Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Is VVP Signalling a Change in Russian Policy Towards LGBT?

00 Putin in Sochi w China TV reporter. 19.01.14

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Read this. Here’s the relevant quote:

President V V Putin called Russians to rid themselves of aggression toward sexual minorities, sparking discussion of a possible softening of the country’s official stance on homosexuality. In a film about the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi broadcast by Rossiya-24 TV in early February, Putin said, “It’s each person’s business” to choose what kind of sexual life to have, emphasising that there isn’t criminal prosecution of homosexuality in Russia. “Now about the law on sexual minorities […] Both straight people and non-traditionally-oriented people should rid themselves of aggression and treat each other in a more straightforward way”.

Take this for what its worth. It’s a good sign. By the way… VVP is simply echoing the Church’s stance. HH said, “We respect all human choices, including those of sexual orientation. We reserve the right to call a sin ‘sin'”. The Church does NOT condone homophobia or violence against gay people as an institution. That being said, there are individuals who ARE homophobic or who preach intolerance of gay people. We aren’t fundies… VVP simply reflects that. No, the Church does NOT “bless” homosexuality… but it doesn’t teach hatred of gays either. It’s nuanced…

BMD

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Friday, 2 January 2015

2014: The Year Russia-Bashing Got Ugly… and Dangerous

00 what the hell are you doing. russia-ukraine. 2014

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The western media narrative blames Russia’s “aggressive” foreign policy for triggering the collapse of American-Russian relations. Nothing could be further from the truth, and two major events of the last year prove it.

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00 Sochi Olympics 10. 10.02.14

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The Sochi Games We Somehow Survived

In the weeks and months prior to the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Western mainstream media shifted into hysterical gear, spooking the public with every possible thing that could go wrong in Sochi (but didn’t) scenario. A non-stop, mass-produced litany of tales of wild dogs, strange toilets, and the looming threat of terrorism had the rather predictable effect of prompting many spectators and even athletes to take a pass on one of the most successful Games of modern times. Although every city that plays host to the Olympics is expected to endure some level of hostile media coverage… invariably over the sheer cost of hosting the international event… the type of criticism aimed at the organisers of the Sochi Games was exceptional for the political edge of the attack, including Russia’s decision to ban gay propaganda in the months prior to the event.

There was a deliberate effort to conflate Russian legislation to protect minors from being exposed to inappropriate sexual messages with some sort of government-sponsored attack on homosexuals. Even Human Rights Watch painted a hugely inaccurate picture of the law, turning it into some sort of state-sanctioned hit parade. Tanya Cooper, an HRW researcher, said, “Russian authorities are sending a dangerous message as the world is about to arrive on its doorstep for the Olympics that there is nothing wrong with attacks on gay people”. President Putin explained in a BBC interview that everybody “can feel free” in their relationships, that Russia only banned the promotion of “homosexuality and paedophilia amongst minors”. He pointed up, “We don’t have a ban on non-traditional sexual relations. We have a ban on promoting homosexuality and paedophilia among minors. You can feel free in your relationships, but leave children in peace”. That seems like pretty sound advice for children, who’ll have plenty of time later in life to consider such issues.

Despite the West’s best efforts to portray Russia as the perennial villain on the global stage, it actually remains one of the last bastions of family-oriented values in a world that is being swept away by a tidal wave of godless liberalism. Indeed, the Sochi Olympic Games, judging by its opening and closing ceremonies, was exceptional for the quality of the presentation, much of it aimed at the promotion of families and children. By comparison, such a concept has become totally foreign at many American events, including the 2014 Grammy Awards, which left many critics wondering if the event actually promoted Satanism. Yet the Western media latched on to Russia’s supposed “gay ban”, turning it into an anti-Russian hammer to bash the Games.

So, what was the real reason behind this assault on Sochi? Putin said that such efforts were part of an ongoing attempt to hinder positive developments inside of Russia. He told members of the Public Council for the Preparation of the 2014 Winter Olympics, “Whenever Russia demonstrates any positive development, the appearance of a new strong player, of competition, is bound to cause concern in the economy, in politics, and in the security sphere. We see attempts to deter Russia here and there. Unfortunately, this had to do with the Olympic project” as well.

Fortunately, in a sign that not everybody in the Western media writes about Russia with blinders on, there was this rare gem courtesy of Esquire magazine, “These Olympics were supposed to be many things. They were supposed to be a giant soft target for terrorists. They were supposed to be an anti-gay goosestep. They were supposed to be shoddy, unfinished, poor, and corrupt, with zero customer service, and rabid dogs chewing on baby arms. They aren’t… they’re fun, and they’re beautiful”. The Sochi Games would prove to be just the first episode of disastrous reporting on Russia in a very tumultuous year.

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00 Igor Kolga. The Ukrainian Government. 2014

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MH17 Malaysia Airlines Crash Over the Ukraine

Not only was the 17 July crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 a tragedy of human dimensions, it was also a tragedy of epic proportions as far as journalism is concerned. One day after the Malaysia-bound aircraft went down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew, Western media was already convinced it knew the identity of the perpetrator. Yet, every aircraft catastrophe requires painstaking investigation before you can make any conclusions. You must find and examine the black box, you must collect and fit together the pieces of the aircraft to understand how and what damaged the aircraft, you must hear witness testimony, and you must review satellite imagery. However, in the case of Malaysia Airlines MH17, which we should’ve allocated even more scrutiny given that it went down in a war zone, none of these details seemed to be of consequence for the Western media. Instead, like cheap propagandists, the Western mainstream media committed the cardinal sin of pointing the finger of blame without performing a single thread of investigative research.

Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun, with over 2 million readers, screamed in large-font print from its front page, “Putin’s missile”, whilst the UK’s most popular tabloid, The Daily Mail, said that America warned there’d be “hell to pay” if Russia (i.e. Putin) was involved in the downing of the aircraft. In the best-case scenarios, Russia remained conspicuously between the lines in the sloppily-crafted narrative. Once again, they glaringly overlooked a little ingredient known as basic facts simply because the subject at hand was Russia. Usually, such an oversight does nothing more bothersome than elicit a few chuckles at Russia’s expense. This time, however, the stakes were far greater, happening as it did in the middle of a Ukrainian civil war, the outcome of which had no small bearing on international relations and the geopolitical chessboard… which, we should add, has nuclear weapons all over it.

There were numerous questions posed by the Russian side that the Western media blatantly ignored media, including:

  • Why did the MH17 plane leave the international corridor?
  • Why did Kiev deploy Buk missile systems on the edge of Novorossiyan-controlled zones directly before the tragedy (especially considering the patriots have no planes)?
  • What was a Ukrainian fighter jet, detected by Russian radar, doing on the route intended for civilian flights?
  • Why haven’t European investigators released transcripts from the black box, or provided the public with a full report on the crash?

Not only is Russia asking these questions, but also Malaysia, which they actually excluded from the criminal investigation team. Was that because it was prepared to view the details of the crash with an objective open mind, not obsessed with blaming Russia? Dr Mohamed Harridon, associate professor in research and aviation at Kuala Lumpur University, told RT, “When the crash happened, we didn’t blame any parties, neither Russia nor the Ukraine, as we’d like to take a look at the concrete evidence. Unlike our western counterparts, [Malaysia] took neutral role, not pointing fingers at Russia”. This could be the reason for Malaysia’s exclusion from the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) permitted to apportion blame. Once again, a media that isn’t remotely interested in engaging in any sort of investigative journalism led the Western astray… even when the stakes involve nothing less than global security. Instead, as the pathetic reporting of Sochi underscored, the Western media would rather throw out misleading stories on Russia in order to achieve some kind of warped agenda.

Finally, as far as American-Russian relations go, the only time in recent history that Washington actually levelled with Moscow and told the truth was due to a wrongly-translated word that turned out to be surprisingly accurate judging by the “overloaded” realities. In March 2009, during the early moments of the Obama administration, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented Foreign Minister S V Lavrov a symbolic “reset” button, which the two diplomats jokingly pressed for the photographers, signalling their intention of renewing bilateral relations between their respective countries. However, the State Department, as Lavrov himself explained, wrongly fixed on the button the Russian word for “overload” instead of “reset”, thereby providing Moscow… albeit thanks to a technical glitch… a much clearer picture of Washington and the West’s true intentions regarding its relationship with Russia than anything else to date.

01 Robert Bridge31 December 2014

Robert Bridge

RT

http://rt.com/op-edge/219015-russia-us-ukraine-media/

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Golden Time for Silver Age Volunteers at the Olympic Games

00 Sochi Olympics. 18.02.14

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If you’re in Sochi for the Winter Olympics this month, you might notice elderly men and women telling foreign visitors where to see the sights in town, manning the areas where big screens show the Game’s events, or even filling empty seats at Olympic events if needed. They’re all part of Leonid Lyubimov’s Silver Age volunteers, which started up three years ago, and now has more than 500 members. The group, with members aged between 46 and 85, organises from 35 to 40 events a month, from helping to clear waterways of trash to cleaning local landmarks and fixing up badly planted trees. Lyubimov, an energetic, grey-haired 71-year-old, said in an interview in the small office where he sat with his two deputies in downtown Sochi, “People usually feel that the elderly need to be helped, but we decided to do the reverse. We help ourselves, organise ourselves”.

Now retired, Lyubimov spent most of his professional life at a scientific institute in Novosibirsk, in Siberia, but he always dreamed of moving somewhere warm. He had maps of Crimea on his wall, almost moved to Cyprus, but eventually plumped for Sochi. He said that when Sochi became the venue for the Winter Olympics it provided a push to start the volunteer movement, “It’s interesting for us to live in a city where the Olympic Games will take place”. He said that the Silver Age volunteers all remembered the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, adding, “To live through that was great, but to see another such event is super”.

He’s particularly proud that the group came up from the grassroots and not by government command, although Silver Age gets support from the city and local governments. With a structure that harks back to the Soviet Vladimir Lenin all-Union Pioneer Organisation, Lyubimov said that his group could drum up a few dozen volunteers in less than an hour. Many of them had English lessons in preparation for the Games “so at least we can explain how to get to the toilet”, as well as lessons in dealing with the public and with foreigners… skills not well honed in Soviet times.

Lyubimov said, “We love the city; although it’s no secret that many people in Sochi say, ‘Why do we need the Olympic Games?’ But we’ve built a new city”. Seventy of the volunteers shall take part as actors in a Chekhov-inspired part of the Paralympics opening ceremony slated for March. One member, a retired doctor, wrote an anthem for the group and the Silver Age has its own flag too. Lyubimov sees the group as for not only the Games, saying, “The Olympics will end, but we’ll continue to work. Our main aim is to wake up those who have become indifferent”.

7 February 2014

Kevin O’Flynn

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/analysis/20140207/187269738/Golden-Time-for-Silver-Age-Volunteers-at-the-Olympic-Games.html

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Monday, 17 February 2014

17 February 2014. This May be Why the Russian Team is Tied with the USA for the Total Number of Medals

00 Patriarch Kirill. Sochi Olympics 02. 17.02.14

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00 Patriarch Kirill. Sochi Olympics 03. 17.02.14

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00 Patriarch Kirill. Sochi Olympics 04. 17.02.14

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00 Patriarch Kirill. Sochi Olympics 05. 17.02.14

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These images show the teams from Russia, the Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus at a Molieben served by HH prior to the Games. At present, the USA and Russia are in a tie for the number of medals, at 18 apiece. If we total together the teams from the Old USSR (“Team Eurasia”), they whip the loudmouth arrogant Amerikantsy 26 to 18. Vperyod Evrazistii! Don’t chortle too loudly… the Amerikantsy are nasty when crossed and vexed… especially, when we “inferiors” give them an ass-kicking. Remember, their country is not even 300 years old… they’re wilful violent children (they have a sicko absorption with guns)… with nuclear weapons. Do have a care around them… they’re not the most grounded of peoples (individual people aren’t bad, but as a group, Amerikantsy are spoilt brats).

BMD

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