Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

29 November 2017. Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin in Very Poor Health

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A friend of mine at the Centre just informed me that Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin (the confessor to Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev) is in very poor health. If you could add him to your prayer rule, that’d be a good thing (especially, as this is a Lenten period). Fr Ilya is one of the few genuine startsy in the Church today (we don’t have any here in the American diaspora… the loud konvertsy claims of such are loud and clanging rubbish).

Pray for Fr Ilya’s health… we’re Christians! That’s what we do…

BMD

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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tomorrow, Christmas Lent Begins

Silent Night

Viggo Johansen

1891

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We’ve said much about the Lenten periods, yet, once one begins, we hear the same question:

What are we not supposed to do?

The brief answer to that is:

Food is in last place. It isn’t an end-all and be-all; it’s only a means.

The Lenten effort requires five things.

LEARN TO PRAY

Try to add something extra to your routine. If you don’t normally pray, make a brief but regular prayer. If you have a morning and evening rule, read the Psalms, or the daily Gospel reading. If you go to services only on Sunday, try to make it for one of the weekday services.

LEARN TO FIGHT SIN

Look at your repetitive sins… choose the smallest and try to overcome it. For example, do you complain about everything you see or hear? Do you talk about others behind their back? Do you hold an old grudge against a relative (boss, teacher, neighbour, etc)? Overcome this through daily prayer.

LEARN TO REPENT

Choose your most secret sin… the one most hidden from the eyes of others and one for which you’re particularly ashamed. Go to confession and ask how to fight it. Choose an experienced priest to help you with what you need.

LEARN TO DO GOOD

For I was hungered, and you gave me meat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.

Gospel according to St Matthew 25.35-36

At the end of each day, search your conscience and ask yourself, “What good deed did I do today? Who did I comfort, who did I help, and who did I devote time to?” If you didn’t do that, you wasted the day.

LEARN TO BE JOYFUL

Open up to the beauty of God’s world. Meditate on God’s gifts and on the talents that He endows us with. Show manifestations of love, compassion, and mercy, along with reflecting on logic, harmony, and truth. In short, focus on everything that brings us closer to God.

I wish you a salvific and joyful Christmas Lent, my friends!

24 November 2017

Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky

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28 November 2017. Heroes of the Russian Land

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The five brothers of the Nikolaev family not only all fought in the VOV, all returned home alive at its end. Americans don’t understand that the war in Europe against the fascists was already won when they entered it… the tide had already turned. That happened on 5 December 1941, the opening of the Soviet counteroffensive outside Moscow. This was the first real defeat handed the Wehrmacht… it was the “end of the beginning”. In the next year, Stalingrad was the “beginning of the end”… before any appreciable American forces had landed in Europe. There’s nothing dishonourable in what America did in Europe in the Great War Against Fascism… they made a contribution, not the most major contribution, but they were the largest of what we Russians call “the Little Allies”. The USA helped to defeat the fascists, but the fascists were already on the run before the USA entered the war. Note well that the childish Anglos claim credit that isn’t theirs to take. The credit belongs to millions of families such as the Nikolaevs… sadly, all too many had an empty space at table at the end of the war. The credit also belongs to I V Stalin, who refused to cave in, like the French did. The Nikolaevs and countless others (along with the families who raised them) were the real victors. The Anglos helped… but they weren’t the driving force behind the Great Victory.

Спасибо деду до победу!

BMD

Sunday, 26 November 2017

LNR Resolved Internal Crisis Calmly

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This week was fraught with both real and fake news stories about an internal political crisis in the LNR in the Donbass. The genesis of the conflict appeared to be a dispute between Interior Minister I A Kornet and former LNR Head of State I V Plotnitsky. Kornet stated that saboteurs surrounded Plotnitsky and that such people had to go for the good of the LNR. At no time did Kornet publicly accuse Plotnitsky of any personal wrongdoing. However, many believe that Plotnitsky isn’t an inspirational leader and that he isn’t up to the task of running a republic besieged by aggressive warfare from the fascist Kiev régime. For some time, social media had rumours of Plotnitsky’s responsibility for the deaths of LNR commanders in the past, although these rumours have likely spread because people came to see Plotnitsky as in ineffective commander rather than a traitor. There’s never been any substantial evidence showing that Plotnitsky ever conspired against his own officers.

LNR Security Minister Leonid Pasechnik is the interim Head of State until new elections. Pasechnik thanked his predecessor for his service and announced the appointment of Plotnitsky to a new role as LNR envoy for future discussions on the Minsk Accords (which aim to bring a long-term ceasefire to the Donbass conflict). This move clearly has the intent of demonstrating the LNR’s internal stability, insofar as a man seen as not fit to be the leader, would still have a respectable position within the government, albeit as an envoy whose role is largely honorific due to the stalemate in implementing the Minsk Agreements. The move also helps put to rest rumours from pro-junta social media that Plotnitsky was dead or under torture. Clearly, neither of these assertions is factual. Pasechnik stated:

Plotnitsky made a great contribution to the peaceful settlement process. He’s one of the Minsk accords signers. We appointed him LNR plenipotentiary for execution of the Minsk accords.

Whilst details concerning what convinced Plotnitsky to finally relinquish power are yet to be fully known, it’d appear that, as was the case of the far more experienced Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, Plotnitsky realised that his former comrades wanted a changing of the guard and like all leaders who’d rather leave with dignity than with a fight, he eventually acquiesced. Overall, the comparatively smooth transition from a leader whose popularity had waned to an interim leader apparently supported by those agitating for Plotnitsky’s ouster demonstrated that the LNR is now politically mature, in spite of only being founded in 2014 and being the victim of an aggressive war since the moment of its founding.

Furthermore, as pro-Ukrainian regime media and social media somersaulted with various conspiracy theories and with the Kiev regime eager to exploit the de facto resolved political crisis in the LNR, the fact of the matter is that Kiev wasn’t able to upset the LNR’s security during was a week-long crisis. The LNR and DNR function as states, but the Kiev regime can barely function at all, in spite of continued support (lethargic) from the West. Throughout the crisis, the LNR bureaucracy was generally functional, police and security services maintained the peace, and life for ordinary citizens went on normally, with no one harmed. By contrast, political assassinations in Kiev are all too common, political ultra-violence has long been the norm, and junta chieftain Poroshenko is under a sustained political attack from the former Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili, who seeks to replace Poroshenko at the soonest possible moment.

The political health of the LNR isn’t perfect, but considering that it’s the victim of a brutal war, it functions rather better than the aggressor in the war, especially considering that Kiev has the support of all the major Western powers, whereas the LNR isn’t even supported by Russia, beyond the provision of humanitarian aid and minor civilian material aid. The LNR’s neighbour, the DNR, is even more stable. DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko has proved to be an effective leader who’s withstood the most aggressive phases of the war (thus far) and has been able to broadly maintain the DNR’s security in spite of losing his most skilled and beloved commanders, M S “Givi” Tolstykh and A P “Motorola” Pavlov.

Earlier this year, Zakharchenko proposed creating a union-state of Malorossiya between the LNR, DNR, and other areas within the 1991 Ukrainian SSR borders that want to unite peacefully as a single state. At the time, Plotnitsky claimed to be unaware of this idea, which is a clear sign that he was either not up to the task of leadership or that he wasn’t considered important enough to get an advance notice of a major announcement that many local and foreign journalists received. With Plotnitsky out of the picture, it’s possible that such a union-state is now increasingly possible. The beginning of such a wider union would, of course, be a formal union between the LNR and DNR, which would replace the current less-formal confederation, which amounts to little more than an alliance.

Ultimately, the future of what remains of the Ukraine will likely be the creation of voluntary unions that more or less correspond to the borders of historic Malorossiya and Novorossiya, in addition to separate entities accounting for the parts of the 1991 Ukrainian SSR, which include former parts of Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. With the probable exception of historical Galicia returning to Poland, there also remains the possibility of each aforementioned entity returning to its mother country.

24 November 2017

Adam Garrie

The Duran      

http://theduran.com/lugansk-peoples-republic-resolves-internal-crisis-dignity-professionalism/

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