsive ties with Western intelligence agencies)? Do they wear their St George Ribbons and Red Ribbons with all due dignity and thankfulness? That is, do they celebrate the Great Victory in all sincerity, gratitude, and joy? On the other hand, do they still believe that “Hitler was a friend of the Church?” To speak bluntly, there was no such thing as *Sergianism” (at least, not in the form used by ROCOR polemicists since the ’50s). It was a lie cooked up by Far Right Church circles… Sergei Stagorodsky was a great hero imprisoned TWICE for Christ’s sake, he preserved the Holy Church for posterity… shall the ROCOR apologise publicly for its support of the Nazis and the CIA (by the way, it’s the ONLY apology necessary)? Now, that’s a SERIOUS question. Quo vadis, ROCOR? After all, HH stated publicly that he held anti-Sergei opinions as a young man, but that he came to a better understanding with maturity, and that he regretted such a stance now.

That’s the question… perspirin’ minds wanna know… do they stand for the Great Victory that St Serafim Vyritsky prayed for… or, do they still favour the godless and grasping opponents of Russia and the Orthosphere in their heart-of-hearts? Will they come to their senses, disown the “culture wars“, and overturn the Golden Calf of Rightwing Politics? On the other hand, will they harden their hearts and continue to dance around it in Dionysian abandon drunk on the wine of Libertarianism to the tune of the Koch brothers? We’ll have to see, won’t we?

* Addendum:

In its journal of 25-27 October 1990, the MP Archpastoral Council stated that the church isn’t bound by the Declaration of Metropolitan Sergei Stagorodsky of 1927, but it accentuated:

With all truth, we emphasise that the Declaration of 1927 doesn’t contain anything contrary to the Word of God, it doesn’t contain heresy, thus, there was no reason to move away from the accepted Church administration. …

We’re accused of “trampling on the memory of New Martyrs and Confessors“. Here, we’ll definitely state that our Church never interrupted prayerful remembrance of the martyrs for Christ amongst our bishops and clergy. Now, the whole world knows, we’ve started the process of glorification, which according to ancient Church tradition should be outside the influence of ephemeral political trends. …

However, for a long time, the Mother Church has been lenient to its wayward children, despite the fact that in the difficult years of persecution their irresponsible behaviour deepened her wounds and increased her torment. Now, we’re still ready to understand and to forgive. Even despite the fact that the leadership of the ROCOR has strengthened the existing divisions, forming a parallel hierarchy by encouraging parishes on the canonical territory of the MP, we once again extend a hand to them, calling for an open and honest dialogue on all matters of disagreement between us. In this regard, we’re ready to have a public debate in Moscow or elsewhere (within a scientific church conference or otherwise) on all matters of life of our Church in this century, especially, in relation to the Declaration of 1927.


This journal was issued one year BEFORE the fall of the USSR. That is, the church revival was in full swing. For ten years after the release of this journal, the ROCOR stopped up its ears and continued to attack the MP at the behest of its Western sponsors. Let those with open minds see that the ROCOR circles who claim that the Mother Church “repented of Sergainism” aren’t speaking the whole truth (to put it charitably… some circles that state such aren’t culpable… they’d lose their situations if they didn’t repeat the party-line of the Hard Right).

BMD barbara-drezhloBarbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 9 May 2013

Albany NY


Victory Day Traditions… Old and New

00 05.11 Victory Day b

“We Remember… We’re Proud!”


Victory Day is a great holiday that unites all generations of Russians, Russian compatriots abroad, and all people on our planet who commemorate the heroes of the Second World War. The new century added new traditions of celebrating Victory Day to those that gradually formed after the war. Nazi Germany signed the Act of Military Surrender in Karlshorst near Berlin on 9 May 1945 at 00.43 MSK. By the evening of the same day, Radio Moscow broadcast the news about the Great Victory over the Nazis on the radio. The USSR had waited for this news for the 1,418 days of that horrible war. People’s exultation knew no bounds. People crowded the city squares crying and laughing out of happiness. On 24 June 1945, after a month-and-a-half of preparations, the legendary Victory Parade occurred on Red Square in Moscow.

Mikhail Myagkov, scientific director of the Russian Military and Historical Society, professor of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, said, “In the first two post-war years, 9 May was a holiday, but then it became a working day again, although it was a public holiday. It became a day-off again only in 1965. By that time, one generation had passed. By the mid-1960s, those who survived the war were regarded as veterans”. Those who witnessed Victory Day celebrations in the ‘60s will never forget how the veterans, most of who weren’t old at all, went out to the streets wearing all their orders and medals. People were proud of them and were confident in the future of their country. Myagkov continued, “Every year, the number of veterans gets smaller. We’re still proud of them and try to take them as a model. Only they can tell the younger generation what a threat was hanging over our country when the enemy approached Moscow. Only they can tell young people how our army retreated to the banks of the Volga River, but managed to go on the offensive and take Berlin”.

In 1965, a military parade on Red Square marked the 20th anniversary of the Great Victory. Since then, a military parade on 9 May became an annual tradition. Other cities with military bases also held such parades. Writer and psychologist Sergei Klyuchnikov said, “This glorious tradition was interrupted in 1990, but revived in 1995, which is very important. It helps young people understand that we’re all one united country with a unique destiny and history. They see that there were times when things other than materialistic values mattered. In a certain way, this is a sign of our nation’s recovery”.

The 21st century brought new traditions of celebrating Victory Day. One such new tradition is the St George ribbon campaign, which has occurred on the eve of the Victory Day for nine years already, in which millions of Russians and compatriots in 100 countries take part. Orange-black ribbons handed out by volunteers in the streets are one more sign of our commemoration of the Great Victory. This year, for the first time, all across Russia from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok, people are marching in “Parades of the Immortal Regiments”. Young people march in the streets carrying big portraits of their beloved grandfathers who fought in the VOV. Nevertheless, the military parade on Red Square remains the key event of the celebration. This year, 11,000 troops, more than 1,000 military vehicles, and 68 combat aircraft are to take part in it. In the evening, just like 68 years ago, the authorities will fire off festive fireworks in honour of the Great Victory.

9 May 2013

Mikhail Aristov

Voice of Russia World Service


Orthodox Ritual Meets Soviet Custom in Easter Celebrations

00g Easter in Pyatigorsk. school


Easter is the main Christian and family-orientated celebration in Russia

This year, Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter on 5 May. This is the most important celebration on the Christian calendar. During Soviet times, taking part in Easter festivities wasn’t encouraged; as a result, Soviet aspects still layer contemporary Russian Easter traditions. Easter festivities begin with a celebratory evening church service, accompanied by a cross procession. During the procession, priests walk around the church counter-clockwise, carrying banners and icons and singing prayers, parishioners join the procession. The popular belief is that when the procession finishes, this marks the end of Great Lent… then, people can eat whatever they please. Amongst the foods enjoyed on Orthodox Easter are Easter eggs, kulich, and “Paskha” (made with drained cottage cheese and raisins). These dishes are “blessed” during the church service. Traditionally, people keep one of the blessed eggs is until the following Easter; people say that the egg won’t rot for the entire year.

Despite the fact that the Soviets forbade many aspects of religion, practically every household still dyed eggs every year. There wasn’t a particular religious meaning attached to this tradition, but Easter was celebrated all the same. Natalia, a pensioner, said, “We had a favourite game, which meant we looked forward to Easter every year. Two people each took an egg and tapped them against each other. The one whose egg remained intact took the cracked one; so, as you went through the village from door to door, you could end up with quite a few. You didn’t necessarily have to eat all the ‘trophy eggs’ though; when we were quite full, we’d simply share the eggs with anyone who wanted them. My family wasn’t religious… my mum was a teacher, and my dad was an electrician and a war veteran. Yet, over the Easter holidays, I’d sneak off to church with my grandmother, where she’d always spoil me with sweets. Of course, I’d always be in trouble with my parents when I got home, for disgracing them”.

One of the traditions associated with the official prohibition of religious celebrations was the Easter custom of visiting cemeteries and tending the graves of relatives who’d passed away. People rarely neglected this traditional duty. After the liberation of the Church, when it began to enjoy government support, important public figures started attending all the main church services. Fr Aleksandr said, “Visiting cemeteries and leaving Easter eggs and cakes was originally a pagan tradition, which started to become popular again during the Soviet era. As it was difficult to practise the Orthodox faith during Soviet times, certain strong superstitions emerged. At Easter, it became essential to go to church. In general, I can say that people in Russia are Orthodox, although not many are in the habit of going to church. However, at Easter, people come to church, even though you’d never see them any other day of the year. Now, wouldn’t you call that a miracle of the Lord?”

After church, it’s time to break the Great Lent fast with a celebratory dinner, which marks both the end of Great Lent and the beginning of the brightest day of the year. However, it’s important to remember that a fast… especially, a strict one… puts serious stress on the body, which means that you must break it gently and gradually. Doctors don’t recommend that you start by eating heavy meat dishes. It’s better to begin with boiled meat and vegetables on the first day (perhaps, some salad and herbs), then, gradually introduce dairy products. Sergei, a computer programmer, said, “In my family, we usually celebrate with my mother-in-law and father-in-law, at their place. For them, this holiday isn’t so much about religion as it is about family. It’s an occasion that brings all their children and grandchildren together around the table. Strangely enough, I tend to miss dairy products much more than meat. I spend all day on Sunday drinking kefir (a fermented milk drink) and eating yoghurt, though not uncontrollably. Everything happens quite calmly, without any fuss; you can see your body has acclimatised to itself to a modest diet due to the fast. In the middle of the day, we have lamb, Paskha, and a little alcohol”.

Of course, on the night before Easter, all the churches are full of people, although, for some “parishioners”, this is just an excuse to drink. Night falls and the whole city is out celebrating… rather like New Year’s, right? Some even swear that they’ve seen people actually handing out glasses and drinking alcohol in the church itself, during the service. Roman, a fire-inspector, said, “Every year I take part in the Easter service; although, admittedly, not as a parishioner, but in the line of service. I make sure there aren’t any emergencies, although, unfortunately, they do occur more often than you might think. On more than one occasion, I’ve had to rescue women whose clothes have caught fire from the candles. All it takes is that an elderly lady in a fluffy scarf holding a candle leans forward… then, suddenly, she’s ablaze. Nowadays, if I ever see someone in a scarf during the service, I go up to them straight away and remind them to be careful”.

The Easter celebrations continue for a whole week after the Resurrection of Christ; celebratory services take place in churches all week long. Even if there are burial services during this time, the ritual itself takes place with a special Easter sermon and a large number of joyful prayers about the miracle of the Resurrection. Easter week also has another unique facet… it’s the only time of year when anyone can ring the church bells. Sergei said, “My children look forward to ringing the bells all year long. We usually get together with friends who have young children and go to church. It’s best to arrive just after the evening service finishes, around seven at night. All that you have to do is to go up to any of the priests and ask, ‘Please, give your blessing that I might ring the bells to the glory of Christ’. I’ve never known a priest to refuse. Ringing the bells gives you an unforgettable feeling. At first, it’s a little difficult, but as you get the hang of it, you understand the rhythm… you can play something more or less intelligible. Moreover, of course, the children are just delighted. The main thing is to keep an eye on the really little ones though, as the bells are still quite high”.


Getting Ready for Easter

The Easter Tin Hunt

Easter Festival brings music and bell ringing to Moscow

4 May 2013

Vladimir Erkovich

Russia Beyond the Headlines


Editor’s Note:

Nicky and I laid Easter eggs on “our” graves at Jordanville on Saturday night. Nicky tended the graves of his family members… I guess that this makes us more “Soviet” than “White”. As one can see, the Soviet period wasn’t all darkness… indeed, it burned out all the rot in the Mother Church (it didn’t burn out all the sin… it did burn out all the rot, though). Now, we must do the same here in the diaspora… God DOES will it.


Bangladesh Building Collapse Death Toll Rises

00.00k Politics Through a Cartoonist's Eyes 09.11.11

THIS was the ultimate cause of the building collapse… spit when you pass the next McMansion or the country club. The Apostle said that the love of money is the root of all evil, and he was right. That’s the basis of the American Republican Party… we shouldn’t ally Christ’s Church with such depravity, should we? Think on it…


On Thursday, sources in the military and police told international news agencies that they believe that about 900 people died in the factory collapse in Bangladesh. Media reports said that military sources put the figure at 912, whilst police officials say that they recovered 892 bodies from the building. Previous reports put the number of dead at 803. The Rana Plaza building in Savar, an industrial suburb of Dhakacollapsed on 24 April. Over 3,000 people are thought to have been working in the building at the time.

On Wednesday, the authorities in Bangladesh ordered 18 textile factories to close over health and safety concerns, and, earlier in the week, they set up a commission to check the 4,500 factories in the region. Preliminary information from the government inquiry indicates that vibrations from four powerful generators, installed in the building in breach of regulations, caused the tragedy. The building’s architect told the media that he designed it to house offices, not a garment factory. Investigators confirmed that the building’s intended purpose was “commercial use”. Local officials told the media that first-responders rescued over 2,400 of those working in the factory at the time of its collapse. Survivors told the media that they’d noticed worrying cracks in the building a day before the incident, but that management convinced them to return to work. The building owner is one of those arrested over the tragedy.

9 May 2013



Editor’s Note:

The American Right defends “outsourcing”… well, this is its practical upshot. They want to move business to compliant Third World dictatorships to circumvent labour, safety, and environmental regulations in developed countries to maximise their profits. Their attitude is, “Who cares, they’re just sand niggers, anyway. They don’t deserve any better”. The money from such soulless and godless exploitation ends up in the hands of the American and European Affluent Effluent (and their Third World lickspittles such as the Capriles family in Venezuela).

Reflect on this… the people responsible for such malevolent shit tell us how moral they are and how immoral we are. I’d only say this… by their fruits ye shall know them. Remember WHO said that… ‘nuff said.


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