Voices from Russia

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Council of Europe Report Includes Data on Destruction of Heritage in Kosovo

destruction in Kosovo


In Strasbourg, Marija Obradović, member of National Assembly delegation and of the Culture Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (CoE) (PACE), said that Serbia couldn’t allow the adoption of a CoE resolution that doesn’t include data on a decade that saw more than 150 Serbian Orthodox churches destroyed in Kosovo. She noted, according to a release from the Serbian National Assembly, “We insisted that the draft report include facts about the destruction of Serbian cultural heritage, especially of those buildings not damaged in the pogrom in Kosovo from March 2004. I informed the members of the committee that 34 Orthodox churches and other cultural and religious buildings were damaged in that event alone”. Obradović remarked that Serbia’s opinion was received well by the other members of the committee, and by the rapporteur, especially considering that more than a few of those buildings had UNESCO protection, and that many were constructed in the Middle Ages, concluding, “The adoption of a resolution on this is expected early next year, and we’ll monitor closely its creation until then”. On Friday, the Committee on Culture, Science, Education, and Media of the PACE discussed a preliminary report on cultural heritage in crisis and post-conflict situations, included in the fourth part of the plenary session.

3 October 2014




Monday, 14 October 2013

14 October 2013. RIA-Novosti Presents… Our “Smaller Brothers”… Братья наши меньшие

00 Little Brothers 01. Dog. Vancouver BC. 14.10.13

Parishioners at a church in Vancouver BC CANADA can attend services with their pets. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord! Praise ye the Lord!


00 Little Brothers 02. Elephant. Africa. 14.10.13

The governments of Kenya and Tanzania are holding a joint census of elephants and other large mammals. Are the tickbirds the census-takers? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…


00 Little Brothers 03. Lions. Africa. Kenya. 14.10.13

Lions bagging zee’s at a Kenya Wildlife Service conservation centre.


00 Little Brothers 04. Crested porcupine. Szeged HUNGARY. 14.10.13

A three-week-old crested porcupine riding on its mother’s back at a zoo in Szeged (Szeged DIstrict. Csongrád County. Dél-Alföld Region) HUNGARY.


00 Little Brothers 05. Yellow baboons. Antwerp Zoo BELGIUM. 14.10.13

Yellow baboons chillin’ at the Antwerp Zoo in Anvers/Antwerpen (Arrondissement Antwerpen. Province AntwerpenFlanders Region) BELGIUM.


00 Little Brothers 06. white lion cub. Belgrade Zoo. SERBIA. 14.10.13

A tiny white lion cub was born at the Belgrade Zoo in Belgrade (Belgrade Municipal OkrugSERBIA. The little guy doesn’t have a name yet.


00 Little Brothers 07. stork. Strasbourg Zoo. FRANCE. 14.10.13

A stork struttin’ his stuff at the Le parc de l’Orangerie Zoo in Strasbourg (Arrondissement Strasbourg-Ville. Département Bas-Rhin. Région AlsaceFRANCE.


00 Little Brothers 08. spectacled bear. Antwerp BELGIUM. 14.10.13

A spectacled bear checkin’ out the photog at a zoological centre in Anvers/Antwerpen Belgium.


13 October 2013



Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Naryshkin Invites Euro MPs to Visit Moscow Gay Clubs

00 Moscow at night. 01.10.13


Sergei Naryshkin, the Chairman of the RF Gosduma, speaking at a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, invited Euro MPs to visit Moscow gay clubs to see for themselves that Russia doesn’t infringe gay rights. He made the suggestion in answering a question concerning a recently-adopted law in Russia prohibiting dissemination of information about non-traditional sexual orientations to minors. He added that the law respected primary international law documents, including a UN Convention that allows every member county to take into consideration its own principles and traditions whilst providing children with comprehensive education.

He said, “I assure you, once again, that gay people in Russia have the same human rights as those with traditional sexual orientations. We have many successful people with non-traditional sexual orientations. They’re successful in business, art, and other fields. They have the right to spend their leisure time in a relaxed way, in accordance with their interests. There are many gay clubs in Moscow. I haven’t been to one, but people say these places have good and comfortable vibes (the audience applauded). I’m not trying to win applause, but if you want, please, come to Moscow. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to accompany you”. Besides that, Naryshkin pointed up that the European Court of Human Rights repeatedly stated that today’s world doesn’t have a uniform concept of what morality is. In his view, the Russian law takes into account national and cultural values, and, at the same time, fully respects gay rights.


On Tuesday, during the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Sergei Naryshkin, the Chairman of the RF Gosduma, said that Russia’s ban on promoting same-sex relations among youngsters has nothing to do with discrimination, because it doesn’t infringe the human rights of gays. He said that the ban’s intent is to protect family values; it doesn’t violate Russia’s international obligations, noting, “It complies with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms”. Last June, the RF Gosduma voted to make promotion of same-sex relationships amongst minors a criminal offence punishable by heavy fines and administrative arrest, or deportation, if foreign nationals are involved. Subsequently, many foreign politicians tried (but failed) to use the ban to persuade international athletes to boycott the 22nd Winter Olympics scheduled to be held in Sochi in February 2014.

1 October 2013

Lada Korotun

Voice of Russia World Service



Saturday, 7 January 2012

Orthodox Christmas Celebration in Strasbourg Began





One of Europe’s major cities, Strasbourg in France, marked Orthodox Christmas, which is 7 January according to the Julian calendar. Igumen Filipp Ryabykh, the MP Representative to the Council of Europe and the rector of the MP parish of All Saints in Strasbourg, told RIA-Novosti, “Most people accept that Strasbourg’s the ‘Christmas Capital of Europe’, and it’s our duty, to the fullest extent of our ability, to show everyone here all the beauty of the Orthodox celebration of Christmas”.

On Christmas Eve, Fr Filipp served the Vigil at All Saints parish, assisted by the female chorus from the Choir Director’s Faculty of the Moscow Theological Academy at the Holy Trinity-St Sergei Lavra, and by Fyodor Tarasov, the winner of international musical competitions. Dozens of people came to worship in the small church (located in a converted garage), from France, Russia, the Ukraine, and Byelorussia. Fr Nikolai Poplentany, a cleric of the Diocese of Poltava of the UOC/MP, came to Strasbourg especially for the Christmas celebration, and he assisted Igumen Filipp and the parish deacon. On Christmas Day (7 January), the clergy will serve Divine Liturgy (the foremost Christian service) in the morning at the parish; more than a hundred believers are expected to attend. This includes not only parishioners from Strasbourg and surrounding French cities, and visitors from the lands of historical Rus, but also Germans from districts near Strasbourg. Igumen Filipp said, “We have a multicultural parish, there are Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Georgians, and Armenians; there are believers from Latvia and Romania. This suggests that the MP can unite very different nationalities”.

As part of Christmas celebrations, on 8 January, the first day of the Svyatki {the days between Christmas and the Epiphany: editor} and the Synaxis of the Most Holy Mother of God, Bishop Nestor Sirotenko of Korsun, the ruling bishop of Strasbourg, will come from Paris to serve Liturgy (all MP parishes in France are part of the Diocese of Korsun). During the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Bishop Nestor will perform the first priestly ordination in Strasbourg, elevating Deacon Yevgeni Makushin of All Saints parish to the priesthood. The culmination of the celebrations will be the first large-scale concert Orthodox Christmas in Strasbourg, slated for the evening of 8 January in the large concert hall of the Protestant Cathedral Le Temple Neuf in the heart of the city. Famous musicians from Russia, Germany, and France, will perform Christmas-themed works by Russian Christmas classic composers. A choir from the Holy Trinity-St Sergei Lavra and a gusli ensemble will introduce the audience to spiritual songs and folk customs of the Christmas celebration… kolyadki and other folk traditions.

The Christmas festivities include a children’s art competition organised by the MP in Strasbourg. The parish of All Saints will host the exhibition of the competition, which includes both Russian and French participants. After the service on Christmas Day, the awards ceremony will be held at the parish. The parish of All Saints in Strasbourg dates from in June 2003. In March 2004, by a decision of the MP Holy Synod, the parish became a stavropegial podvorie (direct subordinate to the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias), and it became the headquarters of the MP Representation in Strasbourg, with the mission of bringing the MP’s position before the Council of Europe.

7 January 2012

Olga Lipich



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