Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Priest Linked to FK Zenit Wanted for Suspected Child Sex Abuse

00 Fr Gleb Grozovsky. 06.11.13


On Wednesday, the SKP said that it suspects that an Orthodox priest with links to St Petersburg’s FK Zenit sexually abused two children during a holiday trip to a Greek island. Law enforcement officials said that they have put Fr Gleb Grozovsky on an international wanted list over allegations that he abused two underage girls at an Orthodox summer camp earlier this year. Grozovsky, 34, is suspected of abusing the two girls, aged 9 and 12, in June at a hotel on the grounds of the Philadelphia Orthodox Travel Club on the Greek island of Kos, as well as committing “a range of similar crimes in St Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast”.

On Wednesday, Grozovsky wrote on his page on the VKontakte social networking site, “… The accusations are fabricated and result from my social activism and firm civil stance”. He said that parents and children’s camp staff were present during the trip and had “seen everything with their own eyes”, adding that he’d been accompanied on the holiday by his family, including his four children. The Diocese of St Petersburg suspended Grozovsky pending the probe, meaning that he retains his clerical status, but he isn’t allowed to carry out any public duties.

The SKP noted that the clergyman, who formerly served a rural parish in Leningrad Oblast, was an adviser to FK Zenit’s general director. A spokesman for Zenit said that Grozovsky, who studied at one of the city’s specialised football schools, doesn’t hold any official office at the football club, but observed that some of the club’s players turned to the priest on an individual basis, saying, “We’ve known Gleb since 2007 and can give positive references”.

Last Friday, a court issued an arrest warrant for Grozovsky, who’s thought to be on a work-related trip to Israel. His defence appealed the ruling. The charges launched against the priest carry a maximum punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment. The accusations are a rare incidence of paedophilia-related cases involving Russian Orthodox clergy. On Wednesday, Fyodor Gorbunov, the mayor of the village where the priest formerly served said that he was “amazed” to hear about the allegations, and gave a positive assessment of Grozovsky’s work, telling RIA-Novosti, “Young people are drawn to him, and he’s a good organiser”.

6 November 2013



Editor’s Note:

THIS is why the Mother Church is more honest. It has to operate in the full glare of scrutiny from the media and government. Here in the diaspora, the Church is small enough to “fall below the radar horizon”, which means that feral sorts such as Lyonyo, Paffso, Potapov, Dreher, Royster, Bobby K, Ray Velencia, and Erickson get away (and got away) with murder. Trust me, had the Iliff affair (click here and here) happened in Russia, they wouldn’t have buried it. To put it bluntly, it’d sell MK millions of copies, and that’s why the media covers stories… to get audiences for their paid adverts. The Church moved quickly after MK broke the story of the sex abuse scandal in the Vladimir Diocese. Watch for similar fast action here… if for no other reason than to scotch the flames. Grozovsky smells like a goner to me…



Monday, 10 September 2012

Oldest FC Zenit St Petersburg Fan Dies at 103

Regina Donde (1909-2012) (right) at the pitch for the match… where else?


On Monday, a spokesman for Russian champions FC Zenit St Petersburg announced that their oldest fan passed away at the age of 103. Regina Donde attended her first match in 1929, when the club was little more than a bunch of metal plant workers, and a full eleven years before the team assumed its current name of Zenit. A team spokesman wrote on Twitter, “On Friday, 7 September, our oldest supporter, Regina Samuilovna Donde, died in the 104th year of her life”. She had supported Zenit in their various incarnations for 83 years; the last match she attended was a 1-1 draw against FC Lokomotiv Moscow in May 2011.

10 September 2012



Thursday, 10 July 2008

10 July 2008. A Day at the Races…

Russian Sail Training Ship Pallada Sailing for Shanghai

Sail training ship Pallada (built 1989)


The Russian sail training ship Pallada, which has been sailing around the globe since November 2007, left Singapore for Shanghai on Sunday. During a 3-day port-visit, the crew members went sightseeing. The Pallada began its journey in Vladivostok to mark the 190th anniversary of the circumnavigation of Faddei von Bellinghausen (Fabian Gottlieb Benjamin von Bellingshausen) and Mikhail Lazarev and to mark the 50th anniversary of Russian research work in the Antarctic. The length of the planned route is 33,000 sea miles, and the ship is due to visit 22 countries on its voyage.

6 July 2008



Andrei Arshavin to Stay with Zenit

Andrei Arshavin (1981- ), star Russian football forward, hero of the Euro 2008 championships


Andrei Arshavin, one of Russia’s best football forwards, will most likely stay with FC Zenit of St Petersburg. According to club’s press service, FC Zenit and the Spanish FC Barcelona failed to reach agreement on Arshavin’s trade cost. Barcelona was prepared to pay 15 million euros (552.855 million roubles. 23.674 million USD. 11.97 million UK pounds) but, according to experts, the player actual cost was at least 25 million euros (921.45 million roubles. 39.457 million USD. 19.949 million UK pounds). Meanwhile, other clubs have failed to come up with proposals for Arshavin’s trade.

8 July 2008



100 Formula-1 Cars to Show-Off Around Kremlin

The Moscow City Racing Event of the Formula-1 Grand Prix series is scheduled for next Sunday. One hundred Formula-1 vehicles are expected to loop the Moscow Kremlin. They’ll have to cover a distance of 4.7 kilometres (3 miles), and their speed will be limited to an allowed maximum. Master classes will be held and the drivers will be invited to communicate with their fans. The event next Sunday is the third showcase Formula-1 race to be held in Moscow.

8 July 2008



Russian Teen gets Swimming Gold

Danila Izotov (1991- ), Russian youth-class swimmer


Russian youth simmer Danila Izotov was first in the freestyle 400 metres at the youth world swimming championship in Monterrey in Mexico. He clocked 3 minutes 51.81 seconds. Danila also won a silver at Monterrey, for his role in the four-by-one-hundred-metres crawl relay race. Some 600 swimmers aged 14 to 17 from 66 countries took part. The championship is the second of its kind on the swimming circuit, whilst the first was held two years ago in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

9 July 2008



Tatiana Mineyeva and Elmira Alembekova won Gold and Silver in the World Junior Championship

Tatiana Mineyeva and Elmira Alembekova of Russia won gold and silver in a 10-kilometre (6.3 mile) race-walk event in the World Junior Championship in Bydgoszcz, in Poland. Mineyeva set a record, 43 minutes 24.72 seconds. The third to cross the finish line was Li Yanfei from China.

10 July 2008



Voice of Russia World Service


St Petersburg Governor Announces 2020 Olympics Bid

St Petersburg is to make a bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, the governor of Russia’s second-largest city announced on Monday. “We’ll bid for the right to host the Games. This will boost the development of the city”, Valentina Matviyenko said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio. She added that she’d already discussed the issue with Leonid Tyagachyov, the president of the Russian Olympic Committee. She also said that it’d be necessary to ascertain if there was support from the Russian president and government for the bid. Governor Matviyenko earlier told RIA-Novosti that Russia’s northern capital had every chance of being awarded the Olympics, “if not in 2020, then certainly by the time of the next [2024] Games”. Ms Matviyenko first spoke of the possibility of a bid by St Petersburg for the 2020 Olympics after the Russian resort city of Sochi was chosen last year to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. St Petersburg earlier bid for the 2004 Summer Olympics, but, wasn’t selected as one of the five candidate cities. The Games were subsequently held in Athens, in Greece. The Summer Olympics were last held in Russia in 1980 in Moscow, but the event was marred by a US-led boycott involving more than 60 countries.

7 July 2008



Arshavin Philosophical as FC Barcelona Move Falls Through

Andrei Arshavin (1981- ), star forward of FC Zenit St Petersburg


One of the stars of Euro 2008, Russian forward Andrei Arshavin, spoke of his disappointment after his club turned down an offer for him from Spanish giant FC Barcelona. FC Zenit St Petersburg rejected a 15 million euro (552.855 million roubles. 23.674 million USD. 11.97 million UK pounds) bid for Arshavin on Monday, stating on their website that the offer was “too low”. “Of course, I’m aware of what has happened”, Arshavin told the Russian newspaper Sport-Express. “But, hey, ‘no’ is ‘no’. I fully understand the position of Zenit. The sum offered was, I suppose, really too low. It means my dream will remain a dream. Or, it’ll come true at another time”. Arshavin has spoken more than once of his love for the Spanish side, and has supported them since childhood. “I want to leave Zenit”, he went on. “As for offers from Chelsea and Arsenal, I’m not in a position to divulge that information right now”.

The architect of Russia’s victories over Sweden and Holland at Euro 2008, Arshavin was philosophical about the role his performances at the tournament played. “I desired to play in a stronger championship. It’s worked out strangely, though. My good performances at Euro 2008 meant that my price has gone up,” he said. Arshavin scored two goals in three games at Euro 2008, and was named in UEFA’s symbolic squad for the tournament along with fellow Russians Roman Pavlyuchenko, Yuri Zhirkov, and Konstantin Zyrianov. However, one of the factors behind Barcelona’s reluctance to up their bid for the 27-year-old Arshavin is believed to have been his ineffectiveness against Spanish La Liga defenders as Russia went down 3-0 to Spain in the Euro 2008 semi-finals. Arshavin missed Zenit’s 5-1 victory over FC Tom Tomsk on Sunday, with the side’s Dutch manger, Dick Advocaat, saying that he would not play for the team until the situation was “cleared up”.

8 July 2008



Russian Punches and Thinks His Way to Chess Boxing World Title

Having enjoyed recent success in soccer, basketball, and ice hockey, Russia’s now also able to boast a world champion in the little-known sport of chess boxing. Russia’s Nikolai Sazhin, a 19-year-old student from the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, defeated light heavyweight defending champion Frank Stoldt, a 37-year-old policeman from Germany, during a bout in Berlin at the weekend to lift the world chess boxing title. A typical chess boxing match consists of 11 alternating rounds of four-minutes of “blitz chess” followed by two-minutes of boxing. Opponents have a one-minute break between the rounds to take off or put on their boxing gloves. A chess-boxer can earn victory by checkmate, a knockout, points, or, if their opponent runs out of his 12 minutes of allocated chess time. Sazhin lifted the title after getting Stoldt in checkmate in the fifth round. The event of chess boxing originated several years ago in Germany and the first world championship was held in 2003 in Amsterdam. The World Chess Boxing Organisation’s slogan is “Fighting’s done in the ring and wars are waged on the board”.

8 July 2008



FC Zenit Loses Seven-Goal Thriller, Reject Bid for Arshavin

FC Zenit St Petersburg, 2008 UEFA Cup champions


FC Zenit St Petersburg lost 4-3 at home on Wednesday evening to FC Spartak Nalchik, with Euro 2008 star Andrei Arshavin’s agent later announcing that the UEFA Cup holders had rejected a 37.5 million dollar (875.392 million roubles. 23.741 million euros. 18.956 million UK pounds) bid for their playmaker. Having earlier turned down a 15 million euro bid (552.855 million roubles. 23.674 million USD. 11.97 million UK pounds) from FC Barcelona for the 27-year-old Arshavin, there was speculation that either Arsenal, or more likely, Chelsea, would win the race to sign the diminutive striker. However, Dennis Lakhter announced on Thursday morning that Zenit wouldn’t let the player go for less than 24 million pounds (1.108 billion roubles. 47.478 million dollars. 30.068 million euros), and that they’d refused to sell him to an unnamed English side. The evening before news of the latest developments in the Arshavin transfer saga broke, FC Zenit took on Spartak Nalchik at home in a match they needed to win to climb up the domestic league table. Arshavin had been left out of the Zenit line up for Sunday’s 5-1 victory over Siberian side FC Tom Tomsk. The team’s Dutch manager, Dick Advocaat, said he wouldn’t play the forward until his future had been “cleared up”. However, Arshavin later asked to be allowed to return to the team, and he was named in the starting line-up for the fixture.

Wednesday’s game began with an exchange of “well-taken” own goals, with the Georgian defender Aleksandr Amisulashvili hammering a cross into his own net and then Zenit’s Aleksandr Anyukov spectacularly heading past Vyacheslav Malafeyev. Spartak nudged in front again in the 20th minute when a dreadful mix-up in the UEFA Cup holder’s defence allowed Rustem Kalimullin in to make it 2-1. Another Russian star at Euro 2008, Konstantin Zyrianov, levelled the score just before half-time, finishing off a neat combination. Zenit’s Turkish striker Fatih Tekke, playing in place of the injured Pavel Pogrebnyak, broke through the southern Russian side’s defence to give his team a 3-2 lead in the 50th minute, and the near-capacity crowd could have been forgiven for thinking that marked the end of Nalchik’s resistance. However, two headed goals from free-kicks exposed Zenit’s defence frailties in first the 58th and then the 68th minute, Amisulashvili making up for his own goal by putting one in the right end to seal victory for Spartak Nalchik, lifting them to 5th place in the league.

The Russian football authorities postponed many of Zenit’s games in the run up to the UEFA Cup final in May, and the 2007 league champions are now languishing in 13th place, 10 points behind league leader FC Rubin Kazan, albeit with 4 games in hand. “We played well, despite the defeat”, said Arshavin after the match. “Both sides demonstrated attacking, open football”. Accusations of corruption are never far away in Russian football, however, and a journalist suggested to Zenit midfielder Zyrianov after the game that his side had simply repaid their “debt” to Nalchik for last season, referring to allegations that many teams in Russia “swap” victories to ensure titles or league survival. “What debt?” answered Zyrianov, going on to say that the team had had “a serious discussion” in the dressing room after the final whistle.

10 July 2008



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