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Church legalization by fiat of Ecumenical Patriarch reveals desire for power

The Patriarch of Constantinople acts like the Pope and tries to control other Orthodox countries, which is illegal in the Orthodox Church.

Seraphim Hanisch

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TASS reported on September 28 that the plans of the Ecumenical Patriarch to grant complete independence (“autocephaly”) to the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church signal the Ecumenical Patriarch’s own aspirations to power.

Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chief of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations described the situation told the Izvestia daily news on Friday:

“What’s happening in Ukraine now is not a simple territorial dispute between the two Churches, as someone might think,” he said. “That’s something bigger. This is a conscientious and open imposition of powers by Constantinople on others and it’s tantamount to papist claims.”

“We can see quite clearly the Patriarch of Constantinople doesn’t consider other local [national] Churches as subjects in pan-Orthodox relations,” metropolitan Hilarion said. “From his point of view, Phanar [his headquarters in Constantinople / Istanbul] is the only place where all the decisions can be taken.”

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According to Met. Hilarion, the Ecumenical Patriarchate not only refuses to discuss the matter of Ukrainian autocephaly with Moscow, but with other local Orthodox Churches as well.

“Even the delegation, which Phanar empowered to hold talks with local Churches on the Ukrainian problem, visited their Primates for telling them about a decision that had already been taken, not for taking counsel with them on Constantinople’s plans,” metropolitan Hilarion said. “The envoys of the Constantinople Patriarchate said it more than once.”

“The Russian Church shouldn’t fear an isolation of some kind,” he said. “If Constantinople continues its non-canonical actions, it will put itself outside the canonical field, outside the canonical understanding of the Church organizations that gives a distinctive mark to the Orthodox Church.”

His Eminence Hilarion recalled that after the Great Schism of the Holy Christian Church in 1064, which divided it into Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, the Patriarch of Constantinople has always occupied the top position in the Diptychs – the table specifying the order of commemoration of Primates of Orthodox Churches.

This precedence has always been viewed as precedence of honor but not precedence of power and the Patriarch of Constantinople has been viewed as the first among the Primates of autocephalous Churches, who are equal to him,” Metropolitan Hilarion said.

It was only in the 20th century that the Ecumenical Patriarchs began to lay claims to some particular powers in the in the Eastern Orthodox Church but these ambitions are devoid of theological or canonical grounds,” he said.

At present, Ukraine has only one religious organization that has the canonical status in the world of global Eastern Orthodoxy – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to Moscow Patriarchate, which is led by Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kiev and all Ukraine.

Simultaneously, the country has two more organizations referring themselves as Orthodox Churches – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reporting to the so-called ‘Kiev Patriarchate’ and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church that takes root in a reformist movement of nationalistic Ukrainian clerics of the early 20th century.

The canonical Church has about 12,000 parishes and 200 monasteries in its realm.

Ukrainian authorities have been striving to set up a national Orthodox Church disconnected from Moscow Patriarchate since the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic declared itself independent from the USSR in 1991.

On September 7, 2018, the Ecumenical Patriarchate appointed two exarchs to Ukraine as part of preparations for granting autocephaly to the Ukrainian Church. The Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expressed resolute protest over and profound indignation over the move.

TASS further reports in a related article that Ukraine’s leader, President Petro Poroshenko, claimed on September 22 that the process of obtaining autocephaly was nearing its completion.

While this sort of news may seem inconsequential to Western readers or people not affiliated with the Orthodox Church, it is actually of extremely major importance in the Eastern Orthodox world. Russia has the largest and most powerful jurisdiction within Eastern Orthodox Christianity, but this church is the oldest of all Christian confessions, with one of its locales, Antioch, actually mentioned in the book of Acts. Many people in the Middle Eastern countries can actually trace their family history back to one or another of the very Apostles themselves.

While religion and religiosity in the West is often seen as somewhat detached from “reality”, for the Eastern Orthodox Christian, the Church is of incredible importance. That is why this issue figures so significantly for Ukraine and Russia both, since both countries are historically Orthodox. With the EuroMaidan revolution in 2014, the powers that ascended to primacy in Ukraine have sought to tear it away from its historical roots and bring it into the orbit of Western Europe. Not only is this struggle political in the secular sense, it is so in the ecclesiastical sense, with Rome’s presence in the region as well, in the form of the Greek Catholic, or Uniate churches, that follow the Eastern Orthodox rites but are in allegiance to the Pope, and the two schismatic Orthodox groups that are being used to bolster Ukrainian nationalism rather than to be the representation of Christ’s Church on earth.

This was never made more clear than in a statement by Crimean Tatar journalist Aider Mudzhabayev, as reported on the Soros-affiliated site OpenDemocracy.net:

“I see this as a big step forward. God willing… hmmm, I’m an atheist, but God willing it’ll go that way”.

For many “church passers-by” and atheists like Mudzhabayev, “our” “Ukrainian” church should be recognised and receive a Tomos on autocephaly.

Metropolitan Hilarion pointed out in an interview with Worlds Apart journalist Oksana Boyko, that he expects any “new, independent” Ukrainian church to be not only unrecognized by the rest of the Orthodox world, but that this group would be infiltrated with immoral values pumped in from the West. With statements like the above, it is easy to see why he thinks so.

Petro Poroshenko thinks that this development will “put Ukraine into a strong position in [its] struggle with Russia.”

The earlier possible granting of autocephaly by to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will put Ukraine into a strong position in struggle with Russia, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin said on Friday with an interview with Novoye Vremya radio [Radio NV].

“I think – and this isn’t quite a spiritual utterance on my part but a political one, you could say – that the issuing of Tomos [an edict by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople on granting autocephaly to a Church – TASS] in the nearest months puts us and the Church into a very strong position,” he said when the anchor asked him if it would be easier for Ukraine “to go against Russia” if the Ukrainian Church got autocephaly.

Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko, who appeared in the Verkhovna Rada national parliament on Thursday, said the process of obtaining autocephaly was nearing completion.

In context with this statement is President Poroshenko’s stated promise that the Moscow-based (and only canonically recognized) Orthodox Church in Ukraine would be protected by the Ukrainian authorities. But with statements like this above, it looks more and more like that was just a lie.

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John NolanPlatonwigginsA.F. Recent comment authors
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A.F.
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A.F.

The Russian Church will be banned in Ukraine, at last

wiggins
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wiggins

Yep…….they’ll have the synagogue of Satan in its place……Rejoice…Rejoice.

Platon
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Platon

Yes, welcome to the Talmudist Synagogue of Satan.
I am sure you will have a hot time there.

Platon
Guest
Platon

You mean in Nulandistan? To all intents and purposes the Ukraine is dead. Nothing left now but the stink.

Platon
Guest
Platon

Luckily, what happens in the former The Ukraine, stays in the former The Ukraine… about six feet under.
Too bad though that the Khazar fake-jews are carrying out the Kissingerian Edict there: “The chief task of the CIA is now the depopulation of the Third World.”

You would have thought the former The Ukraine had enough problems without American Khazar fake-jews and the CIA and NATO running all over them and egging them on to extinction.

I guess Hitler’s plan (under the Third Reich) is also finally coming true under the Fourth Reich – ‘Lebensraum’ – the depopulation of The Ukraine.

John Nolan
Guest
John Nolan

It is humourous to read these threats, though one finds the citizens are unwilling to check prophecy regarding Israel.
All Israel is not Israel, the Kazarian Jews are not Israel, and, according to prophecy, there are only 144,000 true descendants of Isaac, who are true descendants of Isaac, who will be saved.
The rest of false Israel, one of the most perverted nations on earth, are to be annihilated.

Latest

Ukraine Wants Nuclear Weapons: Will the West Bow to the Regime in Kiev?

Efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation are one of the few issues on which the great powers agree, intending to continue to limit the spread of nuclear weapons and to prevent new entrants into the exclusive nuclear club.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The former Ukrainian envoy to NATO, Major General Petro Garashchuk, recently stated in an interview with Obozrevatel TV:

“I’ll say it once more. We have the ability to develop and produce our own nuclear weapons, currently available in the world, such as the one that was built in the former USSR and which is now in independent Ukraine, located in the city of Dnipro (former Dnipropetrovsk) that can produce these kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles. Neither the United States, nor Russia, nor China have produced a missile named Satan … At the same time, Ukraine does not have to worry about international sanctions when creating these nuclear weapons.”

The issue of nuclear weapons has always united the great powers, especially following the signing of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The decision to reduce the number of nuclear weapons towards the end of the Cold War went hand in hand with the need to prevent the spread of such weapons of mass destruction to other countries in the best interests of humanity. During the final stages of the Cold War, the scientific community expended great effort on impressing upon the American and Soviet leadership how a limited nuclear exchange would wipe out humanity. Moscow and Washington thus began START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty) negotiations to reduce the risk of a nuclear winter. Following the dissolution of the USSR, the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances persuaded Ukraine to relinquish its nuclear weapons and accede to the NPT in exchange for security assurances from its signatories.

Ukraine has in recent years begun entertaining the possibility of returning to the nuclear fold, especially in light of North Korea’s recent actions. Kim Jong-un’s lesson seems to be that a nuclear deterrent remains the only way of guaranteeing complete protection against a regional hegemon. The situation in Ukraine, however, differs from that of North Korea, including in terms of alliances and power relations. Kiev’s government came into power as a result of a coup d’etat carried out by extremist nationalist elements who seek their inspiration from Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera. The long arm of NATO has always been deeply involved in the dark machinations that led to Poroshenko’s ascendency to the Ukrainian presidency. From a geopolitical point of view, NATO’s operation in Ukraine (instigating a civil war in the wake of a coup) follows in the footsteps of what happened in Georgia. NATO tends to organize countries with existing anti-Russia sentiments to channel their Russophobia into concrete actions that aim to undermine Moscow. The war in the Donbass is a prime example.

However, Ukraine has been unable to subdue the rebels in the Donbass region, the conflict freezing into a stalemate and the popularity of the Kiev government falling as the population’s quality of life experiences a precipitous decline. The United States and the European Union have not kept their promises, leaving Poroshenko desperate and tempted to resort to provocations like the recent Kerch strait incident or such as those that are apparently already in the works, as recently reported by the DPR authorities.

The idea of Ukraine resuming its production of nuclear weapons is currently being floated by minor figures, but it could take hold in the coming months, especially if the conflict continues in its frozen state and Kiev becomes frustrated and desperate. The neoconservative wing of the American ruling elite, absolutely committed to the destruction of the Russian Federation, could encourage Kiev along this path, in spite of the incalculable risks involved. The EU, on the other hand, would likely be terrified at the prospect, which would also place it between a rock and a hard place. Kiev, on one side, would be able to extract from the EU much needed economic assistance in exchange for not going nuclear, while on the other side the neocons would be irresponsibly egging the Ukrainians on.

Moscow, if faced with such a possibility, would not just stand there. In spite of Russia having good relations with North Korea, it did not seem too excited at the prospect of having a nuclear-armed neighbor. With Ukraine, the response would be much more severe. A nuclear-armed Ukraine would be a red line for Moscow, just as Crimea and Sevastopol were. It is worth remembering the Russian president’s words when referring to the possibility of a NATO invasion of Crimea during the 2014 coup:

“We were ready to do it [putting Russia’s nuclear arsenal on alert]. Russian people live there, they are in danger, we cannot leave them. It was not us who committed to coup, it was the nationalists and people with extreme beliefs. I do not think this is actually anyone’s wish – to turn it into a global conflict.”

As Kiev stands on the precipice, it will be good for the neocons, the neoliberals and their European lackeys to consider the consequences of advising Kiev to jump or not. Giving the nuclear go-ahead to a Ukrainian leadership so unstable and detached from reality may just be the spark that sets off Armageddon.

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Mike Pompeo lays out his vision for American exceptionalism (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 158.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda take a look at Mike Pompeo’s shocking Brussels speech, where the U.S. Secretary of State took aim at the European Union and United Nations, citing such institutions as outdated and poorly managed, in need of a new dogma that places America at its epicenter.

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Speaking in Brussels, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unwittingly underscored why nobody takes the United States seriously on the international stage. Via The Council on Foreign Relations


In a disingenuous speech at the German Marshall Fund, Pompeo depicted the transactional and hypernationalist Trump administration as “rallying the noble nations of the world to build a new liberal order.” He did so while launching gratuitous attacks on the European Union, United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF)—pillars of the existing postwar order the United States did so much to create. He remained silent, naturally, on the body blows that the current administration has delivered to its erstwhile allies and partners, and to the institutions that once upon a time permitted the United States to legitimate rather than squander its international leadership.

In Pompeo’s telling, Donald J. Trump is simply seeking a return to the world that former Secretary of State George Marshall helped to create. In the decades after 1945, the United States “underwrote new institutions” and “entered into treaties to codify Western values of freedom and human rights.” So doing, the United States “won the Cold War” and—thanks to the late President George H. W. Bush, “we won the peace” that followed. “This is the type of leadership that President Trump is boldly reasserting.”

That leadership is needed because the United States “allowed this liberal order to begin to corrode” once the bipolar conflict ended. “Multilateralism has too often become viewed as an end unto itself,” Pompeo explained. “The more treaties we sign, the safer we supposedly are. The more bureaucrats we have, the better the job gets done.” What is needed is a multilateralism that once again places the nation-state front and center.

Leave aside for the moment that nobody actually believes what Pompeo alleges: that multilateralism should be an end in itself; that paper commitments are credible absent implementation, verification, and enforcement; or that the yardstick of success is how many bureaucrats get hired. What sensible people do believe is that multilateral cooperation is often (though not always) the best way for nations to advance their interests in an interconnected world of complicated problems. Working with others is typically superior to unilateralism, since going it alone leaves the United States with the choice of trying to do everything itself (with uncertain results) or doing nothing. Multilateralism also provides far more bang for the buck than President Trump’s favored approach to diplomacy, bilateralism.

Much of Pompeo’s address was a selective and tendentious critique of international institutions that depicts them as invariably antithetical to national sovereignty. Sure, he conceded, the European Union has “delivered a great deal of prosperity to the continent.” But it has since gone badly off track, as the “political wake-up call” of Brexit showed. All this raised a question in his mind: “Is the EU ensuring that the interests of countries and their citizens are placed before those of bureaucrats and Brussels?”

The answer, as one listener shouted out, is “Yes!” The secretary, like many U.S. conservative critics of European integration, is unaware that EU member states continue to hold the lion’s share of power in the bloc, which remains more intergovernmental than supranational. Pompeo seems equally unaware of how disastrously Brexit is playing out. With each passing day, the costs of this catastrophic, self-inflicted wound are clearer. In its quest for complete policy autonomy—on ostensible “sovereignty” grounds—the United Kingdom will likely have to accept, as the price for EU market access, an entire body of law and regulations that it will have no say in shaping. So much for advancing British sovereignty.

Pompeo similarly mischaracterizes the World Bank and IMF as having gone badly off track. “Today, these institutions often counsel countries who have mismanaged their economic affairs to impose austerity measures that inhibit growth and crowd out private sector actors.” This is an odd, hybrid critique. It combines a shopworn, leftist criticism from the 1990s—that the international financial institutions (IFIs) punish poor countries with structural adjustment programs—with the conservative accusation that the IFIs are socialist, big-government behemoths. Both are ridiculous caricatures. They ignore how much soul-searching the IFIs have done since the 1990s, as well as how focused they are on nurturing an enabling institutional environment for the private sector in partner countries.

Pompeo also aims his blunderbuss at the United Nations. He complains that the United Nations’ “peacekeeping missions drag on for decades, no closer to peace,” ignoring the indispensable role that blue helmets play in preventing atrocities, as well as a recent Government Accountability Office report documenting how cost-effective such operations are compared to U.S. troops. Similarly, Pompeo claims, “The UN’s climate-related treaties are viewed by some nations simply as a vehicle to redistribute wealth”—an accusation that is both unsubstantiated and ignores the urgent need to mobilize global climate financing to save the planet.

Bizarrely, Pompeo also turns his sights on the Organization of American States (OAS) and the African Union (AU), for alleged shortcomings. Has the OAS, he asks, done enough “to promote its four pillars of democracy, human rights, security, and economic development?” Um, no. Could that have something to do with the lack of U.S. leadership in the Americas on democracy and human rights? Yes. Might it have helped if the Trump administration had filled the position of assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs before October 15 of this year? Probably.

Equally puzzling is Pompeo’s single line riff on the AU. “In Africa, does the African Union advance the mutual interest of its nation-state members?” Presumably the answer is yes, or its members would be headed for the door. The AU continues to struggle in financing its budget, but it has made great strides since its founding in 2002 to better advance security, stability, and good governance on the continent.

“International bodies must help facilitate cooperation that bolsters the security and values of the free world, or they must be reformed or eliminated,” Pompeo declared. Sounds reasonable. But where is this “free world” of which the secretary speaks, and what standing does the United States today have to defend, much less reform it? In the two years since he took office, Donald Trump has never expressed any interest in defending the international order, much less “returning [the United States] to its traditional, central leadership role in the world,” as Pompeo claims. Indeed, the phrase “U.S. leadership” has rarely escaped Trump’s lips, and he has gone out of his way to alienate longstanding Western allies and partners in venues from NATO to the G7.

When he looks at the world, the president cares only about what’s in it for the United States (and, naturally, for him). That cynicism explains the president’s deafening silence on human rights violations and indeed his readiness to cozy up to strongmen and killers from Vladimir Putin to Rodrigo Duterte to Mohammed bin Salman to too many more to list. Given Trump’s authoritarian sympathies and instincts, Pompeo’s warnings about “Orwellian human rights violations” in China and “suppressed opposition voices” in Russia ring hollow.

“The central question that we face,” Pompeo asked in Brussels, “is the question of whether the system as currently configured, as it exists today—does it work? Does it work for all the people of the world?” The answer, of course, is not as well as it should, and not for nearly enough of them. But if the secretary is seeking to identify impediments to a better functioning multilateral system, he can look to his left in his next Cabinet meeting.

“Principled realism” is the label Pompeo has given Trump’s foreign policy. Alas, it betrays few principles and its connection to reality is tenuous. The president has abandoned any pursuit of universal values, and his single-minded obsession to “reassert our sovereignty” (as Pompeo characterizes it) is actually depriving the United States of joining with others to build the prosperous, secure, and sustainable world that Americans want.

“Bad actors have exploited our lack of leadership for their own gain,” the secretary of state declared in Belgium. “This is the poisoned fruit of American retreat.” How true. Pompeo’s next sentence—“President Trump is determined to reverse that”—was less persuasive.

 

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Russia calls on US to put a leash on Petro Poroshenko

The West’s pass for Mr. Poroshenko may blow up in NATO’s and the US’s face if the Ukrainian President tries to start a war with Russia.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Russia called on Washington not to ignore the Poroshenko directives creating an active military buildup along the Ukrainian-Donbass frontier, this buildup consisting of Ukrainian forces and right-wing ultranationalists, lest it “trigger the implementation of a bloody scenario”, according to a Dec 11 report from TASS.

The [Russian] Embassy [to the US] urges the US State Department to recognize the presence of US instructors in the zone of combat actions, who are involved in a command and staff and field training of Ukraine’s assault airborne brigades. “We expect that the US will bring to reason its proteges. Their aggressive plans are not only doomed to failure but also run counter to the statements of the administration on its commitment to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine by political and diplomatic means,” the statement said.

This warning came after Eduard Basurin, the deputy defense minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic noted that the Ukrainian army was massing troops and materiel for a possible large-scale offensive at the Mariupol section of the contact line in Donbass. According to Basurin, this action is expected to take place on 14 December. TASS offered more details:

According to the DPR’s reconnaissance data, Ukrainian troops plan to seize the DPR’s Novoazovsky and Temanovsky districts and take control over the border section with Russia. The main attack force of over 12,000 servicemen has been deployed along the contact line near the settlements of Novotroitskoye, Shirokino, and Rovnopol. Moreover, more than 50 tanks, 40 multiple missile launcher systems, 180 artillery systems and mortars have been reportedly pulled to the area, Basurin added. Besides, 12 BM-30 Smerch heavy multiple rocket launchers have been sent near Volodarsky.

The DPR has warned about possible provocations plotted by Ukrainian troops several times. Thus, in early December, the DPR’s defense ministry cited reconnaissance data indicating that the Ukrainian military was planning to stage an offensive and deliver an airstrike. At a Contact Group meeting on December 5, DPR’s Foreign Minister Natalia Nikonorova raised the issue of Kiev’s possible use of chemical weapons in the conflict area.

This is a continuation of the reported buildup The Duran reported in this article linked here, and it is a continuation of the full-scale drama that started with the Kerch Strait incident, which itself appears to have been staged by Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko. Following that incident, the president was able to get about half of Ukraine placed under a 30-day period of martial law, citing “imminent Russian aggression.”

President Poroshenko is arguably a dangerous man. He appears to be desperate to maintain a hold on power, though his approval numbers and support is abysmally low in Ukraine. While he presents himself as a hero, agitating for armed conflict with Russia and simultaneously interfering in the affairs of the Holy Eastern Orthodox Church, he is actually one of the most dangerous leaders the world has to contend with, precisely because he is unfit to lead.

Such men and women are dangerous because their desperation makes them short-sighted, only concerned about their power and standing.

An irony about this matter is that President Poroshenko appears to be exactly what the EuroMaidan was “supposed” to free Ukraine of; that is, a stooge puppet leader that marches to orders from a foreign power and does nothing for the improvement of the nation and its citizens.

The ouster of Viktor Yanukovich was seen as the sure ticket to “freedom from Russia” for Ukraine, and it may well have been that Mr. Yanukovich was an incompetent leader. However, his removal resulted in a tryannical regíme coming into power, that resulting in the secession of two Ukrainian regions into independent republics and a third secession of strategically super-important Crimea, who voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia.

While this activity was used by the West to try to bolster its own narrative that Russia remains the evil henchman in Europe, the reality of life in Ukraine doesn’t match this allegation at all. A nation that demonstrates such behavior shows that there are many problems, and the nature of these secessions points at a great deal of fear from Russian-speaking Ukrainian people about the government that is supposed to be their own.

President Poroshenko presents a face to the world that the West is apparently willing to support, but the in-country approval of this man as leader speaks volumes. The West’s blind support of him “against Russia” may be one of the most tragic errors yet in Western foreign policy.

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