Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 July 2015

23 July 2015. Theodore Bikel, One of My Fave Performers, Died Yesterday

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The word that best described Theodore Bikel was shtarker. That Yiddish word connotes someone who takes no shit from anyone, but who doesn’t hand it out. Theodore Bikel, to me, IS Tevye in the Fiddler on the Roof. He also created the role of Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music and played the Soviet submarine captain in The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming. I also love his singing of Jewish folk songs. 91 years is a good run of innings, he lived this life to the brim. You can light a candle for him this Sunday… there’s no restrictions on that sort of thing.

I say to his family and friends, Ha-Makom hu yinachem (May the Merciful One comfort you).

Theodore, Alav Ha-sholom



Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Memorial in Donetsk to Pervy Kanal Cameraman Anatoly Klyan Killed Last Year in the DNR

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00 dnr donetsk pr. anatoly klyan 01. 300615


Today colleagues and journalists honoured the memory of Russian Pervy Kanal TV cameraman Anatoly Klyan, one year after his tragic death in the warzone in the DNR. On the first floor of the Government House, there was a poster with Klyan’s portrait. Nearby, a candle burned. Members of the media stood in silence and laid red carnations near the poster. Viktor Petrenko, the head of First Republic Channel (PRK), said, “In time, the DNR Union of Journalists and VGTRK will install a memorial plaque to honour Anatoly. We’ll inscribe the names of all the journalists killed covering the war here on the same plaque”. Pervy Kanal sound tech Timofei Generalov said, “Those of us who were his colleagues could tell you about Anatoly, who spent more than forty years as a cameraman, so we can say that we appreciate the remembrance and consideration that DNR people are showing to a person dear to us. Today, our channel showed a story about Anatoly. In future stories, we’ll supplement it with a presentation on the planned memorial plaque at the Government House”. LifeNews correspondent Semyon Pegov said, “Reporting the death of Anatoly caused a real stir amongst us journalists. To tell the truth, Donetsk wasn’t the hottest spot in the Republic then. However, Anatoly was a victim of in this lawless war, where they shoot at journalists and doctors. We’ll always remember and mourn him, as we remember and mourn all of our colleagues who died doing their professional duty, like Igor Kornelyuk and Artyom Voloshin, and others”. 68-year-old Anatoly Klyan died in the night of 30 June 2014, when junta forces shelled a bus carrying journalists. He worked as a TV cameraman for over 40 years. During this time, he filmed stories in hundreds of places, including in areas of military operations… Yugoslavia, Iraq, and Afghanistan. A decree issued by President of the Russian Federation V V Putin posthumously awarded him the Order of Courage.

30 June 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency


Friday, 26 June 2015

Patriarch Kirill: Our Soldiers Believed in the Sanctity of Their Motherland

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THIS was the podvig* of the Soviet soldiers… of all nationalities, all social classes, all faiths, all places, and all races… they defeated a racist monstrosity… which rears its head again today, sadly enough. Fascism walks the earth again… thanks to people such as George W Bush and Hillary Clinton… reflect on that.

Ayusheyev killed 25 German soldiers and officers in the battle, but died in action before the end of the fighting.


More than once, I found myself wondering what motivated the Soviet soldiers, whose podvigs, self-sacrifice, and ruthless denial-of-self amazed both friend and foe alike? I have only one answer… they believed in the legitimacy of the Russian people. Our soldiers believed in Russia, in Rus, in the sanctity of their motherland and native soil. For that, not only were they willing to persevere, to suffer, and to shed their blood, they were ready to give their very lives. They had a deep, often unconscious, belief that the Russian Way, the Russian culture, had a right to live, that it had meaning even for those outside of their tradition. The Russian warriors who gave their lives in that terrible war felt that our people have something to say to the whole world. Therefore, if someone destroyed or enslaved our people… that would be an even greater disaster than the war itself. Today, we must often ask ourselves… what would we give our lives for? What is our message to the world? Or, are we just consumers of novel foods, high-tech gadgetry, and vacuous entertainment? Today, do we believe in spiritual, cultural, and national consistency? Can we still perform podvigs; can we reach beyond the empty posturing in the media? Today, what can we say that we’d give our lives for? These aren’t idle questions. Our future depends on how we answer them.

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

00 03.11.12. Patriarch KirillHis Holiness Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

23 June 2015



Tuesday, 23 June 2015

23 June 2015. I Bow Before the Families of the Terakt in Charleston

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Most terrorism in the USA is homegrown… indeed, most of it is Anglo “Evangelical” in nature… it isn’t black… it isn’t Latino… it isn’t Muslim… it’s White Anglo Proddies, for the most part. However, now isn’t the time to blow the trumpet and beat the drum for the muster to fight the plug-uglies (for fight them we must). Senator Pinckney’s burial will be on Friday… that means that all contention must cease until next Monday, as custom demands.

I bow before the Mystery of Death. Next time that you’re at services, light a candle for the victims of the terakt and their families. Ask your priest to say a private prayer for them (he can’t serve Pannikhida nor can he mention them in the Proskomidi, but he can mention them in his private prayers). We’re Christians, that’s what we do.


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