Voices from Russia

Friday, 24 July 2015

“Forbes” Outs the Shocking Truth about the Crimea and the Ukraine

00 fobes vs psaki. usa. ukraine. russia. 240715


Forbes entitled its article ”A Year After the Russian Annexation of the Crimea, Locals Prefer Moscow to Kiev”. In fact, Forbes based its piece primarily on two studies by authoritative western polling agencies… the American Gallup and German GFK. The latter, incidentally, is the largest German polling outfit, being amongst the four leading polling “gurus” around the world. Therefore, I think there isn’t any reason for even the most biased Westerners to question the results of their research. After analysing the survey results, journalist Kenneth Raposa came to a shocking conclusion for a Westerner on the attitudes of Crimeans to the current situation, ” The locals… whether Ukrainians, Russians, or ethnic Tatars… are unanimous on one thing… life in Russia is better than life in the Ukraine”. He reminded his readers about a study conducted by Gallup in cooperation with the Supervisory Board for International Broadcasting in 2014 in the Crimea. At that time, almost 83 percent of Crimeans said that the results of the March referendum really reflected their wishes and aspirations. Almost 74 percent of respondents were confident that reunification with Russia would have a positive impact on their quality of life, only 5.5 percent thought the opposite…

Therefore, in January-February 2015, after the first year of reunification, GFK decided to poll the Crimean people for their attitudes on it. For a western organisation, their results were simply sensational. They reported that 82 percent of Crimeans unambiguously approved reunification of the Crimea with Russia. Another 11% favoured for the most part. That is, 93 percent of Crimeans were positive about the results of the March 2014 referendum! Only 2 percent were against reunification. Kenneth Raposa concluded that these two studies by prestigious Western institutions strongly suggest that the outcome of the referendum in 2014 completely reflected the factual situation. Only 1 percent of Crimeans believe that the Ukrainian media gives objective information about happenings in the Crimea. Another 4 percent said that the Ukrainian media is “more objective”. On the other hand, 45 percent of Crimeans believe that the Ukrainian media purveys falsehoods, and another 35 percent stated that it’s more false than true. Raposa pointed up that the GFK survey didn’t indicate how people came to their conclusions.

Only 13 percent of Crimeans believed that their financial situation deteriorated over the last year (do recall the Ukrainian horror stories about the “starving” Crimea). Opposed to that, 21 percent believed that their financial situation improved significantly, 30 percent think it got better, and 35 percent said that their financial situation remained somewhere near last year’s level. For comparison, in the Ukraine at the same time, Ukrainian pollsters found that 94 percent of respondents reported a sharp deterioration in their standard of living! The top issue that concerned Crimeans was the war in Novorossiya (42 percent), followed by inflation (40 percent), transport blockade of the Crimea (22 percent), and personal financial problems (19 percent).

Raposa “hammered” Ukrainian nationalists and American fans of intervention in other peoples’ affairs. He noted that Crimean society is united and unanimous in agreement on the existing course of affairs, but one can’t even think of unity in the Ukraine. He said that, according to western polling institutions, there is a severe schism in Ukrainian society that objectively threatens the Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Only 19 percent in the so-called “Eastern Ukraine” and only 26 percent in the so-called “Southern Ukraine” support EU integration. (as it is very different from those Ukrainian “sociologist”!), on the other hand, 84 percent in the Western Ukraine, 60 percent in Northern oblasts, and about half of those in Central oblasts support that policy. Support for Ukrainian accession to NATO is even lower than support for EU membership in the so-called “Southeast”. Even in the Western Ukraine, only 53 favour NATO membership. The support for European integration in various Ukrainian regions coincides with their support of the USA and their role in the events of 2013-14.

Forbes is one of the most respected publications in the world, reflecting the opinion of a large part of the Western élite. Raposa’s article is a kind of surrender of the part of that élite to reality… Crimea became Russian in the first place because its people wanted it that way. Yes, the “Euro-Atlantic” choice of the Ukraine… that’s “not set in stone”. Meanwhile, the Ukraine forges a contrived reality, purposed to manipulate and maintain the martial spirit of the ultra-right. Almost all major Ukrainian media outlets completely ignored the GFK and Gallup poll results, indeed, most major Ukrainian publications shouted the strident headline, Most Crimeans Want to Return to the Ukraine. The source of this tawdry fluff was a yellow tabloid, Крым: Реалии (Krym: Realy/Crimea: Realities). In it, we can admire quite original news. Despite the sensational headline and text, the author conceded that there’s no basis for it in sociological research, they claimed that it came from an “online survey” allegedly carried out by the online edition of the reputable newspaper edition of Крымская Правда (Krymskaya Pravda: Crimean Pravda).

It was ridiculously easy to find the underlying cause of this one. Krymskaya Pravda itself said that Ukrainian hackers attacked their website . It effectively blocked them; the Ukrainian hackers actually were quite derisive (their famous informational troops?) in their attempt to force the site to show the “right” results for the survey. If the real attitudes and the real results of opinion polls don’t match what the Kiev junta wants to see, well, they can just hack the site. Then, they can force the media to publish it “voluntarily”. This situation highlights how one must take any information published by Ukrainian “journalists”. The most disgusting thing about this is that people from the Northern and Western Ukraine tend to lack “living” contacts with the Crimea, so, they believe this rubbish to the point that many are even willing to go to “beat” the Crimea [back into the Ukraine] by force of arms.

In general, an article in Forbes is a very positive sign; it says that sensible elements in Western society are trying to beat back the “hawks”, who live in a fantasy world. It’ll be some time before good-sense wins the day, but it looks like the end is coming for evil and misfortune…

24 July 2015






DNR Minoborony Reported 44 Junta Ceasefire Violations

00 dnr. donetsk pr 01. 14.05.15


Today, the DNR Minoborony reported, “Over the past 24 hours, the enemy committed 44 ceasefire violations, the situation in the DNR remains tense. The enemy fired 17 artillery shells, 15 tank shells, and 129 8.2-cm/12-cm mortar shells; in addition, they used ATGMs, RPGs, and small arms. The most intense artillery and mortar bombardment was at the Donetsk airport and Spartak; the fire came from the direction of Avdeyevka. They also fired at Dokuchaevsk, Zhobunki, Lozove, Sakhanka, Sanzharovka, Nizhny Lozove, Kalinovka, Zheleznaya Balka, Donetsk (Petrovsky Raion), and Gorlovka. Currently, we continue to clarify data on civilian and military casualties”.

24 July 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency


Theodore Bikel: Songs of a Russian Gypsy

00 theodore bikel. songs of a russian gypsy. 1958












It seems that all Russian-Americans of “a certain age” know and love Theodore Bikel’s versions of Russian folk music… so, I did my best to round up a complete collection…


Canada… Convicted Orthodox Archbishop Released from Prison

get out of jail free community chest


For more information:

Victims want abusive bishop defrocked

  • He’s been released early from Canadian prison
  • SNAP to hierarchs: “Tell public where the molester is now”
  • Group begs officials to limit his access to kids and parishes
  • “You have a moral duty to disclose and warn families at risk”, victims say

A Canadian archbishop convicted of child sexual abuse has been released from prison early. A support group for victims wants church officials to defrock him, warn families about him, and keep him away from parishes.



Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing to the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) about Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, who was once the church’s highest ranking official in Canada. The OCA Synod suspended Storheim following his arrest in November of 2010. In January 2014, the Synod forced him into retirement after his conviction for child sexual abuse.

SNAP wants church officials to take the next step and defrock the archbishop. The victims’ group has been urging the OCA to do this since the archbishop’s 2014 conviction.




According to the website that announced Storheim’s release, he left custody on 7 July 2015, in compliance with the “Statutory Earned (early) Release”. Also according to the site, the authorities removed the conditions and restrictions of his release while his appeal was pending and THERE ARE NO CONDITIONS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE ARCHBISHOP (Emphasis supplied).


However, a group of Canadian parishioners who remain loyal to the disgraced cleric apparently maintains the site.



Members of SNAP have written to the synod again pleading with them to defrock Storheim. All of the bishops are in Atlanta from July 20-24, at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel, for their national council. The victims’ group also asked the synod to:

  1. Inform the faithful and the public of the archbishop’s current whereabouts and any restrictions imposed by the Canadian government
  2. Use their authority to restrict Storheim’s access to children and parishes
  3. Caution and alert families at risk, particularly those who believe the archbishop was wrongfully convicted and who may put kids at risk to demonstrate their trust in Storheim

The complete text of the email can be found below.

The sex abuse guidelines of the OCA mandate the removal of those clerics convicted of abusing children. The Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct states that “Any clergy … found to have committed child sexual abuse … shall be deposed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and shall be permanently prohibited from exercising any functions or responsibilities of parish ministry. …”


Melanie Jula Sakoda, the Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP, wants action now. “It’s time for the OCA to remove Archbishop Seraphim from the priesthood.  He’s been convicted and even served his sentence. No more excuses”.

Cappy Larson is the other Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP. She added, “The synod of bishops also needs to make public what they know about the archbishop’s current whereabouts and any conditions of his release. If Archbishop Seraphim is residing in an OCA facility, they need to make sure that he is forbidden to be alone with minors and that he only attends services where authorized.  Even if the Canadian government did not impose any conditions on Archbishop Seraphim’s release, the Church can go the extra mile to protect kids”.

In addition, the Executive Director of SNAP, David Clohessy, urged the bishops to have church officials reach out to every parishioner in Canada, reminding them that children must not be put at risk. “There are people in the archdiocese who believe that the archbishop was wrongfully convicted. These ‘true believers’ are likely to expose kids to danger just to demonstrate their continued trust in their former archbishop. The synod has a responsibility to do what they can to prevent this from happening”.


Sakoda concluded, “The OCA has a moral duty to continue to monitor the archbishop, and to alert and caution families who may be at risk”.


Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard

Orthodox Church in America

PO Box 675

Syosset NY 11791

Email: metropolitan@oca.org


Archbishop Nathaniel Popp

PO Box 309

Grass Lake MI 49240-0309

Email: nathaniel@roea.org


Archbishop Nikon Liolin

PO Box 149

Southbridge MA 01550

Email: bpnikon@aol.com


Archbishop Benjamin Peterson

1520 Green St

San Francisco CA 94123

Email: vikenty@msn.com


Archbishop Alejo Pacheco-Vera

Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53

Col Penon De Los Banos

Mexico DF 15520

Email: obispoalejo@yahoo.com.mx


Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska

PO Box 1769

Cranberry Township PA 16066-1769

Email: melchisedek999@yahoo.com


Bishop Mark Maymon

144 St Tikhon’s Road

Waymart PA 18472

Email: vladyka.mark@gmail.com


Bishop Irénée Rochon

15 LeBreton St. N.

Ottawa ON K1R 7H1


Email: bishopirenee@archdiocese.ca


Bishop Michael Dahulich

33 Hewitt Ave

Bronxville, NY 10708

Email: bishopmichael@nynjoca.org


Bishop Alexander Golitzin

519 Brynhaven Dr.

Oregon OH 43616

Email: alexander@bdoca.org


Bishop David Mahaffey

7031 Howard Ave

Anchorage AK 99504-1899

Email: otyetz@hotmail.com


Bishop Paul Gassios

933 N. La Salle Dr.

Chicago IL 60610-3204

Email: bishoppaul@domoca.org


Re: The Release from Prison of Archbishop Seraphim Storheim

Dear Sirs:

We are members of a victims’ group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. We are writing to you today because we are concerned about the release of Archbishop Seraphim, and what that means for the safety of kids in the Archdiocese of Canada.


First, according to your Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct, “Any clergy … found to have committed child sexual abuse … shall be deposed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and shall be permanently prohibited from exercising any functions or responsibilities parish ministry. …”


It’s time. The archbishop has been convicted and even served his sentence. We beg you; don’t allow him to continue to hold a position of authority in the Church. Send the message that the OCA has zero tolerance for child sexual abuse!

Also, we believe that your responsibility does not end with defrocking, and we urge you to take three additional steps.

  1. First, inform the Faithful and the public of Archbishop Seraphim’s current whereabouts and any conditions of his release
  2. Second, place conditions on the archbishop’s residency in any OCA facilities: he should not to be alone with minors and he should only attend services where authorised by you
  3. Finally, reach out to the Faithful in Canada via the pulpit, the internet and by mail to inform every one of the restrictions on Archbishop Seraphim. Alert and caution them to respect these limitations to insure the safety of the Church’s children.

As you know, there are some within the Archdiocese of Canada who believe that the archbishop was wrongfully convicted, and they are likely to ignore the possible danger to their kids in order to show their continued trust in the archbishop. Please do what you can to prevent this from happening.



The OCA has made great strides in addressing the issue of clergy sexual misconduct. We hope that you will continue this process.


Cappy Larson

Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP (cappy@rlarson.com, 415 637-2006)

David Clohessy

Executive Director of SNAP (davidgclohessy@gmail.com, 314 566-9790)

23 July 2015


Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.