Voices from Russia

Saturday, 27 May 2017

A Devotional Cross Given by the People of St Petersburg to the DNR as a Symbol of their Friendship Dedicated in Gorlovka


Today, in Gorlovka, a devotional cross donated by the people of St Petersburg to the DNR had its official dedication. The cross is near the entrance to the city, near the *Maiorsk checkpoint. The acting Head of the Gorlovka GGA* Ivan Prikhodko, President of the St. Petersburg NGO “Shumbrat” Sergei Artemov, clergy, public officials, and activists of the public movement “Donetsk Republic” attended the dedication ceremony. In all, about 50 people gathered for the event. Prikhodko said:

We looked forward to this event; we dedicated this cross today. I thank the people of St Petersburg. We want this cross to be a symbol of our faith in victory.

The cross came from the “Northern Capital” a few days ago, then, workmen put it up. The cross is a token of friendship from the people of St Petersburg symbolising the close ties between the DNR and the Russian Federation. Artemov told the media:

Our metropolitan blessed our placing of this cross in your Republic. Then, I wrote a letter to D V Pushilin and received a positive response. We created this cross at our expense; the people of St Petersburg sincerely support your people and wish you peace.

The cross is 6-metres-tall and is made of Siberian larch. It has an overhead covering and the base incorporates debris from houses destroyed in the fascist shelling of Gorlovka. Metropolitan Mitrofan Nikitin of Gorlovka and Slavyansk led the dedication ceremony. He thanked those who brought this gift and noted the significance of what the cross symbolised. The city officials emphasised that the cross would be a symbol of peace in the Donbass, and a memorial of the civilians killed in the fascist aggression.

  • GGA: Municipal State Administration

24 May 2017

DAN Donetsk News Agency



I’d note that the Metropolitan of St Petersburg is Varsonofy Sudakov… perhaps, the person closest to HH himself. That is, if Varsonofy blesses this cross, HH blesses this cross. It means that HH blesses the Peoples Republics in the Donbass and blesses the socialism found there. This means that rightwing filth like Victor Potapov and Ilarion Alfeyev are going against HH in attacking the leftist legacy of the USSR. Do note that Potapov and Alfeyev began their attacks on the person of I V Stalin after Hillary Clinton started her anti-Russia rants. Potapov, formerly a paid CIA propagandist, revealed his true colours. Alfeyev revealed that he’s a running dog of the West, not a loyal son of the Rodina. They proved themselves pro-American traitorous scum. As a friend told me:

We know what these men say and why they say it. It’s the wheat and the tares. The time for reaping will come, though.

If you read attacks on the legacy of the USSR by Potapov and Alfeyev, be aware that HH doesn’t share their venom. After all, didn’t he give condolences to the Castro family? The time of reckoning for these disloyal rightwing fanatics will come…


Saturday, 5 October 2013

A Word from the Patriarch: “Love Is the Most Important Thing in Life”

00 Patriarch Kirill with kids. 05.10.13


Editor’s Note:

The word podvig should NEVER be “Englished”… its one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. We should bring it into our Orthodox usage in English. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. “Ascetic labour” is a mistranslation, as podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. Besides, podvig has its secular uses, too. It’s not “religious”, and we shouldn’t make it such (for instance, we speak of the podvig of the fighters in both Great Patriotic Wars (and here)). It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

These wise words from HH are a needed counterbalance to the zealous zaniness, overblown religiosity, rigid juridicism, and downright bizarre things that we often read in “Orthodox cyberspace”. “God IS Love”… don’t accept any counterfeits…



Love Is the Most Important Thing in Life

The Apostle said, But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ Then he spoke these words of great power and importance… by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world (Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 6.14). What do these words of the Apostle mean? They can mean only one thing… that the Cross lies upon the whole world as a measure of Divine righteousness and Divine truth. More than anything else in life, people need a model, some standard that they can use to measure everything around them… the thoughts that come to them, the flood of information, the words of politicians and ordinary people, the actions of other people.

Contemporary philosophy, and the all-pervading view of life that comes from this treacherous attitude, asserts that man is a truth unto himself… that there are many goals, there are many truths, as there are many minds. I decide what’s good for me, and I don’t care if it’s good for anyone else. As if anticipating the terrible temptations of our times, the Apostle Paul said these inspiring words about the Cross by which the world is crucified; about the Cross on which appeared the fathomless, boundless, comprehensive, absolute Divine truth.

What is this truth, what is this absolute truth? God suffered out of love for mankind. If God does this, if He accepted suffering in the flesh of His Son, then, this is the most important, the most fundamental thing… everything revolves around this truth. In fact, Truth testifies that love is the main thing in life. Everything else is secondary. The commandment on love is the main commandment of Christianity; the Lord declares this commandment not only in words, but also by the podvig of His life. At the same time, He showed people that sacrifice always accompanies love. In a certain sense, love becomes synonymous with sacrifice, and sacrifice synonymous with love, because if in loving another we aren’t willing to do anything for them… that isn’t love.

Feelings of solidarity bind society together and solidarity always presupposes the ability of one person to serve another, the ability of one person to give something to another, and in extreme situations, for one to give his life for his neighbours (cf. Gospel according to St John 15.13). There’s no other way for the human race, no other road to happiness and fullness of life, than the path that Christ showed us. There’s no other law of human relationship; the law of love implies the giving of yourself to another person, and to receive in response the great gift of love from the one to whom you gave yourself.

From a sermon after the Liturgy in Epiphany Cathedral, Tomsk
22 September 2013


The Best Preaching of the Gospel is the Witness of Your Life

The best preaching of the Gospel is the witness of your life; a righteous, devout, god-fearing, and fervent life filled with active love for Christ and your neighbours. Whilst “the windy and protracted speech of professors often remains without effect”, the good works of love speak louder than the prettiest words, they awaken in people a spark of trust, arousing a desire to emulate and follow such a person (see: St Gregory of Nyssa. Homily on His Ordination). The Apostles lived and witnessed to Christ in a pagan environment; they fought idolatry, superstition, and immorality. Undoubtedly, the reality of contemporary life appears outwardly different from that existent in the Apostolic Age. However, the inner content of people’s lives today differ little from the sentiments that filled human hearts and minds as they listened to the Apostles’ preaching; in many instances, from the point of view of salvation, modern life is even more dangerous than that of the ancient pagan society.

From a sermon given at the bestowal of the episcopal staff to Bishop Germogen Sery of Michurinsk and Morshansk in the Moscow Church of St Nicholas in Pyzhy, Moscow
27 September 2013


The Cross Encompasses All Life

The Cross is at the centre of our convictions, the centre of our Christian worldview, but it should also be in the focus of our perception of the world. To experience it personally… which means placing sorrow in the centre of our lives… is very difficult. At that moment, few remember the Cross of Christ, because their own cross eclipses everything; it becomes a broad as all life. Everything else remains on the periphery, whilst their suffering is at the centre. Often, the carrying of our cross brings perplexity, murmuring against God, and, often, even anger, the ruin of our relationship to our neighbour, and can even lead to the loss of faith! So that we might more easily bear our cross, we must understand one truth very clearly… that God desired to save the world through the Cross.

We should have the faith to accept all that the Lord teaches us, precisely because our salvation doesn’t come from human strength, but from total human helplessness. After all, salvation doesn’t come from men, but from God. Christianity is a great force, capable of transforming human society and mankind, because it isn’t a human power, but the power of God. We must accept, without further foolishness, in simplicity of heart, what He sent to us, responding to Him and His ideas with our whole hearts. We should strive to implement what the Lord called us to do, and to follow the path that He walked. We know that this is the path of victory, the way of resurrection.

From a sermon after an episcopal consecration and Liturgy in the Church of St Nicholas in Pyzhi, Moscow
27 September 2013

4 October 2013




Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Poll Shows Over 80% of Russians Favour “Blasphemy” Draft Law


A survey by state-run pollster VTsIOM showed that over 80 percent of Russians support draft legislation that would introduce harsher penalties for blasphemy and desecrating religious sites. Next week, MPs in the RF Gosduma will debate amendments to the Criminal Code. The amendments envisage a prison term of up to three years or a penalty between 100,000 and 200,000 Roubles (3,200 to 6,400 USD. 2,500 to 5,000 Euros. 1,975 to 3,950 UK Pounds) for desecration of religious sites and attacking people’s religious beliefs. According to the survey, 82 percent of those polled favour the new draft law, whilst 12 percent spoke against it.

The initiative first emerged after a Moscow court handed down a two-year sentence to three members of the all-female anti-Putin punk band Pussy Riot in late August, in a case that divided Russian society and sparked a wave of protest actions in support of the group. The group members were jailed after a protest at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour over Church support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the March presidential election that returned him to the Kremlin for a third term. The draft law also comes after four wooden crosses were chopped down throughout Russia last month. A senior Moscow priest, Fr Dmitri Smirnov, said the cross attacks amounted to a declaration of war against the Church. Several Church figures previously called for blasphemy to be made a crime. Currently, it’s an administrative offense punishable by a fine of up to 1,000 roubles (32 USD. 25 Euros. 20 UK Pounds). The survey was conducted on 7-8 September, among 1,600 respondents in 138 Russian localities. The margin of error is below 3.4 percent.

26 September 2012 (MSK)



Thursday, 13 September 2012

Two Orthodox Crosses Vandalised in Siberia


On Thursday, local police sources said that two more Orthodox crosses were destroyed in Russia, this time in southern Siberia’s Altai Krai. Officials in Pervomaiskoye told a local news portal that they’d replace the crosses at the entrance to the village in the near future. The head of the village administration said, “The village’s residents were outraged that someone dared to destroy a symbol of the Orthodox faith”. Five other crosses were vandalised across Russia in late August and early September, after topless activists from the Ukrainian feminist group FEMEN chopped down a wooden crucifix in the centre of Kiev to voice their support for the Russian punk band Pussy Riot.

13 September 2012



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