Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Christmas: A Celebration of Light, Family, Peace, Love, and Joy

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To His Holiness Kirill

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

Dear friends and comrades, my brothers and sisters!

From the Pacific Ocean to the icebound White Sea, our entire state is ready to celebrate Christmas… a beloved traditional holiday, the first in the new 2019. I’d like the feeling of joy, togetherness, and love to last for the whole coming year. Traditionally, we celebrate Christmas with the people most dear and close to us… our parents, children, grandchildren, workmates, friends, colleagues, and those with whom we share our joys and trials. However, according to ancient tradition, our thoughts turn these days to those treated badly by life, those who even on these joyful days are cold, hungry, uncomfortable, and anxious, and to those who vigilantly carry out their duty to protect the Motherland, to those who look after our health and safety. Mercy and gratitude figure largely in the Russian national character, in Russian people, in all those who live on our blessed land. Therefore, first of all, I want to give Christmas greetings to our servicemen, border guards, police, rescue workers, doctors, and volunteers, as well as to all those sick, weak, afflicted, orphaned, and homeless.

On this bright holiday, we look back as we gather around the festive table as if starting a new beginning in life. We evaluate our achievements; we blame ourselves for our errors, we make wishes, we give each other gifts, and we make plans for the coming year. On such days, we more than ever feel the unity of the past and the future. We can particularly clearly feel during the Christmas holidays the unity and interdependence of the world, of peoples, of countries, and of continents. Today, it’s more and more obvious that the formula of the “end of history” is fallen. The West actively imposed this on us immediately after the destruction of the USSR, when it seemed to many in the West that they defeated the ideals of social equality. Current events show that it isn’t so, history hasn’t reached a conclusion. The struggle for the interests of the working people, for justice, which is trampled upon by self-lovers, exploiters, and rapists, is only growing.  The confrontation between labour and capital, between rich and poor, is growing, becoming ever more acute and spilling over into open protests of the disadvantaged. We give them our sympathy and special support during these Christmas days.

Our great state is now a target for continuous attacks by its traditional opponents and detractors. A siege is coming for our country, when the base of the “approach” is almost along its entire perimeter… not only to intimidate us but also for possible aggression. The goal is to grasp the gigantic resources of Russia, to take our open spaces connecting East and West. They want to make our people forget their dignity and great history. We, as heirs of a mighty state and its glorious past, are particularly concerned about the process of alienation of the fraternal Ukraine from the Russian Federation, which they are trying to strike at the very heart, to knock out the canonical Orthodox Church, which is the support of the people. When the new government banned the activities of the Communist Party of the Ukraine in 2015, when they subjected its headquarters, newspapers, and offices to pogroms, when they defamed its leaders and activists, we warned that the process of destruction wouldn’t stop there. Indeed, such happened. In the Ukraine, not only do we see a revival of Nazi madness, but also a dangerous church schism, conceived far from the Dnieper and implemented with Byzantine cunning and American-English perfidy.

The schismatics don’t heed the words of the Fathers:

Making divisions in the Church is no less evil than to fall into heresy … even the blood of martyrdom doesn’t wash away the sin of schism.

St John Chrysostom Interpretation to Ephesians: 65, 11 

They don’t hear the witness of Orthodoxy:

The division of the churches is the work of the devil.

St Ioann Kronshtadtsky My Life in Christ Part II, 9

They don’t attend to the sayings of righteous elders:

Fear division and schism in the Church! Fear to fall away from the Mother Church, for only it alone holds back the lava of anti-Christian revelry in the world now! … Our task is to protect the Church from schism and heresies.

Archimandrite Ioann Krestyankin

In these hard times, we wish steadfastness for all Orthodox, not only those in the fraternal Ukraine. We all need to be firm and faithful. We hope that the cup of trials and torment would pass us by. We hope that the lava of bitterness won’t cover the Ukrainian land and that a hopeless “St Bartholomew’s Night” wouldn’t fall on it. We still believe that we can admonish the misguided, sober those intoxicated with anger, to reach out to our disoriented brethren, addressing them with the message of the poem Slavs by Fyodor Tyutchyov:

Hello, from us to all of you!

On the feast of peace and love …

Although hostile destiny

Separated us,

We’re still one people,

Sons of the same mother

Finally, we wish our beloved Russia to overcome inertia and embark on creative transformations in the interests of the majority, without imitating others, without the camouflage of showy festivities. It’s very important for us to return to the main achievements of the Soviet period… affordable education for all, truly free healthcare, and high-quality social security. The past year dealt a severe blow to whole generations of our citizens, who now have to work even longer, rolling up their sleeves in order to receive their expected and deserved reward from the state in the form of pensions. It’s become ever clearer to those able to see and hear that the course imposed on our country is a course going nowhere. As promised, we’ll continue to strive to achieve the creation of a socially responsible government focused on the national interests of the country, which would take care of the workers, overcome poverty and corruption, and wouldn’t serve the oligarchic clans who illegally appropriated gigantic resources for themselves. We can and should invest the national wealth in science, education, culture, and sports… in real modernisation, not its ostentatious imitation.

The quality of any policy is determined by the welfare and well-being of our people, by their life expectancy and education, and by its respect for our country and people. To realise our national interests, we need new objectives, another way of thinking, and a new socio-political culture. In this Christmas holiday season, the KPRF and other popular patriotic forces once again affirm that we’d actively struggle with all the situations facing our people, for the creation of social justice, to implant a creative and honest moral-political situation in the country and in the authorities. We must turn away from the course of destruction and return to the path of goodness and creativity. Otherwise, we’d spiral finally into the funnel of the crisis.

My dear compatriots, I greet all of you on the holiday, I hope that together we’d be able to prevent adversity and protect our fellow citizens, as we see in the All-Night Vigil:

Preserve us from hunger, destruction, fear, fire, sword, foreign invasion, internecine strife, and from all enemies, visible and invisible.

I believe that every malice and pride in everyday life, despondency, and negligence in our hearts will come to an end, and love, humanity and brotherly love would strengthen them.

С Праздником! С Рождеством Христовым!

To the feast! To the Nativity of Christ!

6 January 2019

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/181627.html?fbclid=IwAR2o3HmR-bT1T649Q9O3tAmHFznylGgJTCKsvzMMlvi72ILvS3sdpB7YNK4

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Sunday, 14 January 2018

14 January 2018. Only in Russia… It’s Old New Year!

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Today is Old New Year in Russia! Yes… that’s an unofficial Russian holiday. You see, 14 January is 1 January on the Julian Calendar that the Orthodox Church uses. Therefore, many people (including many non-religious sorts) hold a second New Year celebration on that day. A leftist friend of mine emailed me:

People are abandoning the Fast less and less at New Years. There are Communist New Year’s Parties where (out of respect for Believers) a table groans under the weight of delicious Lenten delicacies… lobster, shrimp, oysters, herring, caviar, savoury Persian and Caucasian vegan treats, Lenten pirozhki, stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and so much more. Plus, there’s an open bar of the best champagne, vodka, and Cuban & Haitian rum. Of course, they have a table full of meat and dairy items for secular people. However, those Comrades who observe the Nativity Fast can keep both the letter of the Church’s law and, with moderation, its spirit.

That’s why many keep the Old New Year… it allows them to have the meat n’ dairy delicacies that they abstained from on 1 January (many Orthodox Christians abstain until 7 January, the Julian date for the Nativity). Then, there are the party animals, for whom any excuse will do for a shindig.

To the Old New Year! Lift a glass and cheer!

BMD

Monday, 8 January 2018

8 January 2018. Only in Russia… Shashlik for Christmas… on the OUTDOOR Grill

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This is a real-deal Russian preparing grilled shashlik for CHRISTMAS. I shit you not. I do believe that the eaters are waiting inside… it’s true that shashlik over charcoal is legit to the max, but sometimes we Russians justify the Western view that we’re Europe’s crazy cousins. Not that I’d want to change that…

BMD

Sunday, 7 January 2018

7 January 2018. A Little Pravoslavny Humour… “Hey, We Already Went This Way Before!”

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