Voices from Russia

Friday, 5 September 2014

5 September 2014. From the Russian Web… Obama and Putin Confab… Vova Tells It Like It Is

00 putin and obama on crimea. 05.09.14


This image is making the rounds of the Russian cyberworld; it’s become extremely popular (that tells you that anti-American feeling in Russia is very high). Some Americans think that they’re fooling the world… they’re not. Most people are wise to the hypocrisy, double standards, greed, and cruelty of Anglo Americans. After all, didn’t the Anglos drop the bomb on Japan (twice) even though it wasn’t necessary (Japan made peace feelers since December 1944)? That’s why people such as George Will and Rich Lowry are such pains-in-the-arse to non-Americans. Non-Americans know how the USA got as big as it did… it used its armed might to steal Northern Mexico, it smashed the indigenous people into the ground (Custer DID die for your sins), and it started off by rebelling against its rightful king. Yep… the USA isn’t exceptional, it isn’t moral, it isn’t special… but then again, that’s true of all nations. We’re all sinful-ginfuls. The moral tone taken by George Will, in particular, is a howler… he’s the son of privilege… the son of a college professor, he’s from the American equivalent of the nomenklatura, and he acts accordingly (sense of entitlement, and all that… is that how he evaded military service during the Cold War?). He’d do well to look at the actions of his ancestors… they’re far worse than anything done by Vladimir Vladimirovich!

If the USA wants Russia to “return” the Crimea… it’d had best turn over the keys of the Alamo over to Mexico and haul down the Stars n’ Stripes. Otherwise, it’s hypocritical double-dealing in through the front door! It should keep quiet unless it hands over South Dakota to the Lakota… but that isn’t going to happen and the Anglos won’t shut up their traps and stop their vacuous and fatuous moralising, either. Pass the jug… they’re disgusting and posturing toddlers, aren’t they? They’re not going to change in our lifetimes…



Wednesday, 15 January 2014

“Holy Spirit” Infects Russian Computers

00 OOPS! Computer. 14.09.13


In December, Kaspersky Lab reported that Russia outranked the USA, Germany, China, and Poland for the number of cyber-attacks on computers in 2013. Besides that, adding a spiritual dimension to the world of hacking, Kaspersky reported that a new Trojan virus emerged in Russia that locks computers and demands money for church repairs. Victims may feel the urge to pray if the malware hits their computers, which claims to act “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”. More specifically, the Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Dapato.dggc virus claims that the last of the three aspects of the Trinity tells it to lock up user’s files. It promises recovery if one coughs up a donation, allegedly for church restoration. Russian beggars often use a similar trick in the non-virtual world; they dress up as priests and pretend to collect money for church needs. On Monday, Kaspersky Lab said that the Russian-language Trojan circulates as a .zip archive containing unspecified court documents allegedly intended for the user. The hackers behind the spiritual computer sabotage remain unidentified. The Church hasn’t commented on the allegedly pious malware at the time of publication. Allegedly, Russia’s undergoing a religious revival, as polls shoe the number of believers (but not churchgoers) skyrocketing in recent years.

14 January 2014



Editor’s Note:

However, do note that, historically, Russians have never been “weekly” churchgoers. Like it or not, religion is more a factor of identity and not belief… one is Russian, therefore, one is Orthodox. Nevertheless, don’t look down on this. Trust me, Russians who only go to church on Easter act more properly in sacred spaces than American “evangelicals” do… they “know” the etiquette and behave in a fitting way, mostly. Americans Born Agains have no sense of the sacred and holy, despite all their churchgoing and bible reading. To put the cherry on the sundae, the typical Russian has a real sense of their shortcomings and sins, whereas the American “evangelical” (and those influenced by such rotters) is a prideful self-centred pietistic brat proud of being part of the saved “little flock” (forever spouting scripture in a lunatic attempt to show everyone how goody-goody they are). If I had to choose, I’d choose the good folks who might not be so overtly religious… there’s nothing so putrid as smarmy pseudo-religion… and I’m not alone in thinking that…



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Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Killing Irony with Ivan Grozny and an Orthodox Activist

00 Tsar Ivan Grozny Kills... All meme. 09.10.13


Ivan Grozny lived a long time ago and the passage of time does distort historical figures… sometimes, truth is hard to separate from fiction. Still, probably, it’s safe to say that Ivan Grozny wasn’t a fan of pluralism and open socio-political discourse. Keeping that in mind, it’s particularly interesting to observe the scandal around Ilya Repin’s iconic painting of the man, a work colloquially known as Ivan Grozny Killing His Son (the “official” name of the work is Ivan Grozny and His Son Ivan, 16 November 1581). The painting purports to show the immediate aftermath of Ivan Grozny’s fatal attack on his son following a heated argument. A bleeding Ivan Jr dies in his father’s arms with a look of acceptance on his face, whilst horror and grief overcomes the tsar himself. Indeed, the question of whether Ivan Grozny did kill his son was the subject of historical debate. Some experts say that it’s possible that Ivan Jr, the heir apparent, died of an illness and that someone invented the story of an accidental killing later.

Today, the debate surrounding the painting isn’t so much historical as it’s hysterical. A prominent Orthodox businessman, Vasili Boiko-Veliky, demanded that the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow remove the painting from its collection, calling it “unpatriotic” and “slanderous”. According to Boiko-Veliky, Ivan Grozny was an upstanding and just Russian ruler who couldn’t have killed his son. Boiko-Veliky told Gazeta Metro Rossiya (Газета Metro Россия), “People… especially, young men and women… come to the Tretyakov Gallery and on a subconscious level internalise this [image] of a cruel and barbaric Russia, the country where we live. This is slander… not just against Ivan Grozny, but against our country, against our people, against our statehood”.

Already, plenty of people have made fun of Boiko-Veliky’s position. A popular internet meme that existed before the latest scandal surrounding the painting (this isn’t the first time that someone attacked this particular work by Repin… someone slashed it with a knife in 1913) is once again making the rounds in response to the controversy. Titled Ivan Grozny Killing… All (Иван Грозный убивает… всех), the meme features Photoshopped images of the grief-stricken tsar embracing everyone from Kenny from South Park to the figure in Edvard Munch’s The Scream (formal title, The Scream of Nature). The head of Mitki, a renowned alternative painters’ collective in St Petersburg, sarcastically offered to paint a “bundled-up, rosy-cheeked” baby that could replace the Repin painting in the Tretyakov’s permanent collection. The Russian edition of GQ magazine also got in on the act, featuring a selection of other paintings that we should also ban, if we follow Boiko-Veliky’s logic. Amongst them is the Mona Lisa (because she doesn’t have eyebrows and could, therefore, warp young women’s views on personal grooming) and Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait (because the man in the painting looks too much like Putin).

What’s fascinating to me here is the logic behind Boiko-Veliky’s insistence that we remove the Repin painting. Boiko-Veliky, a dairy magnate with considerable clout, could’ve easily sponsored, say, a book on why he thinks the Repin portrait isn’t historically accurate. He could’ve called a conference, created a seminar, or, hell, just paid a bunch of modern artists to paint different, more “patriotic” works on the life of Ivan Grozny. The great thing about money is that it can go a long way… particularly, where artists are concerned, as they’re usually broke. Alas, Boiko-Veliky isn’t interested in scholarly discussion or fostering an environment where different accounts of Ivan Grozny’s life can compete. Indeed, it’s probably safe to say that Ivan Grozny would’ve himself banned such a painting (and probably had Repin executed, had they been historical contemporaries), so, perhaps, Boiko-Veliky is more like the tsar than he realises. The ironic thing is that Repin’s painting did more than merely keep thousands of Russian schoolchildren marginally aware of Ivan Grozny’s historic persona. The immense power of the painting, the terrible, stricken look of nearly animalistic grief on Ivan’s face, did more to humanise the tsar than any other historic portrayal. In his patriotic desire to defend the tsar’s memory, Boiko-Veliky didn’t just overshoot the mark… he missed the point entirely.

8 October 2013

Natalia Antonova



Tuesday, 8 October 2013

8 October 2013. Perhaps, the Most Fave Internet Meme in Russia… “Иван Грозный убивает… всех” … “Ivan Grozny Kills… All”

00 Ivan Grozny Kills... the Statue of Liberty. 08.10.13

Ivan Grozny kills… the Statue of Liberty


00 Ivan Grozny Kills... R2D2. 08.10.13

Ivan Grozny kills… R2D2


00 Ivan Grozny Kills... Kenny. 08.10.13

Ivan Grozny kills… Kenny


It’s one of the most fave internet memes in Russia. It’s gotten even more popular after the recent kafuffle concerning Repin’s painting. If you don’t believe me, run a Google search on Иван Грозный убивает… всех (you have to do it in Russian for it to work properly). Most of ’em are a hoot-and-a-half, and you’ll laugh your fool head off at some of them (I certainly did). There’ll always be a Russia… thank God for that! Have a smile…


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