Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Putin Names Russian Army Units After UKRAINIAN Cities

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President Putin named several Russian divisions and regiments after Ukrainian cities such as Lvov and Zhitomir, as well as the Polish capital Warsaw. This move is sure to anger Ukrainian and Polish ultra-nationalists. Indeed, the names already trigger and anger Ukrainian nationalists. Putin assigned the names as honorifics, commemorating the participation of these units in liberating the city for which they received their name.

For this reason, Putin’s decree named the 6 Guards Tank Regiment the 6 Lvov Guards Tank Regiment in honour of the Western Ukrainian city of Lvov in Galicia. The 68 Tank Regiment will now be the Zhitomir-Berlin Guards. The name of the regiment (originally raised in 1944 and reformed in 2017) is in honour of Zhitomir in the northern Ukraine and the title “Berlin” comes from the capture of Berlin in 1945. The 381 Artillery Regiment received the title Varshava (Warsaw), after the capital of Poland (note that Warsaw wasn’t the capital during the Polish occupation of the Ukraine… the then-capital of the Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita was Krakow). Soviet soldiers fought to liberate Warsaw and Poland from the German fascists and the heroes of the Red Army liberated the Nazi concentration camps. We mustn’t disregard this, even if contemporary Polish political figures forget it.

The 933 Anti-Aircraft Missile Regiment received the title “Verkhnodneprovsk” (Upper Dnepr River) and the 102 Motor Rifle Regiment received the title “Slonim-Pomeransk”. The 90 Tank Division is now the 90 Guards Tank Division Vitebsk-Novgorod. Vitebsk is a Belarusian city located in the north near the Russian border. When people hear the name Novgorod they often think of the famous ancient city where Russian history began. Veliki Novgorod is close to Vitebsk and is the logical reason for the name, but we mustn’t forget the name simply means “New City”, and there’s the much larger and younger Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, as well as Novgorod in the Ukraine, which is located south of the original Veliki Novgorod. Additionally, the 400 Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment has the title Transylvania (in Romania), which means “Beyond the Forest”. In fact, that’s a common Slavic name, as there is one such place of the same name near Moscow, as well as one near Kiev.

Transylvania in Slavic languages uses a variant of its Austro-Hungarian name, Semigorod, meaning Seven Cities. The region is most famous for Voivode Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad the Impaler, who spawned the Dracula legends. The lurid accounts emphasising Vlad’s ferocity might’ve been slightly exaggerated slander by the Germans. Contemporary Russian and Slavic accounts provide a more fair and unbiased middle ground. They acknowledge his cruelty, but also note his successful diplomacy and campaigns against the Ottoman Empire. They did criticise him for what they felt was a betrayal of Orthodoxy and believed this is what caused his death, in contrast to the life of his cousin, St Stephan the Great, but this is beyond the scope of this article. The focus is the units and the names Putin assigned them, but it’s worth understanding a little something about the regions from which they take their names.

The last three units mentioned were the 856 Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (Guards of Kobryn), the 150 Motor Rifle Division (Idritsko-Berlin), and the 144 Motor Rifle Division (Elnya Guards). In Russian military tradition, a Guards Regiment or the title “Guards” refers to an élite or particularly distinguished unit. This isn’t the same as Special Operations (Spetsnaz) forces, but a Spetsnaz unit can also be a Guards unit. Officers of a Guards unit bear the title “of the Guards” added to their title, so, a Colonel of a Guards regiment would be a Colonel of the Guards or Guards Colonel. Of course, it’s important to address an officer or unit appropriately. The legendary and beloved Russian movie Only Old Men Go to Battle (a must watch for Russia lovers) joked about this. In the film, singer and ace pilot Captain Titarenko is walking by and one of the surprised soldiers in the scene said, “Oh, excuse me, Comrade Captain”, and he jokingly replied, “That’s Comrade Guards Captain to you!”

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The film is a classic about the Great Patriotic War, which is the main reason why these units received their special titles, to “preserve glorious military historical traditions, to instil in military personnel a spirit of devotion to the Motherland and loyalty in fulfilment of one’s military duty”. Of course, ultranationalists from the Ukraine, Poland, and (possibly) Romania may falsely see this as some form of expansionist threat, as some Ukrainians already have. This is ridiculous, as the units received such titles in honour of historical deeds of heroism. People shouldn’t blind themselves to their history, and the reality is that the USSR liberated these countries from fascism. Were it not for the might of the USSR, the fascists could’ve ruled all of Europe and likely the entire world. In the case of the Ukraine, this was Russian land, liberated by Slavic peoples… Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians, but the USSR also helped Polish, Romanian, and Moldavian partisans to push the fascists off their land.

It was particularly interesting and ironic, but very appropriate, that a Guards Regiment would receive the title Lvov, which means “The Lion-City”. Lvov is the historical capital of Galicia; it’s the most stereotypically Western of Ukrainian cities. The traditional date of the founding of Lvov is 1256; however, some historians believe its foundation was between 1240 and 1247, shortly after the fall of Kiev (1240). The city served as the capital of the westernmost principality of Rus, quickly conquered by Poland, then, merged with the Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita. During the period of the Rzeczpospolita, the Uniate Catholic religion arose; to this day, Lvov has one of the highest rates of Uniates or outright Roman Catholics in the Ukraine. This is illustrative of the extreme cultural differences between one part of the Ukraine and another, to the extent that it almost feels like they’re two separate countries.

Kiev, the traditional birthplace of Russia, was only separate from Russia for a period of around 300 years, between 1360 and 1654 (and again from 1991 to the present day); it has a much more Russian and Orthodox feel. If you didn’t know Russian cities and architecture, a foreigner could mistake it for a city like Volgograd… they both even have a “Motherland with a sword” statue. Kiev is over one thousand kilometres away from Volgograd, twice the distance to Lvov, which is about 500 kilometres from Kiev. Even though Kiev and Lvov are in the same country, whereas Volgograd isn’t, the former two are more distant in culture. Lvov looks, feels, and sounds much more Polish; it only reunited with Russia in 1939 after spending centuries in Austro-Hungary and Poland. It fell to the Germans during World War II; the Red Army only liberated it in 1944. Just imagine the differences between Lvov and the Donbass.

Not only does Lvov have a distinctly less “Soviet” look to it, but also the buildings even fit in with those in Poland, Austria, Hungary, Czechia, etc. The Churches look far more Catholic than they do Orthodox. These things influence culture and thought tremendously. There are Orthodox Christians from Lvov. Orthodox people in Lvov feel no different from those from the rest of the Ukraine or in Russia, aside from the language and accent of course. People in Lvov can still speak Russian if they encounter those who don’t speak Ukrainian. Lvov people are still Ukrainians, therefore, Eastern Slavs, and Galicia was once an equal part of Rus, so there’ll always be a common history. Still, one can’t deny the powerful foreign influence in Lvov. A simple look at the skylines reveals the cities have a different character. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad to be Polish, Austrian, etc, or it’s bad to have Catholic churches in your cities. Of course, it’s positive to coexist and respect all peoples and cultures. It’s simply worth noting that when a city looks and feels different, when the people speak a different, more Polish-influenced, Ukrainian, and when they spent most of their history in other states, it can cause cultural differences. These differences shouldn’t cause conflict, but human nature allows them to. I fully believe the Orthodox Church will unite the Ukraine, and see her through the storms, and that fascism has no future in this land, in the West, or the East. Still, there are difficulties today, caused by cultural differences.

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These differences express themselves clearly in Ukrainian political life and demographics. Naming a Russian regiment after Lvov is merely one of the ways to remind people of their brotherly bonds, of a time when people from all over the USSR fought together against fascism. There’s still much we must do to bring peace to the Ukraine after Western neocons and Ultranationalists tore it apart. Learning about when in history differences first emerged can help; ultimately, studying history reveals that all of the Ukraine, even Lvov, has roots in Kievan Rus. Instead, Ukrainian ultranationalists believe that they’re the “True Russians”, and that Russia has no claim to Kievan Rus. They think they’re more Russian than the Russians are! The Red Army drove the West out of Lvov, which invaded and occupied it. Indeed, Hitler came from the same group of Austro-Germans that occupied Galicia for centuries. It’s important to remember that and not to forget it.

3 July 2018

Russia Feed

http://russiafeed.com/putin-names-russian-army-groups-after-ukrainian-cities

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Saturday, 26 May 2018

NFL Owners Never Voted on the New National Anthem Policy. Wait… What?

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On Wednesday, the National Football League (NFL) announced a new policy regarding player protests during the national anthem… stay in the locker room, stand, or face a fine. Now, it looks like the owners never officially voted for the policy after all. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said during the NFL’s announcement:

Clearly, our objective as a league and to all 32 clubs, which was unanimous, is that we want people to be respectful of the national anthem.

Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence applauded the move by the NFL. However, sources reported the owners never held a formal vote, so, who approved it unanimously? According to a report by ESPN’s Seth Wickersham, during two days of meetings on league matters in Atlanta:

The NFL just did a little informal polling and thought everyone would be cool with it.

Sources said league executives polled owners and knew how they’d vote but didn’t hold an official tally, which is atypical for a major resolution. The new policy leaves it to teams to discipline their own players for acts deemed disrespectful during the anthem. However, it also gave the league wide powers to fine teams as well. The NFL Players Association already made a public statement that the league never consulted them on the new anthem policy, also atypical of major changes affecting players. Moreover, not all team owners are singing the new anthem policy’s praises either. Three team owners distanced themselves from this policy as well. San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York announced he abstained from any decision about the policy. Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis also claims to have abstained. Their abstentions contradict Goodell’s claim of a unanimous vote by all 32 owners.

Meanwhile, New York Jets chairman Chris Johnson vowed to pay any fines for his players who demonstrate during the national anthem:

I don’t like imposing any club-specific rules. If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organisation, by me, not the players. I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. However, I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There’ll be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.

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Johnson’s announcement drew some criticism, but his Twitter post also drew praise. The new anthem policy is catching a lot of flak on social media. Many accused the NFL in general or Roger Goodell in particular of simply pandering to the President and Vice President on the issue, without regard for the players or fans. People also questioned the NFL’s priorities. Whether the new policy stands or not remains to be seen.

24 May 2018

Amelia Mavis Christnot

Second Nexus

https://secondnexus.com/news/nfl-owners-never-voted-anthem/

26 May 2018. Taking A Knee… It Seemed That the NFL Lied About Their New Rule

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It seems that the NFL announced that it was banning taking the knee at the National Anthem because all the teams were behind it… well, that’s a lie. Some ignorant rightwing Republican turd obviously ran it up without really consulting the teams or the players. It looks like Trump’s Reverse Midas Effect is in operation, yet again. Instead of slapping down the uppity niggers and white trash, it’s having the opposite effect. Several teams have already come out against the new rule and the action riled the players association to the max. Trump is increasingly seen to be out of control and flailing about, with no clue on how to move forward. This is dangerous. The man is a wilfully ignorant narcissistic man-child with no inhibitions. He has control of the “nuclear football”… if that doesn’t scare you, nothing will.

The intent behind this was to coerce the players into forced “patriotism”, to show all comers how powerful and strong Trump was. It’s having the opposite effect. Trump’s stupidity and bullying temperament are on display for the whole world to see. However, don’t expect the media to show that… they’re in the pocket of their corporate paymasters. That’s why I don’t believe anything that I read in the media on domestic American politics. Trust me, the people aren’t happy… the Republicans are facing disaster this November (don’t believe the “polls”… the media has to follow what their Big Money bosses tell them to do). After all, Paul Ryan “retired” at the ripe old age of 48… what does he know that the media won’t tell us?

BMD

Sunday, 8 April 2018

The Bright Resurrection Brings Us a Day of Hope, Solidarity, the Affirmation of Eternal Values, and the Triumph of Justice

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Dear brothers and sisters, my comrades and friends!

We celebrate the Bright Resurrection of Christ, when life triumphed over the tragedy of death. During the upcoming Bright Week, we ever more clearly feel the unity of our citizens, so different, yet equally and passionately lovers of our Motherland, our history, our traditions, and our culture. Let us be united in joy and in sorrow, patient in trials, and persevering in our noble aspirations.

Recent events revealed the essence of all that accompanies us on the ascent towards Truth and the affirmation of the Good. Russia’s return to its mission as a great power sparked fierce opposition from our long-time enemies, whose weapons are lies, threats, defamation, and slander. However, we’ve already gone through that. One hundred years ago, 14 countries launched an intervention against young Soviet Russia. At that time, the new country issued a “Decree on Peace”, which was a call for all countries participating in the brutal war to begin peace talks immediately. The answer to this was intervention, an iron fist punched at our country. The ultimate goal of the intervention was to tear the country into pieces and have the forces of the interventionist countries control the remainder. However, from the taiga to the sea, the Red Army proved to be stronger than its foes were. Moreover, it was a new workers and peasants army, inspired by ideals of equality and social justice. The victory came not only from members of the oppressed strata of society, but tens of thousands of former tsarist officers, honest representatives of the once-well-to-do classes, and many foreigners united under the slogan “Hands off Soviet Russia!”

Furthermore, the solidarity of the working people and their love for the oppressed and besieged Fatherland prevailed over the interventionists. We stood and we won. In less than two decades, a new aggression leapt against our country, with most of the states of so-called “civilised” Europe taking part, whose leaders cowardly indulged the forces of evil, leading many to march under the banner of Hitler’s fascism. Again, we didn’t bow to their diktat, and as the great Pushkin said about the Napoleonic era in Europe, “our blood redeemed Europe with liberty, honour and peace”. Three-quarters of a century ago, at the Great Victory, again our state called for peace… “peace” was the first word written by Soviet children in their notebooks. The biggest sin is betrayal, but unrepentant sinners are even worse. Forgetting about their sins during the fascist era, our neighbours now trample on the past in hatred and insult the glory of their heroic compatriots who wiped absolute evil off the face of the earth at the cost of their blood. This is what F M Dostoyevsky said, who wrote about our nearest neighbours in The Diary of a Writer in 1877:

Maybe, for a whole century, or even more, they’ll tremble for their freedom and fear the power of Russia; they’ll curry favour with European states, they’ll slander Russia, gossip about it and intrigue against it … Of course, in a moment of serious misfortune, they’ll all certainly turn to Russia for help. No matter how they hate, gossip, and slander us in Europe, flirting with her and assuring her of love, but they’ll always instinctively feel something for us (of course, in a moment of trouble, but not before), that Europe is the natural enemy of their unity, it has and always will remain such, and if they exist in the world, then, of course, it’s because of the fact that Russia acts as a magnet, drawing them all to itself, which constrains their integrity and unity.

In our history, we aren’t the first to face furious pressure from our neighbours to our country. Moreover, we usually didn’t have to fight off the dark forces alone. Now, we don’t feel any support from the working people of those countries under the thumb of financial and oligarchic capital. The people remain silent, victims of social engineering and sophisticated methods of controlling the mass consciousness. Political technology replaces politics, information replaces knowledge; naked calculation and profit, not conscience, measures the actions of individuals and peoples. In such a situation, it isn’t easy to stop the procession of evil in the world. Being in the ring with multinational ill-wishers, as Russia’s philosopher Ilyin pointed up, the individual Russian and the Russian nation rallies and thus answers the challenges of the time. We are fully satisfied that the ideas of equality and social justice are at the forefront of our struggle and that the people’s expectations increasingly push the authorities to implement measures that facilitate the implementation of these requirements. We should say that the authorities try to respond to the urgent demands of the people. However, these are piecemeal measures; we need a long-term strategy.

We understand that half-hearted, partial, “cosmetic” measures won’t help us to transform the State into a truly socialist people’s state, when decision-makers aspire only, as Mayakovsky said, “to protect the safety of their familiar places”. It requires a hard-nosed attitude towards those who neglect the interests of the people and the state, which hinder the development of the country, which condone the plunder of its riches. We’ll continue to seek relentlessly to bring forward a humanistic view, to demand the implementation of the equality of all citizens of our state, to fight for equal access to its wealth, and to make those in power answer to the people for everything that happens in the country. Again, Russia needs to focus itself. For the sake of the good of the country, we must unite all our efforts and thoughts.

Congratulations on the Bright Resurrection to the clergy and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church, all Orthodox Christians, and to all people of goodwill! I wish peace to the peoples, happiness and family harmony to all citizens of our country, and new achievements on our path to revive our Motherland! Let the bright ideals of goodness, equality, justice, solidarity, and dignity, the eternal values of the Christian faith, become our communist ideal.

To the Resurrection of Christ!

7 April 2018

G A Zyuganov

Head of the KPRF faction in the RF Gosduma

Chairman of the TsK KPRF

KPRF.ru

KPRF official website

https://kprf.ru/party-live/cknews/174630.html 

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