Voices from Russia

Monday, 31 December 2012

Russian Orthodox Church Supports Law Banning Americans from Adopting Russian Kids



Despite a wave of criticism from civil society groups and members of the Russian government, the MP backed the controversial “anti- Magnitsky bill” that President Vladimir Putin signed into law last Friday. As of 1 January, the new law bans adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. The new Russian law was in response to an American law, the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials suspected of involvement in human rights violations. In 2009, lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison under suspicious circumstances after exposing fraud involving the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The case of Dima Yaklovev inspired the Russian law; it was named for a Russian-born toddler who died after his American adoptive father forgot him in his car. An American court eventually found the father not guilty in the child’s death. The law also targeted American-funded Russian NGOs involved in political activities and foreigners involved in violating the human rights of Russians abroad. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the MP Department for Church and Society, said the law was “a search for a social answer to an elementary question… why should we give, and even sell, our children abroad?” Speaking to Interfax, Chaplin said the path to heaven would be closed to children adopted by foreigners, pointing up, “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing”.

For the critics of the Russian Orthodox Church, its support for the law is the latest example of its submission to the Kremlin, in which it acts more like a government ministry than an independent spiritual body. Patriarch Kirill hasn’t spoken on the matter since the controversy broke out. Once Putin signs the bill into law, the patriarch said the Church would set aside an unspecified amount of money to help orphans and families in difficulty. Human rights activists are critical of the law, echoed even by some Russian government figures, including Putin loyalist Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov. Besides the ban, the law calls for an improvement in the conditions of orphans. It’d also provide incentives to Russian couples to adopt.

However, the problem in Russia is cultural. Adoption is seen as something to hide. In addition, only very young and healthy children are prized because of biases against alleged “genetic defects” passed on by poor families. The anti-Magnitsky law also stops adoption procedures already underway. Thus, 52 Russian children ready to leave for the USA will remain in Russia. The New York Times slammed the Russia law for upending the plans of American couples in the final stages of adopting in Russia. Already, it has cost many of them 50,000 USD (1.53 million Roubles. 38,000 Euros. 31,000 UK Pounds) or more, at a wrenching emotional price. American adoption agency officials said that the law would affect about 200 to 250 sets of parents who’d already identified children they planned to adopt.

UNICEF estimates that there are about 740,000 children outside parental custody in Russia, whilst about 18,000 Russians are on the waiting list to adopt a child. The USA is the biggest destination for adopted Russian children… Americans took in more than 60,000 of them over the past two decades.

31 December 2012

Nina Achmatova



Editor’s Note:

Fr Vsevolod is right by pointing up, “They won’t get a truly Christian upbringing”. That’s right… the sectarians… Evangelicals, Pentecostalists, Mormons, and all the rest of the American Sects… aren’t Christian in the least. Look at their “services”… I rest my case. Lex orandi, lex credendi… “How one worships is how one believes”. “Three hymns and a lecture” do NOT make Christian worship. This was one of the most disgusting aspects of the economic collapse of the Nasty Nineties… the Americans stealing Russian kids to raise them as godless sectarians. That’s going to end, thank God. VVP isn’t perfect, but he’s right in this case. Ponder this… all too many of the konvertsy (Josiah Trenham and Freddie M-G are good examples) are indifferentist towards sectarians and sectarianism. That speaks volumes of their depth, doesn’t it? Rather, the lack of same, wot? Shitbirds of a feather do flock together…

OH, yes, the reason that these adoptions cost 50 Gs is that American lawyers wax fat on the sorrow of childless couples. I’m certain that a very cold corner of hell awaits such soulless brutes.



Wednesday, 19 December 2012

MID Refused to Comment on Visa Denial for Ex-Chief of Guantánamo Gulag



On Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) refused to comment on its decision to withhold a visa for former Guantánamo Bay commander Jeffery Harbeson. Russian media reports stated that the MID denied the high-ranking American official entry due to his alleged “violation of human rights”. According to sources, the MID informed Rear Admiral Harbeson informed of its decision back in late 2011, when American lawmakers were debating the notorious Magnitsky Bill, forcing Russia to warn about possible implications in the form of visa restrictions for Americans linked to the Guantánamo detention camp. The MID didn’t disclose the blacklist of people barred from travelling in the country.

According to anonymous sources in the MID and the RF Gosduma, today, Jeffrey Harbeson, a former commandant of Joint Task Force Guantánamo, which runs the Guantánamo Bay detention camp, was denied a Russian visa due to “human rights abuses”. Media reports noted that Harbeson received word about the negative decision late 2011. Then, American lawmakers had just started work upon the Magnitsky Act, and Russian authorities threatened visa restrictions to American citizens related to the Guantánamo camp in response. The MID and Aleksei Pushkov, the head of the RF Gosduma Special Committee on International Affairs, confirmed a visa denial to a Guantánamo-related figure. They didn’t disclose the person’s name, though, but said that he was part of a Pentagon department in charge of Russian issues after his service at the camp.

Our source went on to say that only man who fits in these criteria is Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, who was in charge of the Guantánamo camp from June 2010 until August 2011. In 2012, he became Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for Europe, NATO, and Russia on the US Joint Staff. The US Congress adopted the Magnitsky Act in November-December 2012. The act imposes visa and finance sanctions on Russian citizens supposedly implicated in human rights violations. In response, the RF Gosduma initiated a bill imposing sanction upon American citizens involved in abusing the rights of Russian citizens.

19 December 2012

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

The US media vilifies China and Russia because they won’t allow the USA to push them about. They’ve also got the military power to deter any American attack on their territory. Besides that, the RVSN has the capacity to strike a crippling blow at the American heartland, a fact that enrages the juvenile and self-centred Anglo-Americans. That’s why the USA spends trillions on crackbrained ABM schemes… none of them work, and none of them can offer a foolproof defence against incoming warheads (the ICBM negates American naval supremacy and the two wide ocean barriers that are the USA’s true defence line).

Ergo, the Magnitsky Act. However, Russia says, “Turnaround is fair play”. This’ll enrage the adolescent Anglos even further. “How dare they defy us! We’re the City on the Hill! We’re God’s Elect! American Exceptionalism says that we’re Number One”. The Russians will simply say “Nyet” to that and the Chinese will back them up to the hilt.

Orthodox people… the konvertsy are like that. They’re typical juvenile, arrogant, short-sighted, grasping, ignorant, and self-preening Anglos. Paffhausen, Dreher, Reardon, and Freddie M-G are all-too-typical examples of this noxious brood of vipers. We’ve got to protect the Church from such, and I’m not alone in thinking that way.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Will the Magnitsky Law Take the Place of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment?


The House of Representatives Rules Committee of the US Congress decided that voting on the bill that stipulates simultaneous abolishment of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment aimed against Russia and the adoption of the so-called Magnitsky Act shall take place on 13 November. Chances are, the replacement of one discriminatory document with another would become an obstacle in the dialogue between Moscow and Washington.

Two bills that cause heated discussions in Russian and American political and business circles are combined in one document. If the Committee approves it on 13 November, it’ll go to a vote of the whole House. The main problem with the US lawmakers’ initiative is that they’ve connected the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and the Magnitsky Act; they have absolutely nothing in common, either technically or in their contents. The so-called Magnitsky Act stipulates freezing assets and banning entry to the USA for Russian citizens allegedly associated with the death of the Hermitage Capital Management employee Sergei Magnitsky in an investigative isolation ward in Moscow in 2009. The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which is a vestige of the Cold War, was adopted in 1974. It stipulated restrictions upon trade with the USSR, because the US Congress believed that it had undue restrictions upon Jewish emigration.

Expert Vilen Ivanov told us, “Replacing one law with another is unlikely to add optimism in Moscow. The Magnitsky Law is even worse than the Jackson-Vanik Amendment is. The aim of the latter was trade discrimination against Russia, whilst the new law lets off the leash all those in the USA who dislike Russia; it gives them a free hand in announcing Russian citizens personae non grata and introducing individual sanctions against them. This law couldn’t promote better relations between our two countries and it makes our partnership more problematic in general”.

It’s worth remembering that the Magnitsky Law contains a paragraph that gives the US Secretary of State the right to introduce alterations to the list of sanctions, based on the country’s interests. This is an obviously superfluous measure, as 18 months ago the US Department of State already made a blacklist of persons allegedly associated with Magnitsky’s death to prevent them from getting US visas. In addition, the US Secretary of the Treasury would have the right to freeze Russian citizens’ bank accounts. In essence, this boils down to the fact that the American authorities can smear Russian citizens for one reason or another. As is known, this is a very effective method of political pressure.

Sergei Mikheyev, the Director of the Centre of Political Situations, said, “The latest developments demonstrate Washington’s current attitude to Moscow. Unfortunately, the general mood in the USA is in the vein of the Cold War. Americans believe that they should always have some ‘lever’ to be able to put pressure on Russia. I don’t think that we could radically change this situation at present, so, we should make the best of what we’ve got”.

Repeatedly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared that Magnitsky’s death is a Russian internal problem, which is being dealt with at the highest level. As for the attempt to replace the Jackson-Vanik Amendment with a new anti-Russian law, this doesn’t suit Moscow at all. Incidentally, not only Russian politicians but also American businessmen are amongst the opponents of the Magnitsky Law. Bill Reinsh, President of the influential National Foreign Trade Council, recently announced that the adoption of that law would seriously damage trade and political relations with Russia, including cooperation on the Iranian and Syrian problems. He thought that Russia would prefer other partners within the WTO and that it could take retaliatory measures against the USA. Interestingly, some people in the Obama Administration hold the same view. However, Republicans in the US Congress wouldn’t listen to these arguments; they stubbornly insist on their position.

13 November 2012

Ilya Khartamov

Voice of Russia World Service


Thursday, 19 July 2012

US Senate Committee Approves Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Magnitsky Bill

“Freedom, American-style…”


On Wednesday, the US Senate Finance Committee approved a bill combining a repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and a measure aiming to punish Russian officials involved in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky. Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) said, “By enacting PNTR (permanent normal trade relations), together with the Magnitsky bill, we’re replacing Jackson-Vanik with legislation that addresses the corruption and accountability issues that Russia confronts today”. The new bill is a response to the demands of a majority of lawmakers for a review of legislation affecting trade and human rights issues, including some laws affecting trade with Russia.

Baucus said that the proposal to add the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act to the PNTR legislation “will help fight human rights abuses in Russia”. He said that Russia would formally be a member of the WTO next month, and “that’s our deadline for passing PNTR. There’s no time to waste, America risks being left behind. If we miss that deadline, American farmers, ranchers, workers, and businesses will lose out to the other 154 members of the WTO that already have PNTR with Russia. American workers will lose the jobs created to China, Canada, and Europe when Russia, the world’s seventh largest economy, joins the WTO and opens its market to the world”.

The Senate began studying the issue in mid-March, along with amendments from Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), including proposals for visa sanctions against Russians allegedly involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a tax lawyer working for the Hermitage Capital investment company, who died in custody in Russia in 2009. Cops arrested Magnitsky on tax evasion charges in November 2008, days after accusing police investigators of involvement in a 230 million USD (7.37 billion Roubles. 188 million Euros. 147 million UK Pounds) tax refund fraud, and died after almost a year in Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention centre in Moscow.

In turn, Russian investigators accused Magnitsky and Hermitage of tax evasion. Last week, a group of Russian senators went to the USA to present what they claimed was new evidence of Magnitsky and Hermitage’s guilt. A probe into his death revealed that the lawyer, who was suffering from untreated pancreatitis and a heart condition, didn’t receive proper medical treatment. Human rights activists pointed to multiple violations of his rights during his arrest and in detention, including signs that prison guards beat him hours before his death. Russia warned it’d respond to the adoption of the Magnitsky bill in kind, imposing restrictions on US officials. In July 2011, the US State Department issued visa bans on several dozen Russian officials in connection to the Magnitsky case. In response, Russia imposed travel bans on several US officials.

In mid-March, a group of influential US senators, including former Republican presidential candidate John McCain, proposed cancelling the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, but simultaneously adopting the Magnitsky bill. The Jackson-Vanik Amendment, passed in 1974, barred favourable trade relations with the USSR because it wouldn’t let Jews freely emigrate. Often, waivers override the restrictions imposed by Jackson-Vanik, but they remain in place, and are a thorn in the side of Russia-US trade relations.

The Magnitsky case, along with the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, and the rift over the Syrian crisis, are major stumbling blocks in the “reset” of US-Russian relations. The Obama administration, which was evasive about the proposed legislation, said on 18 June that it considers it necessary to distinguish between the adoption of the Magnitsky blacklist and the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment.

18 July 2012



Editor’s Note:

Americans (especially Anglo-Saxon Proddies) have a lotta damned gall. They think that they’re moral paragons and exemplars for the entire world to imitate. If they don’t receive total and obsequious adulation, they go off and pout; they’re violent and nasty, if their interlocutor’s weak enough. In the case of Russia and China, which are strong enough to deter American violence and aggression, the Americans issue threats and do their best to blacken their reputation (or, at least, attempt to do so).

Hermitage Capital is incorporated in Guernsey (it also has offices in the Cayman Islands, another stronghold of laissez-faire corporate non-regulation (which makes it one of Willard Romney‘s fave locations)), which has notoriously lax incorporation laws. In short, it’s a crank organisation run by crooks. For them to complain of fraud on the part of Russian officials is downright laughable. Ben Cardin’s a joke, too… he’s part of the notoriously corrupt Balto area Democratic machine, which makes Yuri Luzhkov look like a piker (in other words, they’re the General Motors of corruption as compared to Luzhkov’s Acme Products operation).

All in all, it’s a perfect illustration of the hypocrisy and overweening hubris of the American Anglo-Saxon Proddie. If the USSR ceased to exist in 1991, why did the USA keep Jackson-Vanik in place after its demise? In the same vein, the Americans tightened the screws on Cuba after 1991… in the hopes of overthrowing Fidel (who make them look like fools in Latin America). These naked efforts to export the American “system” failed, and all that they did was nourish hatred and resentment of the USA and the American people. We have much to answer for as a people, I’m afraid… and the fact that we didn’t personally support it doesn’t matter. It was done in our name, and we didn’t stop it. God do help us…


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