Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Putin Signed Bill to Ban All Forms of Cruelty to Animals


On Thursday, according to documents uploaded to the official online database of Russian legislative information, President V V Putin signed a decree on responsible treatment of animals outlawing all forms of cruelty to animals and established rules of pet ownership. The law was introduced in 2010 to the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the RF Gosduma, and took eight years for passage. The law contains basic principles of pet ownership, based on responsible, ethical, and humane treatment of animals. It also streamlines the rights and responsibilities of federal, regional, and municipal authorities on the issue of pet ownership. The law establishes rules of ownership and use of animals, and of their protection against cruel treatment. Besides, it outlaws the propaganda of cruel treatment of animals and sets forth requirements for ownership of pets and service animals, as well as for their use in cultural and entertaining events.

Bans and Restrictions

The new law prohibits free and uncontrolled movement of animals in areas with road traffic, in lifts, and in other common areas of residential buildings, as well as in yards, recreational areas, playgrounds, and sporting grounds. From now on, owners must clean the waste left by their pet in those areas. Now, municipal authorities can prohibit animal walks in certain zones. The document also stipulates that dogs of potentially dangerous breeds can take walks only with a muzzle and on a leash. The only exception is when a dog walks on restricted territory belonging to its owner and marked with a warning sign. The Russian government will compile a list of those dangerous breeds. The law also defines the legal status of animal shelters and sets rules for establishing, keeping, and using them. From now on, anyone capturing stray animals must record it with a camera and make public all information about them. The document also outlaws petting zoos and animal fights, as well as keeping animals in bars and restaurants.

28 December 2018




Saturday, 20 February 2016

20 February 2016. Translated Russian Demot… Our “Little Brothers” Have No Voice to Speak

Filed under: animals,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00
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00 wild cat russia 200216


Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Video. A Bear Dances to “Kalinka” in Grandpa Durov’s Corner Theatre’s 100th Anniversary Show


Click here for a one-minute vid on the 100th anniversary of Grandpa Durov’s Corner Theatre, which features animal acts. Vladimir Durov was a famous clown in pre-Revolutionary Russia who was also an animal trainer. One time, an angered official forced Durov to apologise publicly for his jests… then, Durov went through the streets of Odessa in a cart drawn by a green pig (the official’s name in Russian translated to “green”). Ya gotta love such spunk. In his theatre, Durov introduced new methods of training, he never used whips or sticks. He taught animals with kindness and understanding, his theatre wasn’t only fun, but also educational, for both children and adults.The tradition continues…


Friday, 28 September 2012

28 September 2012. The Beasts and God: What Can We Say?

The Lord God made them all…


A friend sent me this:

Sounds like Poochie went out in a Christian way… painless, blameless, peaceful, and with a good defence before the dread judgement seat of Christ.

I sent this:

He lived in a Christian home, didn’t he? There’s a lot of thought there… I’m thinking of writing “800 good words” on animals and God, on how we should “pray with the animals”, not for them. After all, they must have a relationship with God, but what, I don’t know. We must have a care for the “zhivotne” (the word for “animal” in Russian comes from the Slavonic word for “life”) who share our lives.


Here’s a post of mine well-worth repeating:


Editor’s Foreword:

I’ve received a good response from my Some of My Favourite Things post that I put up today. Therefore, here’s a reprise of an item that I posted over two years ago. It’s one of my personal faves. Fr Serapion has a point to make, and he makes it well. My belief is that we shouldn’t anthropomorphise animals, but, on the other hand, we should remember that the beasts are God’s Creatures too, and we should act accordingly.



Hieromonk Serapion Mitko, the head of the Diocese of Yaroslavl Missionary Department, whose house was set on fire by unknown arsonists late last week, saved his three little kittens from the fire. As he told our Interfax-Religion correspondent, he bought the kittens just a few days before the accident. “When the walls started burning, the kittens were sleeping in the kitchen rolled into a multicoloured ball, as usual. As I was leaving the house, I asked my driver to get them out of the house. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if those little critters had perished in the fire”, Fr Serapion said. Then, he remembered the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed”, and God’s instructions to Adam to preserve this world and all the animals he had named.

“I’ve always reflected upon the theological status of animals. We know that everything that breathes praises the Lord, but people can’t understand how these creatures feel the Creator. This lack of understanding witnesses to our narrow minds and to the grandeur of God’s mystery of creation”, he said. Fr Serapion, who defended a thesis on ethics for his theological degree, reflected that one of the fundamental ethical problems is the suffering of animals. “We know that human suffering may help a person to achieve moral purification, but, we don’t know why animals suffer. From our human standpoint, the suffering of animals is senseless, which makes it even more terrible”, he believes. Fr Serapion called to mind the words of Russian poet Marina Tsvetayeva that the Lord didn’t exile animals from Paradise; they just followed man out of the Garden. He is convinced that “they live in quite a different dimension, where sin hasn’t penetrated yet or penetrates only through our fault. If we, people, expose animals to suffering through our sins, then, we must save them. We should treat animals in the same way we treat people, so that people wouldn’t treat each other like animals”.

3 December 2008



Editor’s Afterword:

We should treat animals in the same way we treat people, so that people wouldn’t treat each other like animals.

That makes me think of the recent shenanigans of Whiteford and Lebedeff on a certain internet forum. It was on a par with the actions of Velencia and Karlgut. Just why are priests of the Church “treating people like animals?” If this isn’t a sign of advanced rot, I don’t know what it is. We have a Church to rebuild… but we can’t do it until we remove the squatters camping in the ruins of the old OCA and ROCOR. After all the nastiness of the Church War in the 70s and 80s, after all the accusations that they hurled at one another, today, we can see that its main protagonists were identical under the skin… “We few are going to tell you many what to do… and you shall NOT complain… we’re the gatekeepers to the Church, and if you displease us, we’ll plague you until you leave”. I think that there’s something horridly wrong with this picture… I seem to think that most of you agree with me!





To pray “with the animals”… I haven’t the foggiest notion what that means in its fullness, but I’ve a good idea of what it’d look like. It’d be like St Serafim Sarovsky so One with God’s Creation that all the animals could sense it, so, they came up to him willingly. All Russians know the famous icon of St Serafim with the bear… who doesn’t? One has to accept the animals for “what they are”… not anthropomorphised treacly cutouts, but real living breathing creatures with their own personalities, natures, and instincts. For example, look at this post on Knut the Polar Bear… Knut was God’s creature, as much as we are, and as mortal as we are.

Each animal has their unique and irreplaceable personality, just as people do. No doubt, we’ll get another male cat, but it won’t be Poochie (who could hear a slice of cheese being unwrapped at all hours and be there in a flash… he was a “cheese cat”). It’s like us; when we’re gone, our uniqueness is gone, too. It’s one of the reasons that I’m a believer despite all the prelest and shit from poseurs like Fathausen, Freddie, Dreher, Reardon, Mattingly, et al. Poochie was the “spark plug” of our little cat “family” (we also have two female cats, Moo and Tulip). He miaued the most, he was the most playful, and the one most likely to jump up next to you and nuzzle you when you got back from work. He loved to sit next to the window, looking out at the world. He liked being held by “Mommy”, but he’d make it clear when he wanted to get away, too. Now that he’s gone, our other two cats are subdued and quiet. They must KNOW, in some way, what happened.

Billy Graham said, “God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in Heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I’ll believe he’ll be there”. I agree with that. There are long-faced prunish sorts out there who say, “Animals have no souls; they have no part of Heaven”. Note well that the ones who say that are often also the ones who attack this one and that one, judging who’s going to end up justified, and who’s going to end condemned. Well, in Our Father’s House, there are many mansions… and St Peter will tell all decent people as we pass one of them, “Be quiet! These jabronies think that they’re the only ones here” (it has a separate entrance, so as to not upset these sorts that the rest of us are there, too). In my heaven, there’ll be dogs and cats and rabbits and bears… for I believe that God will sanctify ALL of His Creation. Why would He create it, if He were just going to destroy it all in a snit fit, in an act of imperious disdain? That wouldn’t be Divine, but all too human, wouldn’t it? He’ll sanctify all people of good intention and good heart… even if they denied Him on earth (when you see the antics of some hierarchs, clergy, and others of the  self-appointed “spiritual élite”, you can understand why people reject such a “faith”). Shall he condemn all evil-doers and their enablers and sycophants to hell-fire? I’m not God… I can’t say. However, Our Lord Christ, the Church, and the Scriptures are clear on the rich, the respectable, the “rugged independent”, and their lackeys, “They have their reward”… that’s not comforting, especially, if you’ve screwed people to get ahead.

None of the above is “The Teaching of the Church”… it’s simply the reflections of a good Orthodox Christian on an observable natural phenomenon. Poochie’s death has left a hole in our house and in my heart that’ll take a little while to heal. Didn’t Nicky have a big heart in taking him in thirteen years ago? That’s why I won’t EVER be unfaithful to him…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 28 September 2012

Albany NY

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