Voices from Russia

Friday, 26 December 2014

Trolls! We Create, They Spoil, and We Fight Back!

01-devil-at-the-computer-keyboard

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Editor:

When I read this, I thought of what someone wrote me some years ago. They said that I was wise in shutting down the commboxes on my blogs. Well, dear, this one’s for you. I have some more comments, but let’s read the following first…

BMD

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Trolls are exhausting, but eternal. They’re like lice, like parasites. When I try to imagine them, in my mind they seem like something slimy, moderately stinky, and thoroughly repulsive. It appears that they come from nowhere… they insult and ridicule, then, they move rapidly back into the darkness, awaiting another appropriate opportunity to attack and to harm. Like rat droppings, they leave their toxic comments at the bottom of the RT reports, and all over other great, often non-Western, media outlets. The better the reports, the more vicious their assaults are. Those writers who manage to effectively deconstruct the main official narratives erected by propaganda gurus of the USA and UK Trolls particularly “outrage” them. Their comments range from “The author must’ve been drunk when he wrote the article”, to the much more elaborate “analytical” slurs. You know that you’re dealing with a troll, when some stereotypical catch phrase pops up… “I’m shocked that RT is now droppings its standards, by using such low-quality reporting”. There are iPad revolutionaries amongst them, or some individuals, defined in some countries such as Eritrea as “useful idiots”. Useful to the Empire, of course!

Most of trolls are “politically correct”. They try to get you by the linguistic standards created by the Empire. You slip and they’re at your throat. You lose your temper, calling someone names in the middle of the battle, and they bury their dirty teeth right into your flesh. Trolls repeat, again and again, that you aren’t what you claim that you really are. You may go from one warzone to another, from one misery created by the Empire to another; you may be exhausted, covered in filth, hardly alive. However, they’ll call you “an armchair revolutionary”. Unless you become some sort of a bizarre character, a Mother Teresa with boots, Leica, and professional camcorder, they’ll smash you for being a hypocrite. Of course, the best would be if you could instantly die and vanish!

They study you. If you smash back at them, they remind everyone that you stayed in a good hotel, here or there, or that you stayed in some warzone for “too short a time”, so, therefore, actually, you’re a coward. They study you… they know, or others tell them, what hurts you. Then, they pin their needles exactly into those sensitive unhealed spots of yours. They never do it to improve the world, or to make us perform better. They only do it to break us, to make us suffer, to put us, so to speak, “out of service”.

Most of us that have covered the infinite wars, conflicts, misery, and revolutions carry a terrible baggage on our shoulders. We all think, often, during those dark endless nights, what could we have done better, more effectively. Most of us are alone during such moments. Then, the bloody trolls come. Like, after Mosul and Lebanon, and right before Eritrea, I finally realised what it really meant that Ms Serena Shim died, most likely murdered. We covered the same story, about the West training the Syrian opposition in Turkish and Jordanian refugee camps… she did it for Press TV; I did it for Telesur and others. She died, but I survived. I cried for her. Not right away, but later… after Iraq…

Then, a troll appeared. They said, “You’re fake”. I did the most stupid thing one could do, because I was exhausted and therefore vulnerable… I engaged with a troll, trying to explain, to defend myself. That’s when they called me an “armchair revolutionary”. I asked, “If I am, then, who’s not?” The answer came, “Serena Shim”. Of course, I’ve almost died on some 20 occasions, but I always survived… even after being tortured, even after being condemned to death on three different occasions. However, I survived, whilst Serena Shim died. That day, finally, I felt like dropping everything, cancelling Eritrea, and just burying myself in the Japanese countryside, writing my 1,000-page novel. Trolls 1: Vltchek 0. Then, I thought, “It’s just a troll. Eritrea needs me”. I ached all over that night, flying from Beirut to Asmara via Cairo. It’s clear that the carefully chosen words of trolls can do more damage than an entire battalion of enemy forces.

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Trolls constantly attack me; of course, they also attack Pepe Escobar, Noam Chomsky, Michael Parenti, John Pilger, and the others who systematically uncover the crimes against humanity committed by the Empire. They viciously attack those mainstream thinkers and investigative journalists who finally chose to listen to their consciences, who resign in disgust, who switch sides. Those people like my friend Andrew Marshall, the former head of Reuters in Iraq, who resigned from that press agency after a moral dispute over the coverage of Thailand (Reuters refused to publish his shocking findings about the élites and the monarchy in “The land of the smiles”).

Trolls are capable of tarnishing the reputation of such dissidents by spreading shallow and groundless, but extremely well-fabricated, lies about them. They’re able to and fully willing to ruin the lives of people. They’re always ready! The more decent and brave the people are… their victims… the more excited the trolls get, the more they salivate in anticipation of a revolting feast. Periodically, they even attack those who are still part of the establishment, if they touch on “forbidden subjects”, like the murderous regimes supported by the West… those installed in Rwanda or Uganda, or even in Kenya, Indonesia, Thailand, Egypt, Bahrain, or Turkey.

Many trolls are paid. The great Uruguayan writer and thinker, Eduardo Galeano, once described them to me as, “These people… nobody knows who pays them, and they wouldn’t tell”. However, some trolls are actually “volunteers”, spontaneous busybodies, unable to write coherent essays themselves, but who are skilled enough to produce a few truly insulting sentences and attach them, as “comments” at the bottom of other people’s work. Many trolls are actually very sad characters. They’re mediocre, they have no future, and they suffer from an inferiority complex. They’re cowards! They’ve failed in whatever they’ve tried to do, so, therefore, they hate… barking is all that they have left. They have their favourite bases where they flock together. Apart from the logical bastions in both North America and Western Europe, they enjoy several sunny but ruined spots like West and East Africa, Southeast Asia, Costa Rica, the Gulf States, but also some chillier places, including Eastern Europe and Hong Kong.

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Of course, there are professional right-wing ideological cadres that do the heavy-duty smearing. All one has to do is some serious work for Russian RT, or Venezuelan Telesur, or Iranian Press TV, or Chinese CCTV, and your stuff is most likely to be attacked in this way, “So, an individual who contributes to Russian state media was given a very rare media permission for Eritrea and is now tweeting nonsense”. The above comment comes from a very “‘legitimate source”, from a real pro, not from any odd secret and pathetic troll. The author is the @businessinsider’s national security and military editor.

Today, smearing is an entire and huge industry in the West. It forms an integral part of ideological combat, or you may choose to call it the global ideological onslaught of the Western propaganda apparatus. Millions of cadres/apparatchiks in North America and Europe are busy working, day and night, on destroying opposition to the Empire. They’re all over the official corporate media, as well as in academia and all sorts of think tanks and NGOs. These days, academic degrees in certain fields are almost synonymous with terms like “collaboration with fascism” and “betrayal of humanity”.

However, academic smearing and the attacks from media sources aren’t what this essay addresses today. Academics and journalists are “professional” propagandists; the Empire educated and groomed many of them from an early age, through scholarships, funding, and recruitment. What we’re putting in the spotlight today are those little trolls; little shits, those tiny psychological gangsters, who try to break people… fighters against the Empire… through their petty but relentless insults, and personal attacks.

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Let’s be honest… almost all of us who face the Empire are, to some degree, vulnerable. We engage in an extremely tough battle with the mightiest adversary on earth. It puts us emotionally and psychologically on edge. It leaves us shattered, battered, and often wounded. All of us need a great dose of psychological support, a home base, at least a tiny group of loving determined people who stand by us, “no matter what”. Yes, no matter what! We need someone who’d rather die for us than to betray us, even if we slip, even if, when exhausted, we babble total crap, absolute nonsense. Without such support, we could easily fall.

Our skin is thin. No matter how brave we are, we’re also sensitive and easily hurt. If we weren’t like that, we’d be whoring, successfully, with the corporate academia and media. We’d be the Empire’s apparatchiks. Several lines of smear often derails us for countless and precious hours, or even days… days that we could dedicate to much more important things and activities, than to the sorrowful licking of our own wounds somewhere in a dark corner. Therefore, I suggest that we fight back! Not just to defend ourselves, but to protect our time and our combat-readiness.

I suggest that we create a group, a “syndicate”, to identify the trolls, to unveil them, and to beat them, intellectually, over their dirty muzzles, back to where they belong, to nothingness. A troll isn’t even “an enemy soldier”, a warrior who landed on the wrong side of the trenches. A troll is only a snitch, a loser, and a collaborator with the régime, a pest… or, they’re simply traitors. Trolls monitor us, compile lists of us, and smear us whatever we say or write. Let’s compile a list of trolls, too! Let’s monitor them, expose them, and shame them. I propose the “United Front Against Trolls” (UFAT)… it’d serve and defend all of us, members of the “new media”… outlets such as Telesur, CounterPunch, or Global Research. Let’s come to the defence of each other; let’s start a pesticide campaign for our great resistance outlets to rid us of these pests. I say, “Down with the trolls! Let’s counterattack, comrades! With vehemence, passion, and deadly humour!”

5 December 2014

Andre Vltchek

CounterPunch

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/12/05/trolls-we-create-they-spoil-and-we-fight-back/

Editor:

This is why I oppose certain people so vehemently. Jonas Paffhausen collaborates with the Uniate enemies of the Church, attempted to ally the Church with “Evangelical” sectarians, and hobnobbed with the American Enterprise Institute… certainly, one of the more feral and disgusting neoliberal stink-tanks out there. Victor Potapov works for Radio Liberty… he’s a longtime willing slave of the Langley apparat… never forget his vicious attack on the late Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger in Georgetown. In like manner, Alexander Webster and Terrence Mattingly are rightwing stinktankers of the worst-possible sort.

However, two people fall into the troll category… Rod Dreher and John Whiteford… I’m a “commie”… I’m a “Bolshie”… my personal life is grist for their mill. As for their families and personal life… I REFUSE to attack those… just because a troll reaches into the gutter doesn’t give you the right to do likewise. I oppose them because they defend clear, objective, and manifest evil. I oppose them because they repeat the lies of the Hegemonist Establishment. I oppose them because they’re apologists for Republican greedster murderers who don’t scruple at torturing and killing in their pursuit of filthy lucre and power (they applaud Republican pigs who support the Uniate war criminals in Novorossiya)… they call themselves “Pro-Life”… what an imposture! I do NOT oppose them because I hate them, their families, or their path in life.

Yet, that’s what trolls do. They’re the bane of anyone who does serious work on the ‘net. I’d remind my readers of the fact that Mr Whiteford lacks a real Orthodox formation as a clergyman (that takes some five to six years of study and residence at an Orthodox seminary, at least) and that Mr Dreher calls himself a “paleocon” whilst having lived the life of a veritable peripatetic nomad (he’s lived in four widely-separated metro areas in less than ten years… this lack of rootedness in any one place negates any claim of his to being a “conservative”).

I do NOT claim “final authority”… but some of my negative interlocutors DO claim such. I’d only observe that people of such ilk are unreachable. Do have a care if you interact with them… they’re nasty and bloody-minded, and anything that you might say to them may become public property, posted on the internet for all to gawk at. I know whereof I speak…

Have a care. There be fresh cowpats in that there field. Shit is very difficult to clean off one’s boots, even if one steps in it unintentionally…

BMD

China to Start Payments with Russia in National Currencies on 29 December

00 Chinese and American money. 26.12.14.jpg-large

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On Friday, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS) reported that China would start swaps and forwards between the yuan and the national currencies of Russia, Malaysia, and New Zealand on 29 December. Earlier in December, Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng claimed that China could increase the usage of Renminbi in trade with Russia amidst the Rouble’s depreciation, which falls in line with China’s intention to increase the usage of national currencies in international payments in order to weaken the USD’s dominance in global finance and promote payment in Renminbi as an alternative. In October, the Russian Central Bank and the People’s Bank of China reached a three-year agreement on currency swaps worth 150 billion Renminbi (1.23 trillion Roubles. 1.54 trillion INR. 24.09 billion USD. 28 billion CAD. 29.65 billion AUD. 19.74 billion Euros. 15.48 billion UK Pounds). Both Russian and the Chinese leaders repeatedly praised the decision, saying that it’d bring positive effects for the countries’ economies and currencies. The main benefits of mutual payments in national currencies are the absence of charges for the conversion of currencies, direct payments, and higher transparency in relations between the banks.

26 December 2014

Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/business/20141226/1016284341.html

See Also:

Sberbank Began Financing Letters of Credit in Chinese Yuan

26 December 2014. A Point to Ponder…

01 See no Evil

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Money is a new form of slavery, distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it’s impersonal… there’s no human relation between master and slave.

L N Tolstoy

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The most violent, mean, and malignant passions of the human breast are the Furies of private interest.

Karl Marx

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When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they, and not the leaders of the government, control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes… Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.

Napoleon Bonaparte

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The Republican Party makes it clear that it favours the Affluent Effluent. Note well that profit trumps patriotism. After all, didn’t the GOP nominate the open and unashamed draft-dodger Willard Romney as its candidate for US President in 2012? However, he DID have a big pile of cash! “Money talks and bullshit walks”… “Winning is the ONLY thing”… those are the core credos of the GOP, NOT family values or Pro-Life. Note well that most “family values” and “Pro-Life” advocates favour the death penalty, excessive imprisonment, perpetual warmongering in foreign parts, torture, and predatory laissez-faire crapitalism. THAT knackers their loud professions, doesn’t it?

Anyone who advocates “economic freedom” is for the rule of Mammon over all things. The GOP advocates “economic freedom”… ergo, the GOP is evil, and no decent person can have anything whatsoever to do with it (I’m not talking about those taken in by its lies… I’m talking about the political faction itself). To deal with Republicans is like dealing with Nazis… after all, didn’t the Republicans shelter Nazis after World War II because the Nazis were anti-communists? The Republicans saw to it that Germany gave pensions to Nazis… and denied them to those who served the DDR. Actions DO speak louder than words. If you listen to Rush Limbaugh at all, you listen to the same black propaganda that Josef Goebbels peddled. What difference is there between Goebbels’ Totaler Krieg speech and Richard Cheney’s unashamed defence of torture? The difference is that Goebbels wasn’t half as much an acolyte of evil as Cheney was (also, Goebbels was far more articulate, honest, intelligent, and perceptive than the average Republican… look at how Ted Cruz spat on Arab Christian leaders… in public, no less!).

Again, no decent person can consort with those who worship money… look at what people do, NOT what they say. If you do that, you’ll see that American Radical Sectarians (“Evangelicals”) aren’t Christians at all. Orthodox people should take a care with Victor Potapov, Jonas Paffhausen, Alexander Webster, Terrence Mattingly, Rod Dreher, John Whiteford, and Patrick Reardon… they defend the amoral theomachistic Republican ravishers of our country (and the world). Don’t let up on them… they DON’T speak for us.

BMD

Paris, Boulevard de Sébastopol: Descendants of the White Émigrés Address European Leaders on the Ukrainian Tragedy

00 Dmitri Belyukin. White Russia in Exile. 1991-94

White Russia in Exile

Dmitri Belyukin

1991-94

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For almost a year, the events in the Ukraine have deeply concerned all of us, descendants of the original White Movement émigrés, especially, in contrast to the people around us. Because of our origin, we have access to more comprehensive information than most do. Knowledge of modern history, precisely, about the end of pre-revolutionary Russia, gives us the opportunity, and with it, the duty to expose the obvious historical falsifications that led to the current drama in the Ukraine. In the face of heightened tensions in the Donbass and in international relations in general, we conclude that the aggressive hostility now unfolding against Russia is devoid of any rationality. This policy of double standards is beyond imagination.

They accuse Russia of committing all sorts of crimes; without giving any evidence, they declare it guilty a priori, whilst they show amazing condescension to other countries, especially, concerning violations of human rights. In no way are we abandoning the defence of the values that our ancestors taught us, for which they were doomed to exile after the 1917 Revolution. We don’t excuse the criminal acts of the Bolsheviks and their successors; we insist that we must bring out the historical truth about those terrible times. However, this doesn’t mean that we can put up with the slander that falls every day upon modern Russia, its leadership, and its president. The EU subjects it and them to sanctions, mixed with vilification that’s contrary to basic common sense.

This is self-destructive for Europe, it’s absurd… seriously, it makes us all think that the West is more interested in hampering Russia’s development than in resolving the Ukrainian crisis. Especially ridiculous is their systematic attack on everything that somehow relates to the “Russian World”… we’re talking about the historical, geographical, linguistic, cultural, and spiritual realities of a great civilisation, one that has enriched the world and one that we’re proud of.

In addition, we resent the shameful silence of European official institutions and of the media about the brutal bombardments carried out by the Ukrainian army on civilian targets in the Donbass. In this, paramilitary elements marching under Nazi symbols support them. The Kiev authorities perceive such silence as giving them permission to continue their killing and destruction. For months, they’ve killed children and old people, and they’ve tortured prisoners. Now, the Kiev government imposed a total blockade against the region (involving gas, electricity, railways, pensions, salaries, medication, institutions, hospitals, etc), to destroy the Donbass, even though they maintain that it’s part of their territory. How can we not condemn the violence committed by the supporters of Kiev against the Russian Orthodox Church in the Ukraine?! They persecute clergy… forcing them to flee and even killing them. They bombed fifty church buildings… destroying twenty of them. They persecute believers. Where are the European values?

We can’t put up with the daily slander and vilification that they heap on modern Russia. Despite their complete rejection of the Soviet system, our fathers and grandfathers grieved at the suffering endured by the Russian people during World War II. For our part, we won’t be indifferent and be silent in the face of the systematic destruction of the population of Donbass, blatant Russophobia, and hypocritical policies completely contrary to the interests of our beloved Europe. Truly, we’d like to hope that the country that gave shelter to our families would again take the path of prudence and impartiality.

Paris

26 November 2014

PS

This letter is from Prince and Princess Dimitri and Tamara Shakhovskaya, in support of an initiative by the group “Russian Bridge”, established in February 2011 by the descendants of White émigrés. Published online 26 November 2014, more than 100 members of princely and aristocratic families from different countries supported the letter. Every day, more and more letters of “solidarity with Russia in this time of the Ukrainian tragedy” comes to our e-mail address:

solidairesdelarussie@gmail.com

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00 Russian Civil War. White Army soldiers. 26.12.14

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Zhanna Bichevskaya sings Vals Yunkerov (Waltz of the Yunkers (Cadets))… a song about the White Army

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Signatories of the letter:

  • Yurievsky, HSH Prince Georgi A and Yurievskaya, Princess Elikonida (Switzerland)
  • Albertini, Vera F (France)
  • Andreoli, Olga A, née Trubnikova (France)
  • Marianov, Arkady A (Belgium)
  • Averino, Mikhail B (France)
  • Baryatinsky, Prince Vladimir V and Baryatinsky, Princess Yolanda, (France)
  • Beglan, Marie-France (England)
  • Belyavsky, Nikolai S and Belyavskaya, Gilen (Belgium)
  • Bereznikov, Aleksei A and Bereznikova, Claude (France)
  • Bobrikov, Aleksandr P (France)
  • Bobrinsky, Nikolai B (Germany)
  • Boldyrev, Aleksandr (France)
  • de Boreysha, Irina P (Switzerland)
  • Brune de Saint-Hippolyte, Sofiya (France)
  • Butlerova, Vera N (France)
  • Vinand, Olga, nee Rozina (England)
  • Vinogradov, Mikhail (France)
  • Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Mikhail V and Vorontsova-Velyaminova, Shantal (France)
  • Davydov, Konstantin K (France)
  • Durdin Mak, Dmitri P (Belgium)
  • Drutskoy-Sokolinsky, Prince Aleksandr A (Belgium)
  • Henderson-Stuart, Anna S, née Grafina von der Palen (England)
  • Henderson-Stuart, Andrei, (England)
  • Genko, Nector N and Genko, Mariya I, née Staroselskaya (France)
  • Golubinova, Nadin (France)
  • Gorohov, Gerard A (France)
  • Grabar, Mikhail N (France)
  • Grekov, Nikolai N (France)
  • Guchkov, Ivan A (Switzerland)
  • Grigoriev, Aleksei P (France)
  • Ignatev, Graf Nikolai N (France)
  • Zhivolup, Vladimir (France)
  • Ivanova, Mariya D, née Grafina Tatishcheva (France)
  • Kameneva, Tatyana (France)
  • Kapnist, Grafina Veronika Ya, née Liset (France)
  • Kapnist, Graf Sergei A (France)
  • Carmignani, Roger (France)
  • Knyupfer, Elena V, nee Yagello (England)
  • Kozyrev, Vladimir (Belgium)
  • Kolla-Musin-Pushkin, Rostislav V (France)
  • Kolchak, Aleksandr R and Kolchak, Janine (France)
  • Krylov, Ivan P (Belgium)
  • Crewe, Philip (Belgium)
  • Kurdyukov, Ivan S (France)
  • Lavrov, Oleg N (France)
  • Lazarev, Ivan N (France)
  • Lui-Kiselevskaya, Anna M (France)
  • Luchaninov, Sergei (USA)
  • Marshalk, Georgi (France)
  • Matchere, Georgy A and Matchere, Nadezhda V, née Princess Volkonskaya (France)
  • Matsnev, Andrei (France)
  • de la Cerda Miller, Aleksandr N and de la Cerda Miller, Anna O,
    née Grafina Tolstoy (France)
  • Miloradovich, Anna (Canada)
  • Muratova, Kseniya M (France)
  • Muruzi, Prince Konstantin P and Muruzi, Princess Suzanne (France)
  • Mure, Mariya A, née Trubnikova (France)
  • Naryshkin, Peter A (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • de O de Sizhi, Mariya G, née de St Ippolit (France)
  • von der Palen, Baroness Irina G (Belgium)
  • von der Palen, Graf Sergei S (Switzerland)
  • Pasco, Serge (France)
  • Pervyshin, Rostislav N and Pervyshina, Kseniya B, née Mashtaler (France)
  • Pernik, Yefim (France)
  • Plotto, Aleksandr V and Plotto, Elena V (France)
  • Posylkin, Dmitri (Belgium)
  • Pridun, Johanna (France)
  • Pridun, Stefan (France)
  • Pushkin, Aleksandr A and Pushkina, Mariya-Magdalina née Durnovo (Belgium)
  • Pule, Marina R, born. Pervyshina (France)
  • Rampelberg, Marianna D, nee Parfenova and Rampelberg, René-Marie (France)
  • Rebinder, Serafim A and Rebinder, Elena A, née Pochitalova (Switzerland)
  • Rebinder, Sergei A and Rebinder, Elena K (France)
  • Renn, Darya A, nee Rozov (France)
  • de Rennenkampf, Aleksandra P, nee Nefedov (France)
  • von Rozenshild, Nataliya A, (France)
  • Russel, Elizaveta P, Stefanovich (France)
  • Ruchkovsky Aleksei G and Ruchkovskaya, Nataliya A, née Babkova (France)
  • Safyannikov, Pavel A (Belgium)
  • Svechin, Ivan N and Svechina, Deniza (France)
  • de Saint Ippolit, Pyotr G (France)
  • Stenbok Fermor, Graf Andrei I (France)
  • Stenbok Fermor, Grafina Kseniya A (Italy)
  • Sukkar (Sakharov), Anton S (France)
  • Sulatskaya, Ekaterina A (France)
  • Terentev, Aleksandr V (France)
  • Tolstaya, Grafina Colette M ( France)
  • Tolstaya, Grafina Marina M (Belgium)
  • Tolstoy, Graf Dmitri S (France)
  • Trotsky, Dr Sergei S (Austria)
  • Tunguzova, Tatyana A (France)
  • Usova, Tatyana K (France)
  • von Tsurikov, Ekaterina L, née Grafina Ignatieva (Germany)
  • Fedorov, Andrei N (France)
  • Fedorova, Tatyana (France)
  • de Fermor, Pyotr A (France)
  • Filatova, Yuliya (Belgium)
  • Finnson, Ksenia P (France)
  • Finnson, Vera (France)
  • Shakhovskoy, Prince Dmitri M and Shahovskaya, Princess Tamara G, née Tkhorzhevskaya (France)
  • Sheremetev, Graf Pyotr P (France)
  • Shidlovskaya, Irina A, née Golovina (France)
  • Shidlovskaya Marina Yu (France)
  • Shirikova, Tatyana, (Switzerland)
  • Shorokhov, Andrei P (Belgium)
  • Yanov, Nikolai M (France)

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00 Dmitri Shmarin. The Ice March. 2008

The Ice March

Dmitri Shmarin

2008

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Presenting the Author

Dmitri Mikhailovich Shakhovskoy is a Doctor of Historical and Philological Sciences. He’s Professor Emeritus at several French universities and at St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. He was born into a princely family, originating from the legendary Rurik. Amongst his ancestors are such prominent figures as 17th century poet and writer Semyon Shakhovskoy, Oberprokurator of the Holy Synod Yakov Shakhovskoy, considered the most honest man of his time, and General Ivan Leontyevich Shakhovskoy, a hero of the Patriotic War of 1812, who fought at the Battle of Borodino and entered Paris with the Russian army in 1814.

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Rossiiskaya Gazeta (RG)

What circumstances led to the fact that you and your wife initiated an open letter to the descendants of the White Movement émigrés?

D M Shakhovskoy

I’d like to point up a few things. Firstly, there was the reunion of the Crimea with Russia. Frankly speaking, for us, it never ceased to be Russian, and it constantly pained us that for some time the peninsula was cut off from Russia. When the Crimea returned to Russia, we were very pleased. However, to our surprise, we saw that not everyone shared this feeling, including amongst our émigrés. It was then that we realised that anti-Russian propaganda and dezinformatsiya affected not only the French, so, we decided to speak publicly about it. In addition, we’re outraged at how the Western media reports preposterous stories concerning the Ukrainian crisis.

I must say that the position of Russia and of the Russian President in the current international situation is quite clear and many of us are in complete agreement with it. After all, our parents brought us up with a certain consciousness of our Russian past, our history. I have the feeling that what’s happening now is what Anton Kartashov foretold… he was a professor at St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, and a minister in the Provisional Government before that. He talked of the “reconstruction of Holy Rus”.

As for me, personally, I dedicated myself to the study of Russian history and literature, and I taught French at the University of Rennes. All my life, I defended the principles that my parents handed down to me, and the foremost amongst them was the unity of the Russian land. Therefore, when that’s strengthened, as it was the in Crimea, well, that means that the country is returning to normal, and that there are signs of vitality.

RG

Dmitri Mikhailovich, how did you go about collecting the signatures? Did you have a hand in it?

D M Shakhovskoy

Firstly, we prepared the letter in French, then, we made a Russian version. At that point, we began to send it to friends, and these people sent it on to their friends. Thus, the letter went beyond France and Europe, to other continents. In addition, the initiative group “Russian Bridge” involved itself in the project. This group includes the descendants of the original White Movement émigrés, those who took part in the memorial cruise from Bizerte to Sevastopol in the summer of 2010. Let me remind you, several Russian organisations had a hand in it, the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called and the Centre of National Glory, amongst others, that took part in this action in memory of the end of General Vrangel’s army in the Crimea in 1920.

RG

A lot of interesting people signed the letter, didn’t they?

D M Shakhovskoy

I’d mention, for example, my old friend, the great-grandson of Pushkin, Mikhail Vorontsov-Velyaminov, Aleksandr Bobrikov, who’s the head of the Museum of the Cossack Imperial Life Guards Regiment, and also Prince Konstantin Muruzi, who does a lot to strengthen ties between Russia and France. By the way, there are French people on the list. In particular, it has one of the former directors of the World Bank, Roger Carmignani.

RG

More than 120 people already signed your letter. What’s next?

D M Shakhovskoy

We posted the letter on the website “Russian Bridge”, and it’s open to everyone who wishes to join our initiative.

Prepared by Vyacheslav Prokofiev, Paris

25 December 2014

Rossiikaya Gazeta

http://www.rg.ru/2014/12/25/pismo.html

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