Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

3 December 2014. A Tale of Two “Cities”… My Way and Dreher’s Way… Which Do YOU Prefer?

00 real deli food. 03.12.14

Corned beef n’ Swiss on rye with a side of kapusta and pickles… my way!


00 fancy food. 03.12.14

What’s this? This is the sort of stuff that Dreher posts on his blog! Are you supposed to eat this or admire this from a proper distance? Fuggedaboutit! Tfui!


A friend of mine asked, “Just what sets you off about Dreher? I don’t like him either, but what is it that ticks you off in particular?” I’ll tell you what I found offensive as all hell… the posed food photographs on his blog… oh-so-precious… one could see the subtext of “I got mine and the hell with you if you don’t”. It was proof positive, even for the slow-learners, that Dreher’s a heedless hedonist, with no real values whatsoever. Of course, he DID abandon Brooklyn… one of the most REAL places in the USA. I know REAL Brooklyn lifers… they bitch n’ moan, but they’re never gonna leave the old asphalt, no way, no how. They’re rooted, in the best sense of the term. As Douglas Southall Freeman said:

I think the American people lose a large part of the joy of life because they don’t live for generations in the same place.

Let’s see… in the past ten years, Sir Roddie’s lived in FOUR widely dispersed locales… Brooklyn, Texas, the District, and Louisiana. Where’s he from? He’s a nomad… a drifter… a fly-by-night… someone with no fixed place of abode. On the other hand, you couldn’t blow me out of the Northeast with the Tsar Bomba! He calls himself a “conservative”… a “paleocon”, in  fact. That’s nonsense… no one with his lack of a fixed “place” is serious or worthy of attention. A hedonist, a drifter with no fixed home, a right-wing poltroon… he’s “conservative?” I’ll check into Bedlam with Mr Scrooge.

Dreher’s World or Vara’s World… which would YOU prefer to visit? My gate is unlatched and the key is under the mat… don’t forget to bring the church-key…


Friday, 25 April 2014

Borotba sez Stoolies in Ukrainian Media Finger “Dissidents” for Junta Repression

01 read all about it



You must know two things to understand the post below aright. Firstly, Borotba uses the word “стукачи” (stukachi: stoolies), which is zek slang for an informer of the worst sort. A “stukach” is a door-knocker… a stoolie is someone who slinks off to the “kum” (“godfather”: zek slang for a security officer) and “knocks on his door”. In addition, it means that a stoolie is like a door-knocker in being “on the door”… in this case, listening in on what people say on the sly. In Russian prisons, there’s universal consensus… when they catch a stukach; they kill him.

Secondly, when Russians use the word “liberal”, they mean the exact opposite of what Americans do. I kid you not! It leads to people like Whiteford completely bollixing what people like Vsevolod Chaplin have to say (in this case, let’s call it ignorance, not stupidity). Russians against “liberalism” are against deregulation, against the denigration and diminution of state power, against a money-based oligarchy, against dismantling the social safety net, and against “money talks and bullshit walks”. In short, “liberalism” to a Russian is synonymous with the programme of the US Republican Party. In broad terms, when Russians use “liberal”, they mean “conservative” in the American sense of the word.

Here’s an interesting nugget to chew on… one reason Russian leftists and real conservatives both despise “liberalism” is that both see it as corrosive to the moral, religious, ideological, and patriotic foundations of society. In this, there’s full agreement between V V Putin, G A Zyuganov, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, and P N Simonenko. Naked greed and avarice are the unashamed foundations of Crapitalism… “Greed is good”. Therefore, understand this… Putin and the Patriarch are just as opposed to that as the communists are. After all, who restored the Aleksandrov anthem? Hmm… something to think about…



Online sources published snippets of personal correspondence between junta “Interior Minister” Arseny Avakov and his trusted mouthpiece, the journalist Dmitri Bruk, who’s responsible for the MVDU’s PR releases. This correspondence showed that the junta conducts repression against those that it considers opposition activists based on denunciations of liberal media figures, who finger their colleagues for arrest and imprisonment, and who spy on those the junta considers opposition forces. One of the published conversations between Avakov and his flunky, on 7 April, mentioned Borotba in Kharkov. Bruk passed on to Avakov a message from Kharkov journalist Yelena Golovko, who spied on the legal offices of Borotba and denounced them to the SBU and the cops. Subsequently, the police staged a provocation; they tried to “plant” Molotov cocktails in the Borotba office.

Later, on 9 April, Bruk implored his boss with a direct appeal to arrest his colleague, the Kharkov journalist Konstantin Dolgov, “Arseny Borisovich, this trash, this big-time pro-Russian SOB [сук: suk, “bitch”, idiomatic Russian equivalent of “son of a bitch”], their very clever guru… this Kostik Dolgov… how much longer shall we allow him to be free? This question haunts all the journalists in the city”. In response to this, Avakov promised to launch a repression, “Tomorrow, I’ll send an investigation team from Kiev. They’ll take care of him”. This reply perked up Bruk. As you know, on the night of 20 April, they arrested Dolgov in Kharkov, using a patently false pretext.

Sergei Kirichuk said, “This correspondence reveals the cynicism and hypocrisy of the so-called liberal-patriotic media. During the Euromaidan disturbances, they constantly told us that they were against censorship and repression against journalists, that they were for the right of the media to express its views and positions freely. However, after winning, the Euromaidan crowd made political censorship in the media a norm, they screamed for repression against ‘dissidents’, they engaged in disgraceful denunciation against their colleagues, and they helped the security organs to harass and arrest their opponents. These sorts are real “stoolies” [стукачи]. To them, ‘democracy’ means that they can get away with anything; they can crack down with impunity on anyone who opposes them. We’ll do everything that we can to make sure that the shameful role that these people played won’t be forgotten after the junta loses power”.


These junta lapdogs are only emulating their American colleagues. In the USA, if a journalist doesn’t follow the “party line” of their corporate bosses, they lose their jobs, full stop. The message given is clear, “Put out the message that we want or we’ll see to it that you’re lucky to clean shitters”. There’s no need of a GULag for that… human nature being what it is, there’s no lack of either stoolies or running dogs. Makes ya wonder about Serge Schmemann, Sophia Kishkovsky, Rod Dreher, Victor Potapov, and Freddie M-G… all media figures of one sort or another. No, Virginia, we Orthodox aren’t immune to humanity’s vices and foibles, after all… pass the jug.


23 April 2014



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Thursday, 29 August 2013

29 August 2013. Helen Thomas… One Feisty Lady… Вечная её память

00 Helen Thomas. 29.08.1


Click here, here, and here for news reports on Ms Thomas’ death.

There are “Political Zionists” who portray Ms Thomas as an “Anti-Semite”… nothing could be further from the truth. These people try to throttle any public utterance not to their liking… and do their best to hurt those who make such statements. Why, they use the same tactics that they castigate… but it’s OK when they use them! I abhor Anti-Semitism. I abhor hatred of any sort. I also abhor self-appointed blue-nosed Nosy Parkers who feel that they have a right to “police” our conduct and speech. Therefore, I condemn the hypocrites who attacked Helen Thomas. Shame on them! She uttered no Anti-Semitic slur. She DID utter anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli sentiments, but those AREN’T Anti-Semitic. This is what Ms Thomas said:

Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German; it’s not Poland.

When asked where Israeli Jews should go, she replied:

They could go home to Poland or Germany or America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who’ve lived there for centuries?

She also mentioned that she was of “Arab background”. Although she did make a public abasement, that didn’t please the PC crowd (God, I hate them… they make the Left look like fools, buffoons, and hectoring nannies). Later on, she said:

I paid a price, but it’s worth it to speak the truth. Congress, the White HouseHollywood, and Wall Street are owned by Zionists. No question, in my opinion. … I just think that people should be enlightened as to who is in charge of the opinion in this country.

Let’s not be coy, Helen Thomas was NOT a supporter of Neo-Nazi freaks. Far from it, she was a moderate leftist all her life. She supported “diversity”… hell, I’d say that she didn’t have a bigoted bone in her body. She didn’t like what the Israelis are doing to her “tribe”… she was sticking up for her own. What’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing, I’d say! However, the grovelling that many public figures made to the Israel Lobby was disgusting. It made it appear that the Israel Lobby WAS in control of the USA (it is NOT… emphatically, not)… which created fertile soil for REAL Anti-Semitism. In short, the Zionists ended by promoting what they claim to oppose… the growth of anti-Jewish hatred and lies in our society.

Helen Thomas was a grand and gutsy lady. Full stop. Anyone who says otherwise has to deal with me. She spoke her mind; free of hatred, free of bigotry, free of malice. That’s a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

Вечная её рамять!


Friday, 10 May 2013

“The Sentiments Expressed by the Bolotnaya Square Protesters are Different from those Expressed by Other Protesters in Russia”: Natalia Narochnitskaya

00 RIA-Novosti Infographics. Portrait of a Protestor. 2012


Valdaiclub.com interview with Natalia Narochnitskaya, Director of the Institute of Democracy and Cooperation in Paris and president of the Historical Perspective Foundation in Moscow


Do you think the inspections of NGOs by the Prokuratura discredit these groups in the eyes of society, which is the goal, or do they discredit the government?


It depends. The Western media are sure that these inspections discredit the authorities… that’s how they portray these audits. These NGOs, especially the most-high-profile ones, are their icons and they’ll portray them as heroes. As for Russian society, certain people, mainly in Moscow, share this view, but people in the rest of Russia don’t see these inspections as discrediting the authorities in any way. It’s important to understand that our society doesn’t have a united stand on this issue. The sentiments expressed by the Bolotnaya Square protesters are different from those expressed by other protesters in Russia. That’s my answer.


Will these inspections further strain relations between activists and the authorities?


Again, it depends. I think there are two unequal camps in the activist community. The *liberal Western-oriented camp that calls itself the “non-systemic” opposition is concentrated in Moscow and it’s very small on a national scale. However, this is the only opposition that the West notices, and, as a result, they’ll probably grow even more hysterical in their hatred of the Russian government.

*”liberal” in Russian terms is the same as the Anglospherelibertarian”. The latter term isn’t part of Russian intellectual/political discourse. That is, when a Russian attacks “liberalism”, they attack the non-regulatory Hobbesian anarchism of the Anglosphere Right. That is, Russians uncontaminated by Western constructs oppose and anathematise anarchy of any sort; it doesn’t matter if it’s religious anarchy (“evangelicalsectarianism… an Orthodox bishop called it “Christian atheism”… how true!), societal anarchy (libertarianism), intellectual anarchy (“anarchy” per se), or moral anarchy (immorality)… in Russian terms, all four have an intimate and indissoluble correlation.

As for the majority of activists in the rest of Russia, they lean more towards left-wing views. They aren’t sad that the 1990s are over, but they feel like the car broke down on the road leading away from the ‘90s. These people are more worried about pensions, re-industrialisation, jobs, fighting corruption, and the decline of Russians as the dominant ethnic group in the country. However, they like Russia’s strong foreign policy and tough response to Western pressure. I don’t think these audits had any effect on their attitudes. They might even welcome them.


Do you think there’s a connection between the audits of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), during which the auditors removed their computers and papers with Angela Merkel’s position on Cyprus?


Maybe, but I don’t think so. By the way, in the West, many experts believe this, and in private conversation they’ll say that EU leaders probably gave Cyprus an ultimatum… make no agreements with Russia, or you won’t receive any cash and the EU will simply engineer its collapse in one week. I’ve heard this from British and French experts. In a brief statement on Cyprus’s collapse, Viktor Gerashchenko said off-the-cuff that probably this decision was directed against Russia and that Cyprus was being punished for its pro-Russian position and refusal to let the West anywhere near the deposits discovered on the country’s continental shelf. There was a risk that Russia might get a hold in this key strategic area in the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, I still believe that the EU had bigger motives in Cyprus. We can hardly consider the removal of computers as a “retaliatory measure”. They simply caught these NGOs in the same net as all the others.


Do you think that these inspections are a pretext to put off the issue of establishing visa-free travel between Russia and Europe?


For Europe and the EU, this is the pretext they’ve been looking for in order to hold up a process that they’re simply not ready for. No doubt, they’ll use it and cling to it. However, in reality… and experts have long known this… they aren’t ready for visa-free travel with Russia. They’re doing everything to impede the process, saying that they’ll have to deal with a wave of illegal workers from Asia and the Caucasus.


What problems are Russian NGOs facing abroad?


The media speaks ill of Russia or not at all. The French press is in the lead and the European media in general is acting in much the same manner. They welcome only those Russian NGOs that rabidly insist that no country in the world is worse and has fewer rights than post-Yeltsin Russia. They invite such people to speak on television very often. By the way, they’re from NGOs that receive official funds from the US budget. The US Congress is partially-financing institutions of the Republican and Democratic parties, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, and many Russian NGOs. I shudder to think what they would’ve written about my Institute of Democracy and Cooperation if we’d received a penny from the Russian budget.

By the way, I’ve just come back from America where I had a conversation with a prominent banking analyst. I asked him directly what he thinks about the campaign in the press against the new law requiring that NGOs funded from abroad must declare this if they conduct political activities in Russia. He laughed and said that in the USA foreign funding of political activities carries criminal penalties. He said a man from China contributed to a local election campaign in one city and received a 10-year prison term.

No matter what we do and what important events with distinguished people we hold, there’ll be little or no coverage. Sometimes, they invite us to be on television. If a Russian NGO in a foreign country doesn’t spew hatred for the government, even if it readily discusses our sins, they’ll always describe it as a Kremlin agency funded by the budget, even though this is a total lie. This is the constant insinuation you hear, based on some blogs. The academic community in Europe is much fairer and more objective, and it’s easier to work with them. We’re trying to involve them in serious roundtables where we always criticise corruption and other vices in Russian politics or the economy. Three years ago, our office in Paris opened with a seminar offering a comparative analysis of anti-corruption laws in France and Russia, which put Russia in an unfavourable light. We had interesting speakers on our side, and we acknowledged that corruption is a systemic problem that can’t be resolved quickly. However, nobody cares about this.

Here’s another example of what often happens. When my name came up in connection with the establishment of my institute’s office in Paris, many newspapers asked me for an interview… l’Express, Le Figaro, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and The Chicago Tribune {did Sophia Kishkovsky or Serge Schmemann interview Professor Narochnitskaya? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…: editor}. I talked with all of them at least for an hour about everything, including culture, insight into life in each other’s countries, and the desire to break the glass wall of misunderstanding that separates us. A French woman from l’Express and I even got to talking about Baudelaire’s poetry and hugged each other goodbye. You should’ve seen what her newspaper wrote! I regretted that I was so naïve and didn’t switch on the recorder. I could’ve published it online so that everyone could see that they clearly instructed her to write a negative story. Nevertheless, I didn’t say anything negative and she published in her newspaper three routine anti-Putin paragraphs that had nothing to do with our conversation and one sentence about our meeting… “This is the aim of the agency that will be headed by Natalia Narochnitskaya, whom I had a chance to meet”.

I can concur on Professor Narochnitskaya’s observation. Western media sorts NEVER tell it as you tell it and you must use the utmost caution in talking to them. Never be verbose… be concise, for they can edit your words in such a way that it’ll seem that you either support their position or that you’re a marginal nutter (this is particularly true of TV presenters). In fact, very few Western “authority figures” tell the truth (“winning by any means, fair or foul” is the most important component of the Western Corporate Weltanschauung)… be very, very careful in your dealings with them, especially, with clergy… never talk to a clergyman on substantive matters without a witness or two (doubly so, if he’s a convert or an SVS grad). As Paffhausen illustrated, all too often, they do lie whenever it’s convenient for them, and they’re bloody sincere and unctuous about it, too…

Frankfurter Allgemeine was the only newspaper to report what I said without sneering and in good faith. Its coverage reflected their understanding of what I said. An article in Le Figaro read, “Oh what a fierce debater they’ve sent from Russia!” I take pride in this! Speaking about freedom of the press in the West, the press is so subordinated to editorial policy that it’s long ceased to reflect the diversity of public thinking and public opinion in its own countries. Public opinion in these countries is much more complex, and many more people are quite fair in their views of Russia. I won’t say they’re fond of Russia, but they’re willing to listen calmly to positive information about the country. My European friends and partners tell me they’re sick and tired of hysterical Russophobia in the press. Incidentally, already, Russophobia has become marginal. The articles by André Glucksman have become so grotesque that they remind me of our incomparable Valeria Novodvorskaya {a pro-Western Quisling… she writes for the New York Times… did this traitor mentor Sophia Kishkovsky? Interesting angle, no?: editor}. The press has taken it so far that soon its coverage will have the opposite effect. This is what happened with anti-capitalist propaganda in the Khrushchyov era. We’ll discuss this problem… the origins of Russophobia… at a conference at Sapienza University of Rome in Italy in May, which I’m attending. The Italian side, not us, suggested the idea. This is already a good sign.

8 May 2013

Valdai Discussion Club


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