Voices from Russia

Monday, 29 January 2018

Navalny’s Opposition Marches Fizzle, Not Sizzle


Our correspondent reported that Sunday’s unauthorised opposition rally and march in Moscow finished on Pushkinskaya Square. The protesters marched along Tverskaya, Mokhovaya, Volkhonka and Novy Arbat streets in central Moscow to the Central Russian Government Building. After that, they turned into Krasnaya Presnya Street and marched along the Garden Ring to the Mayakovsky monument to head to Pushkinvakaya Square in Tverskaya Street. Slightly less than 100 activists reached the final destination. Police escorted the protesters, now and then calling on them to go home, as the rally wasn’t authorised by the Moscow city authorities. Occasionally, protesters blocked traffic in the streets they were marching along, but police refrained from arrests. There were no serious violations of public order.



Supporters of Russian opposition activist and blogger Aleksei Navalny held rallies in 46 Russian federal subjects. On Sunday, an MVD official told us:

Mass rallies authorised by local authorities took place today in 46 Russian regions. Rallies in Barnaul, Khabarovsk, and Kemerovo brought 150 participants each. Not more than 100 people took part in such rallies in each of the cities of Magnitogorsk, Orenburg, and Kurgan. About 200 people each took part in rallies in Krasnoyarsk, Tomsk, Vladivostok, and Irkutsk. As many as 600 people gathered for a rally in Novosibirsk and 550 in Nizhny Novgorod. A rally in Yekaterinburg brought less than 1,000 participants. Rallies in other Russian cities had less than 100 attendees, whilst about 1,000 people took part in an unauthorised rally in Moscow. Police and National Guard forces, as well as people’s militias, secured law and order at these rallies. There were no serious violations of public order.



On Sunday, Mikhail Fedotov, chairman of the Presidential Human Rights Council, told us that about 5,000 people took part in rallies organised by Russian opposition activist and blogger Aleksei Navalny across Russia:

According to preliminary data, about 5,000 people took part in rallies of Navalny’s supporters, both authorised and unauthorised. Final data would be available when all public rallies were over. Rallies are still going on and I call on both sides to show restraint and observe the laws.

Earlier, Kirill Kabanov, a council member, said the unauthorised rally in Moscow attracted 400 people, including reporters. According to the official website of the Human Rights Council, about 1,000 took part in Navalny’s rally in Yekaterinburg, 600 in Novosibirsk, 550 in Nizhny Novgorod, 380 in Perm, 350 in Chelyabinsk, 270 in Omsk, 230 in Saratov, 220 in Samara, 205 in Krasnoyarsk, 200 in Tomsk, 200 in Vladivostok, 190 in Irkutsk, 150 in Khabarovsk, 150 in Barnaul, 150 in Kemerovo, 120 in Izhevsk, 115 in Tyumen, 100 in Orenburg, 80 in Kurgan, 70 in Komsomolsk-on-Amur, 63 in Chita, 60 in Ulan-Ude, 50 in Astrakhan, 35 in Yakutsk, 35 in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 20 in Magadan, 16 in Blagoveshchensk, and one person in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.


28 January 2018



Friday, 14 February 2014

Will the Ukraine Split in Two?

00 Kiev riots. 13.02.14


Not for the first time, the question arises of the Ukraine possibly splitting into two parts… West and East. It seems that history itself gives the answer to this question. Despite the fact that Ukrainians voted for different candidates and that their cultural differences are clearly visible today, the Eastern Ukraine, which earlier belonged to the Russian Empire, and the Western Ukraine, which earlier was under Austria-Hungary, Poland, and Romania, have lived in peace in one state for 20 years now. This state of affairs was to the liking of the post-Soviet Russian élite; in fact, they gave up claims to the Crimea, which wasn’t part of the Ukraine until the time of Khrushchyov, for the sake of stability and calm in the neighbourhood. The Ukraine’s unity wasn’t called into question by its citizens either… nationalists living in the Western Ukraine regarded the Ukrainian nation’s unification into a single state… the result of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact… as a benefit, and Eastern Ukrainian businessmen had nothing against “Europe” and “independence”.

From the first, the EU and the USA didn’t stop reminding the Eastern and Western Ukraine about their differences, about their alleged irreconcilability. During the second round of the Maidan events (the first round was in 2004, when supporters of Viktor Yushchenko went on protests, to make him the President of the Ukraine), this confrontation reached its peak. However, before that, EU and American media outlets, supposedly civilised, pictured Eastern Ukrainians as not fully human. Once, Newsweek even used the term ‘homo sovieticus’, which Aleksandr Zinovyev, a Russian academic, invented for other uses. Denis Kiryukhin, a specialist at the Kiev Centre for Political Studies and Conflict Management, said, “Now, the success of its propaganda frightens the EU… feral sorts came to the fore in the Western Ukrainian opposition, who can cause the EU much trouble if there were ‘European Integration’. The ideological intention of the ultras and radicals is to conduct a thoroughgoing revolution in the country, to establish a dictatorship based on nationality, and not carrying out a state coup. Their ideology posits an ethnocracy, with ethnic Ukrainians lording it over all others”.

Sowing seeds of discord between Russian-speakers and Ukrainian–speakers in the Ukraine was a very difficult, but achievable, task, as the events of the past 10 years showed. The “Orange government” of Yushchenko and Timoshenko, as well as Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich‘s behaviour to please local nationalists added much to the discord-sowing process. At the least, Yanukovich was several years late with his statement about extremists in the country, which he made some time ago. The point is that the young people who threw Molotov cocktails at the cops, and who occupied Kiev with neo-Nazi slogans written on their banners, needed time to mature. They studied at schools and institutes… now, it’s clear why the opposition offered a fierce resistance to the reforms of Education Minister Dmitri Tabachnik. His attempts to return Russian classical literature to Ukrainian schools hampered the maturing of all those who fight now under the slogan, “The Ukraine Above All!” This is nothing but the Nazi slogan “Deutschland über alles” translated into Ukrainian. As you might remember, during last year’s heated debates about the language law, both the EU and the USA took the side of the Ukrainian nationalists. Thus, figuratively speaking, they drove a wedge into the Ukraine, where relative ethnic peace reigned supreme for many years, but the Ukrainian authorities ignored it.

Today, the Nationalists strive for absolute power over the entire Ukraine. They don’t merely want to run the cabinet of ministers or even to take over the presidency. They want to control both the legislative and the executive power. To meet this aim, they want new elections and they wish the reinstitution of the 2004 Constitution, as nationalists believer it’ll weaken Yanukovich. However, there’s a complication… the Ukraine is a centralised state; officials in Kiev decide almost everything. Therefore, if ethnocentric nationalists seized absolute power in Kiev, the Russian-speaking eastern regions would secede. Professor Valery Solovey, of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, noted, “The presidential side can try to federalise the Ukraine now. Even though it’s a risky affair, it can end beneficial. It isn’t a slavish return to the 2004 Constitution, but it adds amendments to the Constitution establishing the Ukraine as a federal state with a corresponding restriction of central authority in the regions”.

In 2005, when the EU and the USA pulled out a victory in the presidential election for Viktor Yushchenko, the Party of Regions attempted to establish autonomy in the eastern regions. Then, they weren’t successful because the Ukrainian élite and Ukrainian oligarchs struck a bargain to divide power and capital. It’s very doubtful whether they’d be able to do the same now. Oligarchs can enjoy power only when the grassroots are relatively passive. Like ships in olden days, oligarchs can pour oil on troubled waters, and, in this way, smooth out small waves around their business liners. However, when the masses roil into a rage, no oil can save anyone’s life from the waves on this ocean, and the oligarchs with all their capital and all the corrupt officials could end up on the rocks. That’s the exact situation gelling now. The genie of Ukrainian nationalism is out of the bottle… it’s impossible to push it back in.

In conclusion, we can say the following. At present, centrifugal forces in Ukrainian society aren’t strong enough yet to pull the state apart. Both western and eastern regions realise that if the country split, the east would immediately fall under EU and American sanctions, and the west would fail as a state without eastern subsidies. Russia takes a neutral and balanced position in this conflict between the Ukrainian west and east, but still the European media accuse Russia of interfering in the situation. Nevertheless, centrifugal forces might receive a strong impetus from nationalists on the Maidan, from the EU dallying with nationalists, and from Yatsenyuk and Klichko trying to ride on the nationalist wave. If the Ukraine falls apart, it’ll be on their conscience.

5 February 2014

Dmitri Babich

Voice of Russia World Service



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Thursday, 13 February 2014

Judge Who Sentenced Protesters Shot Dead in the Ukraine

00 Riots in Kiev 02. 06.02.14


On Wednesday, the MVDU reported that unknown attackers killed a Ukrainian judge who recently sentenced several political protesters to house arrest. Late Tuesday night, two assailants shot 34-year-old District Court Judge Aleksandr Lobodenko several times in the back on a street near his home in the central Ukraine. According to a statement on the Kremenchug Raion website, one of the bullets grazed his spine; Lobodenko died in the ICU at about 02.00 Wednesday. Police opened a criminal case into the death and said that the perps most likely killed Lobodenko because of his judicial work. They didn’t speculate about which of his decisions might have motivated the attack. According to Telegraf, on 28 January, Lobodenko sentenced two pro-EU activists to two months of house arrest. The defendants tried to break into the city hall building during a rally in Kremenchug days before, during an anti-government protest. In the wake of the killing, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich issued a decree to amend legislation to “protect judges and their family members better”.

12 February 2014



Editor’s Note:

Look at the brave Svoboda fighters! They shoot people in the back and run. That gives you the measure of the pro-EU shits. That’s what the EU and the USA support… worthless shits who shoot people in the back. Excuse me whilst I hurl


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Catholics Distribute “Prayer Book of a Revolutionary” (Mолитвенник революционера: Molitvennik revoluyutsionera) on the Maidan

00 Ukrainian rioter 01. 31.01.14


Vasili Anisimov, the head of the UOC/MP press service, said that the Catholics are ratcheting up their rhetoric on the Maidan in Kiev. He said in an interview with the website Radonezh, “Uniates, schismatics, and sectarians feed the revolt on the Maidan. The level of hatred shown by the fomenters of the Maidan often exceeds all reasonable limits. To illustrate this, President Vladimir Putin quoted a Uniate priest in Brussels. In fact, the Catholics distribute A Prayer Book of a Revolutionary (Mолитвенник революционера: Molitvennik revoluyutsionera) to those on the Maidan. It has five recommended prayers, which are really steps, with lengthy explanations. The first instruction is, ‘Rely only on God, asking Him to intervene in our people’s (народа) history’. It claimed that no one could overthrow Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, as only one battalion went over to the rebels. However, [Cardinal Jaime Lachica Sin] called believers out; so, millions took to the streets, checkmating the army, toppling Marcos. The book quoted a 1986 Filipino prayer, adapted to the present situation. The second step says, ‘Every tyranny has its roots in the sins of the people’; this prayer lists sins from abortion to corruption. The third step explains, ‘To forgive one’s enemies doesn’t mean that one refuses to fight’”.

Anisimov told us that the UOC/MP wrote the Catholic Apostolic Nunciature in the Ukraine to explain all this, but they’re still waiting for a response from the Catholics. He went on to say, “The original text of A Prayer Book of a Revolutionary was in Russian, then, they translated it into Ukrainian, as the text has many Russian idioms and Russian loan words. It’s an old compilation, as the data on abortions is six years old. Probably, it’s a generic ideological text that the Catholics adapt to specific countries, where the West feels the need to overthrow ‘tyrants’”.

6 February 2014



This is an excerpt of a MUCH longer interview here. There’s much more in the way of foolish claims by the papists, such as the USSR falling due to Pope John Paul II Wojtyła consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and other such rot. In short, A Prayer Book of a Revolutionary is the usual product of Western illusion and self-centred ignorance. A rather more “jangly” translation of the above is here. It smells like a bad “machine” translation. 

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