Voices from Russia

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Oscar Winners to Promote Orthodoxy in Russia

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The Buranovskie Babushki are mentioned below, here’s their Party for Everybody… if that ain’t Orthodox, I don’t know what it is (it’s NOT “Party for the Chosen and Affluent Few”).

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The Orthodox movement Soboryane said that it plans to show posters all over Russia promoting Orthodoxy depicting Hollywood star Tom Hanks. Andrei Vorontsov, the movement’s chairman, said that posters depicting famous people, including two Oscar winners, the Forrest Gump star and Russian film director Nikita Mikhalkov, amongst others, with quotes about Orthodoxy, would appear ahead of a major religious holyday. Vorontsov said that they’ve carried out a pilot campaign in Stavropol, the capital of the southern Stavropol Krai, which was beset by conflicts between ethnic Russians and indigenous people from the neighbouring Caucasus.

The “We are Orthodox” campaign inspired Orthodox activists in 25 other oblasts, which have similar events in their hometowns, Vorontsov said. Komsomolskaya Pravda quoted him as saying, “Activists will place posters or banners… depending on how much money that they have”. One can see samples of the campaign’s posters, featuring ESC stars Buranovskie Babushki and the 19th century writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, amongst others, on Soboryane’s page on vKontakte, Russia’s most popular social network site. Members of the movement were asked to submit their favourite quotes of famous people for the campaign, according to vKontakte’s official page, which has over 4,000 subscribers. Vorontsov told The Moscow News, “We’re in process of negotiating with the people we want to participate in the campaign. We hope that Tom Hanks will agree to take part in it”.

Hanks, who converted to Greek Orthodoxy on marrying actress and producer Rita Wilson in 1988, is cited in Russian as saying that he realises the importance of attending church services and the questions posed by Orthodoxy. One of the posters also features an image of Yuri Gagarin, the first man in space, with the quote, “If you haven’t met God on earth, you won’t find him in space”. Given the difficult relationship the Soviet establishment had with religion, his words could well likely reflect atheist views as much as Orthodox ones. However, Vorontsov said that Church spokesman Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, best known for his controversial views, endorsed the campaign. He also told KP that Orthodox activists in the Ukraine and Belarus contacted the Soboryane movement in order to stage similar events in their countries.

10 August 2012

Alina Lobzina

The Moscow News

http://themoscownews.com/russia/20121008/190331270.html

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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Tom Hanks to Appear on Posters Promoting Christianity in Russia

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Sofia Rotaru. Мы будем вместе (My budem vmeste: We’ll be together)

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Pyotr Mamonov. Лотос (Lotos: Lotus)

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Yuri Shevchuk and DDTГосподь нас уважает (God respect us)

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Konstantin Kinchyov and Alisa. Антихрист (Antikhrist: Antichrist)

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Orthodox Youth Movement Plans To Use His Image and Quote Alongside Those of Local Celebrities

Tom Hanks is to appear on posters promoting Orthodox Christianity in Russia and neighbouring states, alongside prominent local cultural and sports figures. The Russian Orthodox youth movement Soboryane said that it’s launching a massive poster campaign during a missionary event entitled Мы православные (My Pravoslavnye: We Are Orthodox) on 13-14 October in Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine. Posters depicting high-profile personalities, including Hanks, and featuring quotes from them in support of Christianity have already circulated on Russian social network websites and in the local media. Among local celebrities featured on posters are director Nikita Mikhalkov, actors Dmitri Dyuzhev and Yegor Beroyev, rock musicians Konstantin Kinchyov and Yuri Shevchuk, actor and musician Pyotr Mamonov, singer Sofia Rotaru, and boxer Nikolai Valuev, as well as quotes from Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Yuri Gagarin.

The poster featuring Hanks has a quote taken from an interview the actor gave the Russian newspaper Аргументы и факты (Argumenty i Fakty: Arguments and Facts) back in 2009, “I realise how important and beautiful it is to have the opportunity to go to church and to reflect on the important questions that Orthodox Christianity asks you and the answers that it offers”. Meanwhile, the Russian news service RIA-Novosti quoted Andrei Vorontsov, the movement’s chairman, as saying that the campaign is still “in the approval stage. If we don’t get approval from a person, the respective poster won’t be part of the campaign”. He wouldn’t specify if any of the celebrities have given their approval to appear on the posters.

 8 October 2012

Vladimir Kozlov

The Hollywood Reporter

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tom-hanks-posters-christianity-russia-377107

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Stars Speak of God as Orthodox Church Prepares to Defend Faith

Nikita Mikhalkov (1945- ) appearing in one of his movies…

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On Wednesday, a Christian publisher presented a book on the religious beliefs of show business and film stars as Russia’s powerful Orthodox Church faced a wave of criticism from what it has called supporters of “radical liberal values” {“liberal” in Russian terms is much the same as “conservative” in Anglosphere terms… “Democracy”, “Free Markets”, power to the rich, etc: editor}. Actor and presenter Boris Korchevnikov, one of the 35 celebrities featured in the book The Stars on Heaven, told a downtown Moscow news conference “The Church has always been persecuted, and, today, we’re seeing more persecution… just in a different form.” Celebrities interviewed in the book, released by the Moscow-based publisher Nikeya {the Russian form of “Nicaea“: editor}, included Oscar-winning film director Nikita Mikhalkov, actor Yevgeni Mironov, and rock star Leonid Fyodorov. Famed Serbian film director… and Orthodox Christian… Emir Nemanja Kusturica also appears in it. The presentation comes ahead of a 22 April “Defence of the Faith” nationwide prayer action called by the MP to protect it from attacks by “”anti-Russian forces.”

In a statement earlier this month, the MP Supreme Council said that it had been targeted by “those pushing through radical liberal values” over its opposition to same-sex marriages and consumerism {“consumerism” in Russian terms is the same as US Republican selfish “Me First” non-morals: editor}. However, whilst MP spokesman Vladimir Legoida denied the book’s intent was to shore up support for Russia’s Christian establishment, he also admitted the timing of its release was fortuitous, saying, “There’s no such thing as a coincidence for God, but this isn’t our answer to bloggers”.

Opposition figures condemned MP First Hierarch Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev for his public backing of Vladimir Putin in the run-up to the ex-KGB officer’s landslide victory at the 4 March presidential election. The patriarch called the 12 years of Putin’s rule a “miracle of God” in a televised meeting, triggering a high-profile protest by all-female punk group Pussy Riot at Moscow’s largest cathedral. Bloggers and opposition media have also criticised top MP officials for their “lavish” lifestyles. In addition, in February, the anti-Putin newspaper Novaya Gazeta alleged that, before he became patriarch, then-Bishop Kirill profited from tobacco and alcohol sales in the early 1990s.

Patriarch Kirill was also at the centre of a scandal this month regarding a 30,000 USD (887,000 Roubles. 23,000 Euros. 19,000 UK Pounds) Breguet watch, which an underling airbrushed out of an official MP-released photo… although its reflection remained intact… following public indignation over his possession of the luxury timepiece. The patriarch admitted owning the watch in an interview prior to the row, but said he never wore it. Famous blogger and anti-corruption activist Aleksei Navalny… an Orthodox believer… called the incident “shameful” {Navalny is of one McFaul’s Pals… a pro-Western extremist of the Yabloko Party… the voters clobbered it in the election, rejecting its pro-oligarch/business radicalism: editor}. Patriarch Kirill was first spotted wearing the watch in 2009, while he was preaching austerity as a way out of an economic crisis.

Yet, on Wednesday, a spokesman for Nikeya emphasised that the book contained no explicit expressions of support for the beleaguered patriarch. However, a number of celebrities featured in the book expressed the conviction that only religious belief can save Russia and Russians. Director Mikhalkov, who won an Oscar for the 1994 film Burnt by the Sun, said, “Without belief, Russians turn into beasts”. Television presenter Yuri Vyazemsky said, “Russians are afraid of very little. That’s why they need the fear of God the most. Morals alone won’t save them”. Actor Andrei Merzlikin, star of the popular gangster film Boomer, said, “The first steps to the Church are very easy, as if God himself is leading you by the hand”.

The release of the book coincided with a scandal involving pop star Filipp Kirkorov, who was photographed speaking at the altar of Moscow’s Ilya Proprok church during the 8 April christening of his daughter. Church officials said Kirkorov, the former husband of Russian pop icon Alla Pugachyova, might face excommunication. Pussy Riot accused police of hypocrisy for not detaining Kirkorov. Three members of the all-female punk group face up to seven years behind bars after police arrested them in March over their performance of an anti-Putin song at the altar of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The group said in a blog statement earlier this month, “Three Pussy Riot suspects have been behind bars for over a month for exactly the same thing”.

18 April 2012

Marc Bennetts

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/analysis/20120418/172898949.html

click here for Moscow on Wikitravel

Editor’s Note:

Firstly, Alyosha Navalny is a rightwing nutter (in Anglosphere terms). He’s a member of the oligarch-friendly Yabloko Party, he studied at Yale, and he’s a lawyer. In short, he’s the kind of amoral money-grubbing beast beloved of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity. He has NO moral cred whatsoever… yet, he’s attacking His Holiness. Navalny is in the circle of pro-multinational corporatist anti-patriots supported by US Ambassador McFaul. If the Russian ambassador were to do a tenth of what McFaul’s trying to do, why the US rightwing would be in a rage (and Paffhausen and Potapov would be amongst the loudest screamers). Navalny’s a known quantity… blech…

Again, do be careful with the term “liberal” in Russian contexts… in a very few instances (especially amongst journalists writing for a Western audience), it means what it does in the Anglosphere. Mostly, though, it means what is termed “conservative” here. That is, “liberal” means pro-Free Market, pro-business, and anti-government viewpoints. Ergo, they’re the same as Western “conservatives”. Russian “liberals” are of Prokhorov’s ilk… and he’s one of the most predatory oligarchs out there.

As for the disparity in treatment between Filipp Kirkorov and Pussy Riot, it’s a no-brainer. Kirkorov is a pissed-off individual with a personal grudge… Pussy Riot pulled off a premeditated and planned action meant to embarrass His Holiness and the Church at large. Besides that, they did so in a more public manner than Kirkorov did. Therefore, there’s no disparity. I’d investigate the ties between the US Embassy and all anti-Church forces. Langley’s trying the same shit it pulled in the Nasty Nineties. All that did was to cement friendship between the Left and the Church. Langley’s returning to its vomit, yet again. Remember, when history repeats itself, the second time around is usually a farce. The Church is hip to Langley’s bullshit because it hasn’t changed from the last time they tried pulling it. Don’t forget, Potapov was a high official at Radio Liberty (a CIA-front organisation)… he called the late Patriarch Aleksei a KGB asset. Trust me, the Centre’s well-aware of who’s naughty and who’s nice.

Oh, yes… there was NOTHING on the official ROCOR website concerning the 22 April prayer action called by the Mother Church. All Orthodox Christians in the American/Canadian diaspora, all OCA, MP, and ROCOR parishes, should join it… to be blunt, it’d show our opposition to the attempts of the American government to attack our Mother Church and its hierarchs. Let Paffhausen and Potapov be damned… we should follow God’s Church, not the American neocons and Interventionists. I follow His Holiness, not Darrell Issa, Michael McFaul, Hillary Clinton, or Mitt Romney… and that’s the way it should be for all of us.

BMD

Thursday, 10 July 2008

10 July 2008. A Shot of Culture, if you please…

Karlovy Vary Opens its Umpteenth Film Festival

Aerial view of Karlovy Vary in Czechia. Once known as a famous spa resort in the 19th century, it was known as Karlsbad under the Hapsburgs.

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Trailer for The Captive

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Clips from The Ravine by Maria Razbezhkina

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Karlovy Vary in Czechia opened its umpteenth film festival. Film shows began, in defiance of an old tradition, earlier than the formal opening ceremony. The billboard of this year’s festival features more than 200 pictures shot in 2007 and 2008. Fourteen feature films are competing for the festival’s Crystal Globe. Russia is represented by Aleksei Uchitel’s picture The Prisoner, The Flintstone by Aleksei Mizghiryov, The Ravine by Maria Razbezhkina, and The Tulip by Sergei Dvortsevoi. Nikita Mikhalkov has put up his 12 for the festival’s non-competitive show.

4 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29262&cid=51&p=04.07.2008

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“The Voices of Orthodox Russia” at St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade

St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia

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The choruses of the Moscow Spiritual Academy, the Gnessin Musical College, and the International Fund of the Unity of Orthodox Peoples performed a great sell-out concert “The Voices of Orthodox Russia” at St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday. The repertoire consisted of spiritual musical pieces, Russia folk songs, romance songs, and some vocal pieces by foreign classical composers. The Russian choruses arrived in Serbia at the invitation of the Serbian Culture Ministry and the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate. The musicians are also expected to perform in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

6 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29293&cid=51&p=06.07.2008

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Teachers and Children make Music on the Volga

Mari Ethnographic Museum in Kosmodemyansk, Mari El Republic, Russian Federation

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The second inter-regional meeting of children’s Finno-Ugric musical groups took place in the village of Morki, the Mari El republic (Russia’s Volga region). Children and their teachers arrived there from the Komi republic, from Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, Nizhniy Novgorod, and many other places. They all received a cordial welcome there. Anna Morozova, the director of the children folklore ensemble of the Komi republic, said, “We are from the Sysetsky region of the Komi republic. It is the very south of the region. Children aged 6 to 16 found it very exciting to be members of the ensemble. As a professional, I’m looking forward to see that our children respect and know the traditions of the Mari people. Here, all people, young and old, can speak their native language. In our republic, unfortunately, we’re forgetting our traditions. Children should see and understand how important it is to preserve traditions and pass them on to future generations”. As they are taught to love nature and history, to be open-hearted and hard-working, children will certainly be able to preserve traditions and culture of the Finno-Ugric peoples.

7 July 2008

Natalia Abrosimova

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29308&cid=51&p=07.07.2008

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History Buffs Reconstruct Sailing Ships in North Russia

A youth maritime festival called “People of the Wind” was held in Petrozavodsk. Several boats built according to traditional methods were built by international youth teams since the international youth project to revive wooden ship-building was launched in Karelia three years ago. Svetlana Nachinova is the head of the youth department at Petrozavodsk City Hall. “The idea of such a festival was born three years ago, when young people put together small boats. About two hundred young shipbuilders from Karelia and other Russian regions, including Murmansk, Archangel, Yaroslavl, Kaliningrad, and Vologda, participated in the event and they lived in tents”. Part of the varied programme was a parade of vessels, team competitions, boat expeditions to one of the islands of Lake Onega, and ship model contests. The Youth Maritime Festival drew to a close with a gala ball at Petrozavodsk City Hall.

7 July 2008

Viktor Kramskikh

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29312&cid=51&p=07.07.2008

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Film Director Ryazanov Wins Golden Pegasus Award

Eldar Ryazanov (1927- ), honoured Russian film director

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A clip from Andersen

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The prominent Russian film director Eldar Ryazanov received the prestigious international Golden Pegasus award for life-time achievement as a film-director. The awards ceremony took place at the Gabriele D’Annunzio theatre in the Italian city of Pescara on the Adriatic Sea coast, where the 35th Flaiano film festival drew to a close on Sunday. Andersen. Life without Love, one of Ryazanov’s latest films, was screened in the framework of the festival programme.

7 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29323&cid=51&p=07.07.2008

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St Petersburg Wants to Host Eurovision 2009 Music Competition

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The St Petersburg government officially applied to play the host to the Eurovision 2009 music competition. This came in a statement by City Governor Valentina Matviyenko. According to Ms Matviyenko, the competition will give a powerful boost to the city. She says the application is already under consideration and that thus far St Petersburg certainly looks better than its competitors.

8 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29384&cid=87&p=08.07.2008

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Fifth Sayany Ring World Ethnic Music Festival Held

I Remember

Albina Tsybikova

1990

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Ms Tsybikova (1951-98) was an Honoured Artist of Russia and Honoured Artist of Buryatia

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The fifth Sayany Ring festival of world ethnic music got under way in the picturesque village of Shushenskoye, in the south of Krasnoyarsk oblast. It’s the first time in the festival’s history that several foreign music groups, specifically from Australia, Germany, China, and Poland, are going to take part. In all, the Sayany Ring-2008 festival is due to bring together some 100 folk-song and dance groups boasting outstanding singers and musicians.

9 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29446&cid=87&p=09.07.2008

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UNESCO Adds New Sites to its World Heritage List

The Historic Centre of St Petersburg, UNESCO World Heritage Site 540

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This year, UNESCO’s World Heritage List incorporated 27 fresh cultural monuments. UNESCO’s special committee in charge of selecting monuments worthy to be called the patrimony of the entire world, made public its decision during a meeting in Québec City QC Canada. Now, UNESCO’s list of cultural heritage sites comprises 878 monuments in 145 countries.

9 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29446&cid=87&p=09.07.2008

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Baby Mammoth Lyuba will be a Hero of a Science film

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The 37,000-year-old baby mammoth discovered on the Yamal Peninsula in Western Siberia will become the hero of a fiction film. In April and May, a French group of film producers worked in the site where the mammoth was discovered. The site will be studied by an international group of experts headed by Russian scientist Pavel Kosintsev from the Ural Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology in August. Currently, Lyuba the baby mammoth is in St Petersburg. The discovery still holds many secrets. The scientists have attempted to understand how an animal that died 37,000 years ago. The mammoth’s trunk, eyes, and body-hair are well-preserved. The baby mammoth is estimated to have been about a year-old when it died. Its size is 90 cm (35 inches) by 130 cm (51 inches).

9 July 2008

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=eng&q=29475&cid=51&p=09.07.2008

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