Voices from Russia

Friday, 21 June 2013

21 June 2013. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Secrets of the Lenin Mausoleum

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. The Layout of the Lenin Mausoleum on Red Square. 2010


The Lenin Mausoleum, located on Red Square in Moscow, is one of the high points of Soviet architecture. The supervising architect of the project was Aleksei Shchusev. The first temporary wooden mausoleum opened 27 January 1924 near the Senate Tower in the Kremlin on Red Square. The second mausoleum was a truncated step pyramid, with stairs joined on both sides of an L-shaped extension. The permanent stone mausoleum was ready in 1930. 22 April 2011 marks 141 years since the birth of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) , statesman, politician, and Marxist theoretician, founder of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and of the USSR.

22 April 2011




Editor’s Note:

I put this up, an infographic about a monument to a truly historical figure, because there are people in the ROCOR cosying up publicly to the specious pretender Maria Vladimirovna Romanova (her badmouthing of the late Grand Princess Xenia‘s family (who have a better claim than she does) is below the salt, to say the least). What’s worse, a bishop accepted a spurious “award” from this posturing poseur (see this disgusting post on the ROCOR official website). Like it or lump it, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was an historical figure, one of the “greats” in Russian history. You can’t airbrush him out of the story… yet, some would have it that way, and we should oppose them with all our powers. What happened, HAPPENED. Indeed, much GOOD happened because of the communists, and we should never deny it.

As I say, there’s a faction in the ROCOR (and in the OCA, too) that wants to prettify and refashion the past… and shitcan everything that doesn’t fit their current fancies. That’s unacceptable… full stop. I find that not only disrespectful to the historical record, it’s lunatic, in the medical sense of the term. It’s one of the reasons that I oppose Potapov and Paffhausen so bitterly… they want to remould the past to “excommunicate” all leftists and demonise those who oppose their capitalist notions. I’d remind these gents of the following… Christ became incarnate in the family of Joseph the Worker by CHOICE… think on THAT…




Storheim Sex-Abuse Trial Adjourned to September



The trial of an Orthodox archbishop charged with sexually assaulting two 11-year-old brothers during the summer of 1985 was adjourned to September. Defence counsel for Seraphim Storheim requested additional time to prepare a defence after Justice Christopher Mainella ruled earlier this week that the testimony of the two brothers could be used in weighing each other’s allegations. Defence counsel Jeff Gindin told court that he’s considering bringing in an expert witness in the fall, and possibly other witnesses. It’s possible Storheim could also take the stand.

20 June 2013

Aldo Santin

Brandon Sun


Editor’s Note:

This sets up the worst-of-all-possible worlds for the OCA. Now, the entire summer will be full of festering speculation… and charges, counter-charges, and avoidable controversy. It’s clear that Gindin didn’t expect the judge’s ruling. He doesn’t sound like the most-competent barrister out there, to speak frankly. He didn’t plan for the judge ruling against him. You see, if he were a competent barrister, he’d know that the best course for his client and for the OCA would be to end this clattering soap opera as soon as possible. No matter what happens, Storheim’s cred is in the shitter, and it’s there irretrievably. Storheim can never again serve as a bishop… that’s that. The only thing that Gindin can do for Storheim is to keep his arse out of the slam.

No matter what, the OCA’s cred is in tatters (worse than before). This adjournment is inane. I’ll say this… it isn’t Lyonyo’s doing. Lyonyo wants this over. He’s a nasty mofo, but he’s not utterly stupid like JP nor is he placidly empty-headed like Mollard. The OCA will still have to bite the shit sandwich… postponement won’t help matters. Shall we have to drain the cup to the last bitter dregs? I hope not…


21 June 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Robbers Dressed As Rabbis Hold Up Bank

00 two rabbis cartoon. 21.06.13


Three robbers… two dressed as Orthodox Jewish rabbis and the third as a security guard… held up a Buenos Aires bank and fled with the contents of several safe-deposit boxes. Police said that the robbery occurred early in the morning in the Villa Urquiza neighbourhood when the bank was full of customers. The bandits emerged from a car parked in front of the bank, whilst a fourth person waited behind the wheel. Once inside, the fake rabbis subdued the employees and customers and took the contents of a number of safe-deposit boxes. Police say the robbers were disguised, “with two of them dressed as members of the Orthodox Jewish community, that’s to say, black outfit, wide-brimmed hat, beard, and curls, and the other pretended to be a security employee inspecting the closed circuit television”.

20 June 2013

Perth Now


Three Cheers for Divorce

00 Vladimir Putin. Russia. wedding. 12.06


Divorce is never a happy occasion… except when it is. Moan about traditional values all you like, but the truth is, the announcement that Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, were separating was a win for both family and common sense. Despite Putin’s carefully scripted public persona, it’s been obvious for years that the first couple was no longer a couple per se. It wasn’t even tabloid rumours of extramarital dalliances that were so disconcerting, it was the sheer awkwardness of seeing a man and woman forced to pretend they were still husband and wife. It reminded one of the waning years of Charles and Diana, minus the tiaras and paparazzi chases. The Putins’ decision to divorce is extraordinary for Russia. Not since Peter the Great has a Russian leader decided to publicly admit that he and his wife were separating. The Romanovs slogged on in unhappy marriages. The Soviets slogged on. It was done for decorum, for politics, for duty. In that sense, a “civilised divorce”, as Lyudmila herself put it, is quite new and refreshing.

All the information about Lyudmila Putina that could be found in the public domain strongly hinted that she wasn’t the kind of woman who had strong ambitions to be first lady… that for her the role was a tremendous burden. Many Russian observers noted that during the televised divorce announcement, Lyudmila for the first time looked happy to be in the spotlight. She looked confident. She looked relieved. Despite looking officious and reserved, Putin also displayed a new, rare kind of emotion. In those few minutes, he appeared to let his guard down and become a man who can display genuine emotion for his wife in a public setting… who can allow himself a single, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment of vulnerability. There was affection in his face, and weariness, and relief. Even though the television interview had obviously been staged, there was something going on between the first couple that couldn’t be faked. They were finally moving on with their lives, whatever arguments they had seemed to be over. Whatever resentments still existed suddenly seemed redundant.

Naturally, the move will also score political points for the Russian president. Even his fiercest critics are likely to find little fault with his decision to separate from his wife. In general, Russians tend to have a philosophical view of divorce. It’s rarely seen as a devastating failure, more like a chance to move on with your life. The people who invite scorn and pity are the ones who stick it out in unhappy marriages, whilst the ones who divorce are frequently held up as just a little more courageous. It’s not that divorce is romanticised in Russia. Rather, marriage isn’t romanticised.

There are many different reasons for this distinct lack of the marriage myth, the kind that dictates that your wedding should be “the best day of your life” and so on. Both the lack of an enormous wedding industry and various devastating wars play a major role here. When you’re living an unpredictable existence in a nation used to major social upheaval, you try not to plan too far ahead. As such, most Russians allow themselves to be cautiously optimistic about marriage, and, certainly, tend to admire couples that manage to work it out, i.e. stay together and be relatively happy about it. A lot of these people are going to look at Putin’s divorce and believe that it’s humanised him. It’s made him just one of the guys. His kids are grown. He loves his dogs. He has a lot of work to get lost in, now that his marriage is officially over and there’s no point in pretending. It’s at once a clever political trick and a genuine step forward… a rare moment of when the personal and political collide to create something worth quietly cheering for.

10 June 2013

Natalia Antonova




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