Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Lavrov Sez Russia Played No Part in Snowden Affair as He Never Crossed Its Border

00 Sergei Yolkin. The Minister Got Bleeped... Not Infrequently. 2012

The Minister Got Bleeped… Not Infrequently

Sergei Yolkin



Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov waved off accusations against Russia and its alleged involvement in the case of fugitive American intelligence ex-contractor Edward Snowden, saying that he never crossed the Russian border. Mr Lavrov added that Russia played no part in Snowden’s tour of the world and hadn’t thus violated any international agreements. On Tuesday, he said after a meeting with Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci, “We are in no way involved with either Mr Snowden, his relations with US justice, nor in his movements around the world”.

Lavrov didn’t confirm or deny that Snowden landed as previously reported at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on a flight from Hong Kong on Sunday, but he insisted that he’d never crossed Russian border control to exit the airport. Lavrov told reporters, “He chose his route on his own. We learned about it, as most of those present did, from the mass media. He didn’t cross the Russian border”. Sources quoted by Russian news agencies said that Snowden spent at least Sunday night in a hotel located in the transit area of Sheremetyevo which wouldn’t require Snowden to pass through passport control or have a Russian visa.

Earlier, the White House called on Moscow to look at all the options available to expel Snowden back to the USA. US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed anger over Russia’s apparent role. However, Lavrov slammed Washington and rubbished suggestions that Moscow was complicit in Snowden’s disappearance, saying, “We think the attempts to blame Russia of breaking US laws and even complicity are absolutely groundless and unacceptable”, complaining the accusations were accompanied by “threats”. He added, “There are no legal grounds for such behaviour by US officials”. Lavrov is the most senior Russian official to comment on the Snowden affair since anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks said that he’d travelled to Moscow from Hong Kong on Sunday. Reports said that he planned to take an Aeroflot flight on Monday to Havana, but Snowden never appeared on the flight. Lavrov gave no indication of his whereabouts at present.


Russia denied it had any involvement in the travel plans of fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden and lashed out at Washington for accusing Moscow of assisting him. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference, “We’re in no way involved with either Mr Snowden, his relations with US justice, nor to his movements around the world. Snowden didn’t cross the Russian border” and slammed as “groundless and unacceptable” attempts to blame Russia for his disappearance.

25 June 2013

Voice of Russia World Service



Editor’s Note:

VVP said that Russian special services had nothing to do with the Snowden affair. No doubt, the Chinese special services are handling it. This episode shows that the Russo-Chinese alliance is real, and that China is the senior (and managing) partner. This is bad news for American hegemonic dreams… American global overreach has brought together an alliance that’ll persist as long as the USA remains a threat. The Dragon and the Bear… they’re dancing cheek to cheek… and they’ll continue to do so as long as the libertarians and neocons continue their inane sabre-rattling




Antiochian Patriarch Youhanna Slams Failure to Free Bishops

00 Patriarch Youhanna Yazigi of Antioch. 17.12.12


Antiochian Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna al-Yazigi questioned the failure of states and security forces to expedite the release of two abducted bishops. Youhanna said during liturgy at Balamand Monastery, “We appreciate the efforts exerted by the [relevant] states and security forces to seek out information on the fate of the two bishops, but we wonder if they lack the resources to secure their release? We believe their fate is in the hands of God, but this doesn’t [free] anyone from the responsibility of finding out the truth and releasing them as soon as possible”. Bishops Boulos al-Yazigi and Youhanna Ibrahim were kidnapped by armed men in April on their way to Aleppo from the Turkish border.

24 June 2013

The Daily Star


Editor’s Note:

The missing bishops have fallen off the radar of the American news media. Most Amerikantsy have the attention span of a gnat in heat, so, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Of course, Patriarch Youhanna’s antsy… Bishop Boulos is his brother in the flesh. It’s been two months since the kidnapping… and counting…



“I Do It Out Of Respect”: Jerome Man Volunteers To Cut Grass at Neglected Russian Orthodox Cemetery

00 Pete Clawson. Jerome PA. Russian Orthodox cemetery. 25.06.13


Every week or so, Pete Clawson of Jerome can be seen driving his tractor and trailer to the Russian Orthodox cemetery outside of Jerome to mow the grass. In addition to the tractor that he uses to cut the grass on the hilly cemetery, he also hauls a lawn mower and other equipment to trim the grass. The church that buried its parishioners at the cemetery has been closed for about 50 years, a local funeral director said. The grass was mowed only once or twice a year since then, said Joseph Hoffman, a funeral director with Hoffman Funeral Homes in Davidsville and Boswell. There are 18 World War I veterans, one World War II veteran, and one Desert Storm veteran resting in peace at the cemetery.

Clawson said that he was driving past the cemetery four years ago when he noticed that the grass was as high as his waist. He said, “I just started cutting it down little by little and got it back into shape”. He then cleaned debris from the roadside ditch in front of the cemetery. Clawson said, “I do it out of respect. You have to have respect for the people who’re buried there”. It takes Clawson about two to three hours to cut the grass, weed the cemetery, and reset the holders for American flags on the graves of veterans. “It’s self-satisfying”, he said about the rewards that volunteering brings.

Clawson, a carpenter and retired owner of Clawson Carpentry, built and remodelled homes throughout the USA. Although retired, he still does some remodelling in the local area. For his efforts, Clawson is the Person of the Week. Hoffman said the last funeral he had at the cemetery was in the 1960s, with the church closing a short time later. He said, “This man (Clawson) has been cutting it the last couple of years, using his own gasoline and equipment”. Clawson isn’t a member of a Russian Orthodox Church nor does he have a family member buried there, said Hoffman, who has helped Clawson to repair flag holders for veterans buried at the cemetery. “He saw something that needed to be done, took the bull by the horns, and did it. That speaks of his character. He does an excellent job. It’s nice to see that volunteerism isn’t dead”.

23 June 2013

Frank Sojak

Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat


25 June 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. A Little Presidential Weakness

00 Sergei Yolkin. A Little Presidential Weakness. 2013

A Little Presidential Weakness

Sergei Yolkin



VVP is an accomplished judoka. Putin began training in sambo (a martial art that originated in the USSR) at the age of 14, before switching to judo, which he continues to practise today. Putin won competitions in his hometown of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), including the senior championships of Leningrad in both sambo and judo. He’s the President of the Yawara Dojo, the same St Petersburg dojo he practised at when young. Currently, Putin holds a 6th dan (red/white belt, higher than the black belt in judo), and is best known for his Harai Goshi (sweeping hip throw). Putin became a Master of Sport in judo in 1975 and in sambo in 1973. On a state visit to Japan, Putin was invited to the Kodokan Institute, the judo headquarters, where he showed different judo techniques to the students and Japanese officials. Putin also holds a 6th dan black belt in Kyokushin kaikan karate. In short, VVP’s a real-deal no-nonsense athlete of the top rank… which shows in his self-confidence and lack of bluster and puffery.

Yolkin’s also pointing up that Putin’s almost invariably “thrown” the Americans in whatever situation arises. Putin halted American aggression towards Iran and he halted American attempts to attack Syria (as he thwarted the American-fomented attack on South Ossetia in ’08).

Although it’s translated as “the gentle way”, Judo could also mean a way of poise, calmness, self-possession, self-confidence, composure, dignity, self-control, and seemliness. VVP has all of these qualities… most of his Western interlocutors lack them. That should tell you something…



At the G8 summit, Barack Obama admitted that he’s not as good in basketball as he once was, whilst Vladimir Putin is still as good in judo as he ever was. Sergei Yolkin takes a wry look at all this.

19 June 2013

Sergei Yolkin




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