Voices from Russia

Friday, 26 April 2013

Foreign NGOs: “Philanthropists” with Hidden Agendas

01 Fat Uncle Sam


The recent disputes over NGOs operating in Russia financed from abroad rage on as the parties concerned doggedly repeat their own arguments without listening to what the other side has to say. Members of the Human Rights Centre “Memorial”, founded by the late academician Andrei Sakharov, and liberal {that is, “conservative” in Anglosphere terms: editor} Western media outlets keep pointing up the sinister meaning the expression “foreign agent” had under Stalin. In turn, critics of anti-Putin NGOs say that Russian law only imitates the US Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which is still in force and in operation. For the younger generation, all this could seem somewhat dated… Stalin died 60 years ago, in 1953, whilst the Foreign Agents Registration Act became law shortly before World War II. Even the oldest of those taking part in the current NGO-related disputes were little kids back then.

More recently, ex-Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze… a respected political figure in the West… accused the Open Society Foundation (OSF) (an NGO funded by George Soros) and Georgian NGOs affiliated to it of orchestrating the 2003 coup that brought Mikhail Saakashvili to power. Curiously, US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, who’s keen on seeing Russia repent for Stalinism, doesn’t intend to admit America‘s wrongdoings himself. Maksim Grigoriev, a member of the RF Public Chamber, said that McFaul, in a speech to the Public Chamber, said that he felt no need to be sorry for the USA having a hand in the Georgian coup, or, in hiring intelligence experts to work for American NGOs based in post-Soviet republics, including Russia.

The post-Soviet space offers a wide range of opportunities for American-funded NGOs, which arrived only in the 1990s. In the 1970s and 1980s, the same American groups operated in Latin America, and before that, in the Middle East. In what is seen as a “quiet revolution in American official history”, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged the role of the CIA in orchestrating the 1973 coup in Chile, whilst Barack Obama spilled the beans on the American part in staging the Iranian coup of 1953 that toppled the progressive government of Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Coincidentally or not, at the time of the coups, American “charitable” bodies operated in both countries.

Grigoriev, who also runs the Democracy Research Foundation, said, “Assurances from pro-western NGOs that their activities have nothing to do with politics are all lies. They pursue political goals and coordinate their operations with foreign governments. However, this doesn’t mean that we should label them as ‘foreign spies’. Even though these organisations receive funds from abroad, they pose no danger if their operations are transparent and clear”.

Grigoriev is certainly right. The world that we live in is an open space where public likes and dislikes travel freely across borders. The negative attitudes in the EU and the USA to some highly-placed Russian politicians are well-known, and one could feel them during President Putin’s recent visit to Germany and the Netherlands. These attitudes are bound to have minority support in Russia… at least, amidst the liberal-minded intelligentsia {that is, amongst “libertarians” in American terms: editor}. Nevertheless, whatever happens, Russia can’t afford any more revolutions… its first, and foremost, priority is to avoid upheavals. Therefore, “philanthropists” with hidden agendas will have to come clean on the real aims of their activities.

11 April 2013

Dmitri Babich

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Do note that the author points up that US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul is “keen on seeing Russia repent for Stalinism”. Hmm… that puts the anti-Stalin screed on the ROCOR official website in a new light, doesn’t it? Does this mean that certain parties in the ROCOR are back on Langley‘s payroll (after all, Alexander Lebedeff said, “We were grateful for the money”)? Does this mean that certain parties lied about their purported change of heart? You pays your money and you takes your choice… but I’d say that the trail’s rather clear. Sad, ain’t it? Don’t forget Potapov’s mean-spirited and objectively-false comments about Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger in the Nasty ’90s (at the Georgetown shindig… remember that?)… did he had a real change of heart or was it a case of “Paris is well worth a mass?” Interesting question…



Tuesday, 25 December 2012

25 December 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Not One Bit of Our Soil! Not One Word of Our Oath!

00 Sergei Yolkin. Not One Bit of Our Soil! Not One Word of Our Oath! 2012

Not One Bit of Our Soil! Not One Word of Our Oath!

Sergei Yolkin



This is a wry comment on the fact that the military oath changed in 1998 and 1992, along with Soviet changes in 1918, 1947, and 1975, from its tsarist-era original. Yolkin appears to disparage any further tinkering with the wording. It also appears to be a puckish observation… it’s changed so many times… now, it changes yet again. It also appears to mean that people’s loyalties are for sale to the highest bidder… another multilayered Yolkin play on words and images drawn from popular and historical Russian culture


Members of the RF Public Chamber offered a proposal to replace the word “swear” with the word “promise” (for religious reasons) in the oath taken by military recruits. The RF Gosduma is opposed to such a move.

24 December 2012

Sergei Yolkin



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Meeting of Native American Chiefs of the USA and Canada to Take Place in Moscow

00 Sacred Pe' Sla is NOT a Mere Commodity. Sioux. 13.12.12

Pe’ Sla in the Black Hills is one of the most significant cultural/spiritual sites of the Sioux Nation. Recently, its greedy owners put it up for sale, but the Sioux Nation was able to redeem it by buying it outright. 


Pavel Sulandziga, chairman of the working group for Development of the North, Siberia, and the Far East in the RF Public Chamber, announced that in mid-January 2013, for the first time, a meeting of the chiefs of Native American tribes of Canada and the USA with worldwide indigenous leaders would take place in Russia. In the light of all the noise raised by the international and Russian mass media in relation to the notorious end of the world bruited for 21 December, Sulandziga’s assessment of the upcoming international conference to take place in Bolivia, entitled The Beginning of the Era of Harmony and Becoming One with Nature, appears quite à propos.

Pavel Sulandziga

In the last few years, Bolivia has become one of the main actors in the movement to defend Mother Earth, which in spirit is very close to what indigenous people worldwide believe in… becoming one with nature, being part of the environment. The meetings in Bolivia that President Evo Morales initiated are of great importance because, in the long run, the economics of our globalised world plays a dominant role. However, it shouldn’t be that way. Besides economics, there’s much else related to the life and activity of people. Of course, economics isn’t the only criterion; people value other values as well.


Pavel Vasliyevich, you were invited to the conference in Bolivia, but you accepted another invitation and chose to attend a different event. Please, tell us about that.

Pavel Sulandziga

Yes, we’re talking about the annual meeting of the Sioux tribe chiefs, which is one of the largest Native American tribes in the USA. Our association of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia, and the Far East have sought contact with them for a long time in order to work together. Now, for the first time ever, they’ve invited an outsider to their Chief’s Council, which takes place on 21-22 December.


Will you speak at that Council?

Pavel Sulandziga

Yes, I plan to speak on two themes. Firstly, I plan to touch upon establishing cooperation and joint action between us. I’m currently the chairman of the working group on the international cooperation between the indigenous peoples of Russia and other countries in the RF Public Chamber. Our group works with a number of areas related with the development of indigenous peoples. This includes education, youth culture, self-government, cultural development, and other matters. That’s why I’d like to raise these issues in a joint discussion. Secondly, I’ll talk about the Evenk people, for the Sioux Chiefs’ Council voiced its support for them. This, by the way, was one of the reasons for my invitation. The problem is that Evenk lands attracted the attention of high-ranking officials and legal structures, which decided to grab them…

I’m currently working on the visit to Russia of a number of Native American chiefs from the USA and Canada, as well as the leaders of indigenous people from other countries. Willie Littlechild, the Honorary Chief of the Crees from Alberta in Canada, Aali Kirskitaua, vice president of the Sámi parliament, and Henry Harrison, chief of the Thabas tribe from Alaska, have already confirmed their participation. They’ll come to Russia in mid-January, for a meeting of indigenous peoples for a joint discussion of problems and cooperation. We’re planning a press conference in Moscow, and, then, we’ll go to Lake Baikal.

12 December 2010

Voice of Russia World Service


Addendum on Pe’ Sla:

Born from her core, I know she beats for all that is.

This is where we’re from,

Where we pray,

Where our stories were told back in the day.

My soles stained red as I walk the road around her,

Pointing to the stars and all that surrounds,

This land beats with the power of ten thousand drums.

In my heart of hearts I know this is love I’ve found.

So hear me now —-

You will not destroy her.

No roads will pass,

Nor foundations laid,

Not as long as we’re here…

We will not be swayed.


Pe’ Sla is the heartland of the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation). This land is a part of our creation story; we believe that this land is the centre, the heart, of everything that is.


Mitakuye Oyasin

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin….All my relations. I honour you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer….

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages, I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.



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