Voices from Russia

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Man Killed in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Homeless… Calls for Canonisation of Those Killed… Cossacks to Guard Churches in the Kuban

00 BMD. Zyuganov We should strive to be better. 25.12.13


Editor’s Foreword:

Do mistrust the “English side” of Pravmir… often, the “translations” are bowdlerised and crank. The Platina crowd does some of it… nothing more need be said, no? Always stick to the “Russian side”, and run a “machine translation” if you must. Always avoid the rot that spews out of Platina, the HOOMies, and SVS if you can… after all, didn’t the ludicrous absorption with the “toll house” nonsense come out of Platina?



Today, 12 February, a considerable number of believers gathered at the Cathedral of the Resurrection for the Liturgy of the feastday of the Three Holy Hierarchs. After the Liturgy, the clergy served the funeral for the innocent victims of Sunday’s shooting, then, believers carried out the Last Farewell. At the cemetery, the clergy served a litiya. The beggars of the porch of the cathedral and the street people came to bid farewell to Vladimir Zaporozhets, the homeless hero who saved four parishioners from death in the cathedral, as they were his friends in misfortune. After the funeral, a memorial meal took place in the refectory of the spiritual and educational centre of the Diocese of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils.

Fr Viktor Gorbach, the head of the Diocesan Mission Department told Pravmir, “Today, his homeless friends travelled in a bus together with everyone else to the cemetery, and, then, had dinner in the spiritual and educational centre at the common table. In any other situation, one might say, ‘Who are you?’ All too often, we’d drive them away. This time, they were friends of the hero”. Fr Viktor recounted how 10 homeless people with bruised and puffy faces came to give a last farewell to their friend. He said, “It was interesting to see how someone tried to accost a homeless woman with a puffy face and a black eye at the cemetery. She said, ‘We came to say goodbye to Volodya; he was our friend’. They came to say goodbye to their friend. This feeling of belonging to something higher seemed to change their very bearing”. His son and relatives came to pay their last respects. Vladimir Zaporozhets wasn’t a simple sort; he was an ex-con. His family testified that it was very difficult to get along with him. However, he was the only one who wasn’t afraid to stand tall for the believers in the church. When the shooter opened fire, he sacrificed his life, covering the parishioners with his body.

Fr Viktor told us that everyone in the parish knew Vladimir well, he was in penury, and so, he often stood in the porch begging. He noted, “It’s amazing… he heard gunshots and went to defend the church. This act changes our whole attitude to homeless people. Indeed, many consider those beggars standing on the porch worthless people. Yet, one of them went to protect the church. In spite of everything, he did a podvig“. According to eyewitnesses, Vladimir was near the church. Nun Ilariona Funtova, the head of the Diocesan IT Department, said, “Hearing the shots, Vladimir ran inside the building. Surveillance camera video showed that he persistently tried to stop the gunman, telling him off, waving his hands”. She related how Vladimir got up after suffering wounds, trying to prevent the shooter from shooting again, but the perp shot him in the chest and head. Vladimir died on the spot from his wounds. Mother Ilariona said, “He took four shots, saving four lives”.

13 February 2014


The Kuban Cossack Host decided to guard churches during services. LifeNews reported that Cossacks will beef up patrols in all parts of Krasnodar Krai, but not uniformly, as there’s a lack of personnel now, as a large number of Cossacks are in Sochi, to give security for the Olympics. Yevgeni Kurbatov, a senior aide to the Ataman of the Kuban Cossack Host, said, “After the tragedy that occurred in the church in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, we decided to strengthen protection of churches in the Kuban. We’ll do this so that people can come to services in safety, so that they can pray to the Lord, without worrying about their security”.

Cossacks patrols near churches won’t carry firearms. Nevertheless, such patrols could stop potential troublemakers. Cossack Sergeant Aleksandr Galkin said, “We patrol near the church from eight in the morning to eight at night. Usually, we can see potential troublemakers immediately. We go up to them and ask them to act like decent people”. Cossacks not only protect the church, but also give advice to believers on where to buy icons and candles, tell people the service schedule, and tell people when sacraments are available. Believers feel safer with such protection nearby. One believer said, “I feel safer when the Cossacks are nearby. The Cossacks don’t carry firearms; they won’t use excessive force”. In the Kuban, Cossack patrols started more than a year ago. Since then, they help the police in policing in the area.

13 February 2014


The tragedy [in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk] brought forth great sorrow in my heart. For many years, I knew Mother Lyudmila Pryasahnikova, who was a very lively, loving, bright person and a faithful servant of Our Lord Jesus Christ. When she took monastic vows, she chose a name in honour of New Martyr of Russia St Lyudmila Petrova; she met her end in God’s church on the feastday of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. The Heavenly Church, the Church Triumphant, gained yet another Witness for Christ.

There was another victim in the church… the Servant of God Vladimir Zaporozhets. People told me that he often stood begging at the cathedral door. Perhaps, many passed him by, hurrying to services, not even paying attention to this beggar. However, on 9 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, the Lord showed us all whose prayer He heard, and whom He justified. Vladimir sacrificed his life “for his friends” and received the crown of martyrdom. Apostle St Paul told us that God calls us not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for Him. St Filaret of Moscow wrote that suffering for Christ is a gift from God. They became victims in the cathedral*, yet, this act of evil testified to the glory of God.


*This word in Russian can mean both “cathedral” and “assembly”… I believe that Vladyki Daniil is playing on words… they were martyrs in the “cathedral” (in the church building), and were part of the “assembly” of martyrs (in the choir of saints).



I learned about the terrible tragedy before the Liturgy. I stood in the service, and my heart grieved until it was time for the Cherubic Hymn. I went up to the altar and cut a particle of the Lamb in honour of the repose of the newly departed Nun Lyudmila. That calmed my soul; it brought me a singular serenity, and the rest of the service went well. I urge all Orthodox Christians to pray for the repose of the innocent victims and for the health of those now in hospital. Let’s dwell in love and prayer for one another. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring us; we must always be ready to give an account to the Lord of our affairs, we must always have faith. If Christ doesn’t find love in our hearts, then, woe to us.

13 February 2014

Metropolitan Daniil Dorovskikh of Arkhangelsk and Kholmogory

Vladyki Daniil is the younger brother of Archbishop Tikhon Dorovskikh of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils


This tragic event affected not only our island, not only our Orthodox people, but the whole world. Today, I see here my brother in Christ, Fr Tomash, the pastor of the Catholic parish of Sakhalin. I’m very glad that Fr Tomash came to the cathedral for worship today to share our prayers. Remember the words of St Amvrosy of Optina, “Nothing accidental happens in life”. I’d like to draw your attention to some points… not in the life of the shooter, but to some amazing coincidences… firstly, there’s the fact that this tragedy happened on the feastday of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Accordingly, heaven supplemented them with two new martyrs for Christ. Moreover, today, the day of their funeral and burial, is the feastday of the Three Holy Hierarchs… Ss Basil the GreatGregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. Again, I’d stress that this is no coincidence. After all, these teachers confessed the full doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation; they showed us what it means to believe in Christ correctly.

If we’re wrong in our beliefs… then, we aren’t Christians, we aren’t followers of Christ, and when people begin to slip away from faith, terrible things happen. Let’s remember 1917… a year when God punished our Holy Russia for apostasy. The Lord sent it… our own Russian people desecrated churches and killed people. Who was “scientific director” of this rabble? Of course, it was Satan. What did we see in the cartoons of the 20s? What did they show? We saw a Red Army soldier with a rifle thrusting a bayonet into the stomach of a “bourgeoisparasite“, and where was he thrusting his bayonet? Into a priest! That is, of course, the target was the Church, to destroy the truth of God on earth, to destroy human truth.

Something similar happened in Nazi Germany. The German people, as well as the Russian people, aren’t to blame… ordinary people aren’t guilty of those who came to power professing Satanism… the Bolsheviks and the Nazis. All of them professed Satanism. This wrong spiritual dispensation led to terrible loss of life and human tragedies. Here we see the same thing… a young man was “carried away”. What carried him away? He became interested in the esoteric, in neopaganism. As a result, through this the wrong spiritual dispensation, Satan again unleashed his hatred of the Holy Orthodox Church. This reminds me of an episode that some told me about the release of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn‘s Gulag Archipelago. At that time in Western Europe, many people went for communist ideas, tons of ‘em joined the Communist Party. When this book shed light on the true nature of communism, the disillusioned packed the Communist Party offices… in all of their “cells” in France, dustbins were full of party cards… people saw the light. People realised the lie, they realised who we are.

God forbid that we, looking at such things, fail to extract the right lessons. It’s clear that from a human point of view, it’s a tragedy. However, were I to tell you that we need to put guards everywhere to protect our children, to guard every kindergarten, to guard every shop, of course, that’s wrong. We can’t do that. Our “security” should be in our worldview, in our goals, in a right understanding of what God is. We should be in communion with Him, that’s how we can achieve the “image of God” (богоподобия) here on earth, to become “divine by grace” (богами по благодати). At one time, a ruler asked St Basil the Great, “Why don’t you accept the teachings of Arius (Arians didn’t consider Jesus Christ to be God) and venerate him?” St Basil replied, “I was born to become divine by grace, so, why should I bow down to a creäture?” For such a response, answering everything, the ruler let him go.

These newly slain people died for Christ’s sake, so, let’s look at everything. Externally, it seemed that the Servant of God Vladimir was a young man who, somewhere, at some time, got “lost” in life, but his death showed his inward disposition. The cathedral camcorder video makes it clear that, at a moment when the killer forced a woman to her knees, intending to shoot her, the Servant of God Vladimir entered the cathedral and started to expostulate with the criminal. The video shows that Vladimir waved his arms as he tried to stop the criminal, allowing the woman to flee the cathedral. He saved her life by giving up his life! The shooter wounded him in the leg. Yet, he got up and went after the perp, who wounded him in the chest, and, then, shot him in the head.

Accepting the bullets, taking them on him, he performed the Gospel Call at the cost of his own life; Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (Gospel according to St John 15.13). he attained honour, as apostle St Paul wrote… For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake (Epistle of Apostle St Paul to the Philippians 1.29). Law enforcement officials tell us that circumstantial evidence shows that Mother Lyudmila, before the gunman shot her in the face, refused to cower and cover her face. You need to have this kind of courage together with faith to “earn” the honour of suffering for Christ.

It would seem that only a moment, a twinkling, separates us from eternity. However, from what eternity? Is it an eternity in communion with that “scientific director” who sent this “shooter” into Sakhalin, with the demons, in Hell, or, does that moment separate a person from joy in the heavenly abode? They made their choice. It’s amazing how the internal disposition of a person comes out at such moments. A young man was at the cathedral’s spiritual and educational centre; when he heard the shots, he rushed to pull out the wounded, mostly women. He said that he had no fear at that point; he only became scared after he’d pulled all of them out. That is, each person has fear, but it departs when you need to commit a courageous act. This, I believe, is why martyrs for Christ had the chance to suffer for Him… the Lord gave them this chance. However, they allowed the Lord to give them the chance. Why does the Lord choose a particular time to call people to Him? I’d say that it’s because either a person becomes a slave to evil and can’t get better, or, it’s when a person’s ready for the Kingdom of Heaven. We saw that here… the fruit was ripe; these people went to the Lord.

I’ve already said that, humanly speaking, we’re hurt, we’re sad, but from the standpoint of eternity, from the standpoint of God’s Truth, many of our parishioners confirm that they’re sorrowful, but they have heartfelt joy from the fact that we have new intercessors before God, and that we knew them. We know how we should live our earthly life… with compassion, with intensity, in a pure and pious communion with the Lord. May God grant that we’ve learned the right lessons from this tragedy. We shouldn’t cultivate hatred, nor should we curse the killer, for we learned a lesson about ourselves and about our society. We thought that we knew how to behave with others, that we were with Christ, that we were righteous, that we were trying to keep the commandments, that we were trying to see each person as an image and likeness of God, and that we were trying to love every person, no matter how unpleasant it seemed. Then, this love appeared… we must take it to ourselves, to place it in our hearts, only that will bring upon us God’s blessing and abundance. Then, and only then, will we have anything to give, and everyone around us will see that we’re really Christians. As the Holy Fathers said, “Hate sin, but love the sinner”.

13 February 2014

Archbishop Tikhon Dorovskikh of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and the Kurils


Pravoslavie i Mir (Orthodoxy and the World)





Editor’s Afterword:

There’s one overriding takeaway from this. Note this quote from Vladyki Tikhon:

Let’s remember 1917… a year when God punished our Holy Russia for apostasy. The Lord sent it… our own Russian people desecrated churches and killed people.

That is, the apostasy occurred BEFORE 1917 (Feliks Yusupov, anyone?). It puts the screaming of certain ROCOR sorts in a new light, doesn’t it? The rot was in the Russian aristocracy and upper bourgeoisie; they schemed against Tsar St Nikolai… the Reds were God’s Instrument to burn this cancer out. Look at the quote from Gennady Andreyevich in the image above compare it with Vladyki Tikhon’s conclusion to his funeral sermon. Note well their similarity. That’s to say, the Reds of today are upright moral people… the crapitalists are not (especially, those who salt millions away in the Cayman Islands and who dodged the draft in their youth). Cross and Red Banner… once at odds, once enemies… now reconciled, now as one. Now, that’s the ticket! Cross yourself before you kiss the Red Banner


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Sunday, 20 January 2013

20 January 2013. Pray for the Repose of the Handmaiden of God Vera… Вечная Память

01 russian orthodox funeral


Condolences to Aleksandr Mikhailovich Pevnyov, the Ataman of the Kuban Cossack Host abroad, upon the death of his beloved sister Vera. Light a candle in her memory and ask your priest to mention her name during the Proskomidi and to say Pannikhida for the repose of her soul. That’s what Christian people do…

Вечная Память рабе божьей Вере



Saturday, 8 December 2012

8 December 2012. Video. Festival Concert of the Kuban Cossack Chorus

Russian cossacks 3

Yes, Virginia… the Cossacks are real… they’re good folk, but don’t mess with their cookies unless you’re ready to open up a can of whup-ass (and you won’t, cuz they’ve got all of ’em).



This is a festive time of year, for all people, non-believers as well as believers. So, let’s have a secular celebration, too… that’s what LOVE is all about. Here’s a nice 90-minute concert from the Kuban Cossack Chorus (it’s for Victory Day, but what the hey, it works…). Get a load of the kid at 23 minutes in.


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