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92 percent of Russians in Crimea vote for Putin as its ancient Greek legacy lives on

Did you know Crimea has an ancient Hellenic legacy, directly related to the establishment of the brotherhood between Russia and Greece?

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At our sister site, RussiaFeed, we covered how an amazing 92 percent of Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin, a number confirmed by international observers. This drops a red-pill bombshell on the corporate media narrative that Crimea was invaded by Russia – how many occupied peoples gleefully support their invader?

How many Crimeans voted for Vladimir Putin?


While that is indeed amazing, how many people knew that Crimea in fact, has an ancient Greek legacy, relating to the very first establishment of brotherhood between Russians and Greeks?
Not far from the heroic City of Sevastopol lie the ruins of old Kherson — as Byzantine Greeks called it — also called Chersonesus, though Slavic people in the period referred to it as Korsun.

Ruins of Chersonesos


The word comes the Greek word Χερσόνησος, which means “peninsula”, and it now gives its name to the modern Ukrainian city of Kherson, which is located up the coast from the ancient Crimean city, just where the Crimean peninsula meets Ukraine.
Old Kherson was an important colony of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. It was here where Equal-to-the-Apostles Saint Vladimir of Kiev married Anna, the Purple-born of Constantinople, the sister of the Emperor. In some ways the history of the Russia we recognize today began here, with his baptism.

Baptism of Vladimir


Preceding his marriage was the baptism of Vladimir himself, which preceded his Baptism of all Rus’ in 988. The Baptism of Rus’ began the formal history of the Russian Orthodox Church and Faith in Russia, transforming the nation forever into what we now recognize as Russia. This begins the period we refer to in Russian history and theology as “Holy Russia,” which by the belief of many, still lives to this day.

Baptism of Rus


The story of how Russia came to Orthodoxy is ancient and worthy of its own books, however in brief (and it pains me to oversimply this amazing tale, but it must be done for the sake of the article), Kievan Rus’, the ancient Slavic state, was located on the territory of modern Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, from which those three nations take their origin. Kievan Rus was strategically located on the trade route of the Varangians to the Greeks, one of the most important Viking routes in Eastern Europe. The trade route followed the Dnipro River, which begins at Smolensk Russia, flows through Kiev [the modern Ukrainian capital], and empties itself into the Black Sea at [new] Kherson.

This trade route made Rus’ very rich on Greek gold at a time when silver was far more abundant in Europe, and unfortunately for the Greeks, the ancient Pagan Rus’ were very strong, and decided to go on a few Viking style raids against Constantinople, nailing a shield to the walls, and taking tribute.

Rus Na Constantinople


Providence would decree, however, that Rus’ would steal something far more precious from the Greeks – the true Faith and Eternal life. After the disastrous failed campaign against Constantinople in Bulgaria by Svyatoslav, his son, Vladimir of Kiev was desperately seeking a new religion for his people. His grandmother, Saint Olga had already converted to Christianity, but she had died prior to his rule.
The simplified but legendary tale, was that Vladimir sent out messengers across the world. Among the Jews he was horrified by circumcision, and decided they lost their Holy City, and so Rus’ would not follow a faith in which the people lose their power. Among the Muslims he was more horrified than he had ever been, the moment the mighty warrior prince heard Islam prohibited drinking, he explained:

Drinking is the joy of all Rus’!

He refused to participate in a religion that banned pork, let alone drinking. He was beginning to think Rus’ would never find a good religion, until the envoy to Constantinople returned, their faces radiant like the sun. The said to him:

We did not know if we were on heaven or on earth, but there was God among his people, and this should be our faith.

Saint Vladimir, therefore, resolved to accept the Byzantine faith – that of Orthodoxy, and sent word to the Emperor who was embattled at old Kherson, Crimea. In exchange for an alliance with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, Vladimir demanded the hand of Anna of Constantinople. It was explained to him that he must first be baptized, which he accepted, and then he was married to Anna. A Chuch was erected on the spot of his Baptism, which began the baptism of Rus’ in 988.

Church of Saint Vladimir


The church is constructed in the Neo-Byzantine style, very similar to churches throughout Greece, Asia Minor, Syria, and the Balkans. Vladimir Putin has visited this church before, named after his patron saint, and the founder of Christian Russia – Saint Vladimir.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Church of Saint Vladimir


The Church is located near several ancient Greek sites, and one can clearly see the ruins would fit in amidst the Parthenon in Athens or Palmyra in Syria.

Ancient Greek ruins at Chersonesos


Khersonisos is not the only amazing Hellenic legacy in Crimea. The Dormition Caves Monastery is another example, and a wonder of ancient architecture.

The Dormition Caves monastery


The date of the Monastery’s founding was lost to time, however most historians and the Church can agree there was a presence of Greek monks in the caves of these cliffs since around the 8th century. Crimea at the time was a Greek Colony of the Eastern Roman Empire.
According to the monastery’s website, the great valley in which it is built was called “Mary’s Gorge” by the Tatars because its location in ancient times was associated with the Mother of God and a wonder-working icon.

Mary’s Gorge and the Dormition Caves Monastery


 

Here is what the Monastery’s website had to say about its founding in a place Greeks originally called Marioupol, “Mary’s City”:

“Greek Christians suffered constant oppression from their neighbours, the Tartar Muslims…Some sought refuge in woods and caverns in order to devote their lives to God while others founded monasteries. In the 15th century most of southern Crimea, including all its Christian inhabitants, fell under Turkish domination…they found themselves living between two Islamic people: the Turks and the Tartars.”
“The Christians from Tavrida lost their courage in the struggle against the Muslims, but just when all hope of saving their faith was on the point of being extinguished, the image of the Theotokos [Mother of God] appeared on the inaccessible rock of Bakhchisaray, in the very heart of Islamic territory.”

The tale of the Monastery also includes the slaying of a Dragon, however, that is a story worthy of its own article.
This was certainly not a complete history of the Hellenic legacy of Crimea, but it hopefully illustrates how profound it is, and although the peninsula belongs to Russian/Slavic people today, it was from the Greek Orthodox Faith that Russians became Orthodox. This all began in Crimea. As a result, Crimea is sacred to Russians

Mary’s Gorge


It’s only fitting that Vladimir Putin would give homage to the place with his namesake, Saint Vladimir was baptized.

Vladimir Putin at the Dormition Caves monastery, site of the baptism of his namesake

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The Mediterranean Pipeline Wars Are Heating Up

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland.

The Duran

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Authored by Viktor Katona via Oilprice.com:


Things have been quite active in the Eastern Mediterranean lately, with Israel, Cyprus and Greece pushing forward for the realization of the EastMed pipeline, a new gas conduit destined to diversify Europe’s natural gas sources and find a long-term reliable market outlet for all the recent Mediterranean gas discoveries. The three sides have reached an agreement in late November (roughly a year after signing the MoU) to lay the pipeline, the estimated cost of which hovers around $7 billion (roughly the same as rival TurkStream’s construction cost). Yet behind the brave facade, it is still very early to talk about EastMed as a viable and profitable project as it faces an uphill battle with traditionally difficult Levantine geopolitics, as well as field geology.

The EastMed gas pipeline is expected to start some 170 kilometers off the southern coast of Cyprus and reach Otranto on the Puglian coast of Italy via the island of Crete and the Greek mainland. Since most of its subsea section is projected to be laid at depths of 3-3.5 kilometer, in case it is built it would become the deepest subsea gas pipeline, most probably the longest, too, with an estimated length of 1900km. The countries involved proceed from the premise that the pipeline’s throughput capacity would be 20 BCM per year (706 BCf), although previous estimates were within the 12-16 BCm per year interval. According to Yuval Steinitz, the Israeli Energy Minister, the stakeholders would need a year to iron out all the remaining administrative issues and 4-5 years to build the pipeline, meaning it could come onstream not before 2025.

The idea of EastMed was first flaunted around 2009-2010 as the first more or less substantial gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Tamar gas field in Israel’s offshore zone, paved the way for speculations about an impending gas boom. Then came the 535 BCm (18.9 TCf) Leviathan in 2010 and the 850 BCm (30 TCf) Zohr discovery in offshore Egypt five years later and suddenly it seemed that an Eastern Mediterranean gas expansion is inevitable. Yet over the years, the operators of Leviathan have already allocated part of their total gas volumes to domestic power generating companies and most notably NEPCO, the Jordanian electric power company (1.6-2BCm per year). Egypt has been concentrating on meeting domestic needs and getting rid of LNG imports, moreover once it bounces back to gas exporter status in 2019, it will only use its own 2 LNG terminals in Damietta and Idku.

Thus, a pertinent question arises – whose gas would be used to fill the EastMed pipeline? If the pipeline starts in offshore Cyprus, then it would be logical to expect that Cyprus’ gas bounty would be somehow utilized. Yet Cyprus has been lagging behind Egypt and Israel in its offshore endeavors and so far lacks a clear-cut giant field to base its supply future on. The two discoveries appraised heretofore, the 6-8 TCf Calypso operated by ENI and the 4.5 TCf Aphrodite operated by Noble Energy, are not enough to support the construction of a relatively expensive gas pipeline – all the more so as Noble has signed a provisional deal to send Aphrodite gas to Egypt’s Idku LNG terminal, most likely by means of a subsea gas pipeline. If we are to judge the viability of the EastMed on the current situation, there is only Calypso and Israel to fill the pipeline, as Greece’s gas export plans are close to zero on the probability scale.

The subsea section from Cyprus’ offshore zone to the island of Crete lies in depths of 3km and is stretched across a seismically active zone. But there is even more – should Turkey claim rights on Cyprus’ offshore hydrocarbon deposits (in February 2018 it sent warships to scare away ENI’s drilling rig that was on its way to xxx), the project is all but dead. This is far from an implausible scenario as President Erdogan stated that Turkey would never allow for the extortion of natural resources in the East Mediterranean by means of excluding Ankara and Northern Cyprus. Cognizant of the risks inherent in an East Mediterranean gas pipeline, there has been no interest from oil and gas majors to participate in the project. This is worrying as the $7 billion are expected to be financed from private investors, of which there is a palpable dearth – despite the EU’s 35 million funding to promote what it sees as a Project of Common Interest.

Yet even for the European Union, the EastMed gas pipeline presents a bit of a headache as its commissioning would render the Southern Gas Corridor, comprising so far only of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) with a 10 BCm per year throughput capacity, irrelevant by creating a sort-of competitor. The price of the natural gas to be supplied via the EastMed pipeline might become the biggest obstacle of them all – if the cost of producing offshore Mediterranean gas turns out to be $4-5/MMBtu as expected, the addition of further transportation costs to it all would place EastMed supplied at the bottom range of European gas supply options (Russian gas supply is alleged to be profitable with price levels as low as $4/MMbtu). All this might change if any of the East Mediterranean countries were to discover a giant gas field, altering the economics of production or possibly even liquefaction.

In fact, 2019 will witness several key wells being drilled across Cyprus, Egypt and possibly even Israel. ExxonMobil’s testing of Block 10 in offshore Cyprus would largely point to the overall attractiveness of Cyprus as an oil and gas producing country – the drilling has already started, with results expected in Q1 2019. The ENI-operated Noor offshore field in Egypt, adjacent to Zohr, is a much hotter prospect with BP buying into it lately – most likely it will outshine all the other drilling sites in the Eastern Mediterranean, however, if a big discovery is confirmed, it would be most likely used for Egyptian purposes which run counter to the EastMed gas pipeline. Thus, EastMed’s only hope is that Israel 2nd international licensing round, results to be announced in July 2019, will elicit a couple of Leviathan-like finds that would make pipeline construction profitable. Until then, the prospects are rather bleak.

By Viktor Katona for Oilprice.com

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Turkey’s Threats against Greece

Erdogan believes that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered.

The Duran

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Authored by Debalina Ghoshal via The Gatestne Institute:


  • The one issue on which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his opposition are in “complete agreement” is the “conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered.”
  • “So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean.” – Uzay Bulut, Turkish journalist.
  • Ankara’s ongoing challenges to Greek land and sea sovereignty are additional reasons to keep it from enjoying full acceptance in Europe and the rest of the West.

In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that the Greek Aegean island of Agathonisi (pictured) was Turkish territory. (Image source: Hans-Heinrich Hoffmann/Wikimedia Commons)

Turkey’s “persistent policy of violating international law and breaching international rules and regulations” was called out in a November 14 letter to UN Secretary General António Guterres by Polly Ioannou, the deputy permanent representative of Cyprus to the UN.

Reproving Ankara for its repeated violations of Cypriot airspace and territorial waters, Ioannou wrote of Turkey’s policy:

“[it] is a constant threat to international peace and security, has a negative impact on regional stability, jeopardises the safety of international civil aviation, creates difficulties for air traffic over Cyprus and prevents the creation of an enabling environment in which to conduct the Cyprus peace process.”

The letter followed reports in August about Turkish violations of Greek airspace over the northeastern, central and southeastern parts of the Aegean Sea, and four instances of Turkey violating aviation norms by infringing on the Athens Flight Information Region (AFIR). Similar reports emerged in June of Turkey violating Greek AFIR by conducting unauthorized flights over the southern Aegean islets of Mavra, Levitha, Kinaros and Agathonisi.

In April 2017, Turkish European Affairs Minister Omer Celik claimed in an interview that Agathonisi was Turkish territory. A day earlier, a different Turkish minister announced that Turkey “would not allow Greece to establish a status of ‘fait accompli’ in the ‘disputed’ regions in the Aegean Sea.” In December 2017, Greek Deputy Minister of Shipping Nektarios Santonirios reportedly “presented a plan to populate a number of uninhabited eastern Aegean islands to deter Turkish claims to the land.”

According to a recent statement from Greece’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

“Greek-Turkish disputes over the Aegean continental shelf date back to November 1973, when the Turkish Government Gazette published a decision to grant the Turkish national petroleum company permits to conduct research in the Greek continental shelf west of Greek islands in the Eastern Aegean.

“Since then, the repeated Turkish attempts to violate Greece’s sovereign rights on the continental shelf have become a serious source of friction in the two countries’ bilateral relations, even bringing them close to war (1974, 1976, 1987).”

This friction has only increased with the authoritarian rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, particularly since, as Uzay Bulut notes:

There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean.

The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more powerful and patriotic, and which possesses the courage to carry out the threat against Greece. While the CHP is accusing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party of enabling Greece to occupy Turkish lands, the AKP is attacking the CHP, Turkey’s founding party, for allowing Greece to take the islands through the 1924 Treaty of Lausanne, the 1932 Turkish-Italian Agreements, and the 1947 Paris Treaty, which recognized the islands of the Aegean as Greek territory.

This has been Turkish policy despite the fact that both Greece and Turkey have been members of NATO since 1952. Greece became a member of the European Union in 1981 — a status that Turkey has spent decades failing to achieve, mainly due to its human-rights violations.

Recently, EU and Turkish officials met in Brussels on November 30 to discuss an intelligence-sharing agreement between the European Police Service (Europol) and Ankara. Such an agreement is reportedly one of 72 requirements that Ankara would have to meet in order to receive visa-free travel to the Schengen zone.

Ankara’s ongoing challenges to Greek land and sea sovereignty are additional reasons to keep it from enjoying full acceptance in Europe and the rest of the West.

Debalina Ghoshal, an independent consultant specializing in nuclear and missile issues, is based in India.

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Paranoid Turkey Claims “Greece, Israel, & Egypt Are Part Of Khashoggi’s Murder Plot”

A new Turkish narrative has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Via Zerohedge


As we noted previouslythe conflict over gas in the eastern Mediterranean is intensifying.

The dispute concerns gas blocks, with Turkey furious about the energy cooperation of these Greece, Cyprus, and Egypt in the East Mediterranean Sea. While Turkish warships have been active, it appears Turkey is taking a new approach to this hybrid war.

As KeepTalkingGreece.com reports,a new Turkish narrative, based on paranoia and conspiracy theories, has been launched claiming that Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of the murder plot of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggipresumably in an effort to garner global opinion against their energy-hording neighbors.

This unbelievable allegation has been claimed by Erdogan’s close aide Yigit Bulut, who is famous for his delirium and ravings, during an appearance on state television of Turkey.

“Greece, Israel and Egypt are part of murder plot involving slain Saudi Arabia journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul,” Yigit Bulut said in TRT Television, where he is a frequent guest.

Enlisting the ‘good old traditional perception’ that Turkey is surrounded by enemies, KeepTalkingGreece notesthat Bulut said:

“a belt extending from Europe to Israel has always harbored hostility towards Turkey they never wanted Turks in this region. Europe even made Turks to fight unnecessary wars against Russia.”

It is worth noting that Russia and Turkey have come closer recently due to Syria, a cooperation sealed with armament sales to Ankara triggering the anger of US and the NATO of which Turkey is a member.

Bulut vowed that Turkey will continue oil and gas exploration in the East Mediterranean off-shore Cyprus.

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