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German legislators came, saw, and slammed Russia sanctions on trip to Crimea

Crimea is and was always Russian, as a its history amply demonstrates

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Come and see the beauty of Crimea by the sea. In order to truly understand Crimea, you have to visit this beautiful, magical place. Do so, and your perspective on it, and the world may completely change. You may also fall in love.

If more policymakers would just visit this land which they issue sanctions over, and truly understand the wonder and history Crimea offers the world, they make change their perspective. That is what happened when the German delegation visited.

German lawmaker opposes anti-Russian sanctions, urges Ukraine to accept Crimean people’s choice

These were the words of Helmut Seifen, a German MP from North Rhine-Westphalia after his Crimea visit:

 I think that the sanctions introduced after Crimea held its referendum and was reunited with Russia are counterproductive. This is a way of escalation.Some political forces must come to power in Ukraine that would accept the will of the Crimean people. This would bring peace between the nations and ordinary people could resume their travels from Ukraine to Crimea and back. All ties would be restored,” added the German politician.

This is something alternative media has been covering for ages now, and something that top US professors have already explained – Crimea is Russia. Sanctioning Russian lands for joining Russia is insanity. The sooner people understand that, the sooner they stop risking a dangerous conflict with catastrophic consequences for the whole world.

The fact that Crimea is Russia is not a matter of opinion, it is a simple historical fact, and no one upon truly studying the history and culture in depth would disagree, unless they are a radical anti-Russian nationalist. In order to truly appreciate the German MP’s revelation, we must take a walk through the annuals of Crimean history.

The Glorious and Tragic History of Crimea – the same could be said of many Slavic lands:

Crimea is one of the most important parts of Rus’, yet it began it’s story with the Greeks. Indeed, would you believe the site of the Baptism of the first Rus Prince was NOT a part of Kievan Rus’? How is this possible? Let’s find out…

Kievan Rus’ was the first Russian state, which all scholars agree was the ancestor of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

If one looks carefully, they will notice the Crimean peninsula was not a part of Kievan Rus, but was, in fact, a Greek colony – a territory of the Eastern Roman Empire. There are 9th-century Greek monasteries on the peninsula to prove it.

Bear in mind, this is not the time or place for a detailed history of Crimea, of which pages could be written, but the simply account goes that Crimea, the site of the Baptism of Saint Vladimir of Kiev, in preparation for his marriage to a Byzantine Princess, would eventually fall to Mongol hordes like the rest of Rus’. This means Crimea is not part of what Ukrainians misleadingly refer to as “Ancient Ukraine”, as they call Kievan Rus. This is misleading, as while Ukrainian people have an equal claim to the land with Russians and Belarussians, there was no such term as Ukraine in the period, and the state was called Rus’, from which Russia takes her name, and the three peoples were indistinguishable in that time.

Mongol Invasion (light grey) around 1250 A.D.

After the Mongol Empire fractures into the Golden Horde, Crimea eventually is ruled by a splinter group called the Crimean Khanate, who were vassals of the Ottoman empire. The khanate was the source of endless suffering for Rus’ people, often abducting slaves from Ruthenia (modern day Ukraine), and Polish-Lithuanian territories, and selling them to the Ottoman Turks. This was how Suliman the Magnificent received his wife, Roxalana, a Ukrainian girl abducted by the Crimean Tatars.

Image result for Роксолана

The Cossacks of Zaporozhia would be forced to ally with the Tatars against the Poles, in the interest of national liberation, but the moment Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky was able to negotiate the reunification of Ukraine with Russia, his Cossacks quickly ignored the Tatars, whom they only saw as an ally of convenience, and never forgot their cruelty.

A map showing Cossack-Russian, Polish, and Crimean Khanate (light purple) lands

Eventually, after freeing the nation from Polish rule with Russia’s help, the Cossacks would in turn help Russia settle the “Wild Fields” of Southern Ukraine and Russia, including the Kuban where they still dwell today. In this process, it led to the settlement of New Russia (Novorossia).

It was called “New” as the land had little to do with Ancient Rus’, and all the great cities of Odessa, Nikolayev, Kherson, etc. were built in the late 18th century by the modern Russian empire, as opposed to being cities built during the shared period of Rus’. The map below clearly show how Cossacks helped Russia settle these new lands, and reveal the historical evolution of the land now called Ukraine.

These lands include Crimea, and oh how history repeats itself, because the conflict in Novorossia is, of course, still raging today. It is in understanding this history, we realize why sanctions against Russia over Crimea is pointless, and Crimea is Russia. The fact that all these lands were settled in the early modern period by the Russian Empire connects them even more with Russia, than other ancient Russian cities like Lviv, which were founded in the common medieval period, and existed seperate from Russia for several centuries. Crimea simply would not be settled by Slavs in general, were it not for the Russian Empire. In 1954, the peninsula was unceremoniously gifted to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader of Ukrainian descent.

Note: the “Polish territory” was ancient Rus’ territory long before Poland invaded and took it

This is where partial knowledge of history fails some people, as, without the whole story, some may concede and admit that Crimea is Russia, because it was given in 1954, but insist that Donbas and Kiev are distinctively Ukrainian. That is still not quite accurate. The issue here is that all of Ukraine was once Russia a mere less than 50 years prior. The land was only divided as the result of the Bolshevik revolution and WW1, and then artificially constructed, but by then, the seeds of nationalism took root. The difference between Ukraine and Russia is like East and West Germany, when they were two separate states. If the people wish to remain in separate states, this is a political opinion, and everyone has the right to their own opinion, but no one can deny the historical unity between them.

It was this unity that German lawmakers noticed when they went to Crimea. We have already covered the German expedition to Crimea in detail here:

German politicians visit Crimea, Ukraine throws tantrum as expected

According to RT, Kiev has already initiated legal proceedings against the German lawmakers, after threatening them that their trip could have lamentable consequences, as we noted in the article above.

It is perhaps the words of the Deputy Speaker of Crimean legislative assembly, Yuri Gempel, which perfectly sum everything up:

Europe is waking up slowly and starting to understand that Crimea has returned to Russia forever.

Any discussion of Crimea or Ukraine must be made with the understanding that this is a permanent reunion, just as the reunification of Ukraine and Russia in 1654 was meant to be, until it was sabotaged by foreign powers who manipulated petty nationalism amongst the people, and used the Bolsheviks as a tool to divide old Russia.

There is a monument to that reunion here, in our photo essay about the haunting beauty of Chernobyl which we highly recommend.

It must be understood that Crimeans did not abandon any part of themselves when they returned. Those who wish to be Ukrainian are no less Ukrainian, as Ukrainian culture is as much an inseparable part of Russia as Gogol, and just as much as Russian culture and history is inseparable from Ukraine. No matter how far across the vast steppes of time Ukrainians roam – Russia is their home.

Ой ви хлопці, славні Запорожці, Верніться до дому! (the words of an old song, urging Cossacks to return home)

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Constantinople: Ukrainian Church leader is now uncanonical

October 12 letter proclaims Metropolitan Onuphry as uncanonical and tries to strong-arm him into acquiescing through bribery and force.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The pressure in Ukraine kept ratcheting up over the last few days, with a big revelation today that Patriarch Bartholomew now considers Metropolitan Onuphy “uncanonical.” This news was published on 6 December by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (running under the Moscow Patriarchate).

This assessment marks a complete 180-degree turn by the leader of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, and it further embitters the split that has developed to quite a major row between this church’s leadership and the Moscow Patriarchate.

OrthoChristian reported this today (we have added emphasis):

A letter of Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine was published yesterday by a hierarch of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in which the Patriarch informed the Metropolitan that his title and position is, in fact, uncanonical.

This assertion represents a negation of the position held by Pat. Bartholomew himself until April of this year, when the latest stage in the Ukrainian crisis began…

The same letter was independently published by the Greek news agency Romfea today as well.

It is dated October 12, meaning it was written just one day after Constantinople made its historic decision to rehabilitate the Ukrainian schismatics and rescind the 1686 document whereby the Kiev Metropolitanate was transferred to the Russian Orthodox Church, thereby, in Constantinople’s view, taking full control of Ukraine.

In the letter, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that after the council, currently scheduled for December 15, he will no longer be able to carry his current title of “Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine.”

The Patriarch immediately opens his letter with Constantinople’s newly-developed historical claim about the jurisdictional alignment of Kiev: “You know from history and from indisputable archival documents that the holy Metropolitanate of Kiev has always belonged to the jurisdiction of the Mother Church of Constantinople…”

Constantinople has done an about-face on its position regarding Ukraine in recent months, given that it had previously always recognized the Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate as the sole canonical primate in Ukraine.

…The bulk of the Patriarch’s letter is a rehash of Constantinople’s historical and canonical arguments, which have already been laid out and discussed elsewhere. (See also here and here). Pat. Bartholomew also writes that Constantinople stepped into the Ukrainian ecclesiastical sphere as the Russian Church had not managed to overcome the schisms that have persisted for 30 years.

It should be noted that the schisms began and have persisted precisely as anti-Russian movements and thus the relevant groups refused to accept union with the Russian Church.

Continuing, Pat. Bartholomew informs Met. Onuphry that his position and title are uncanonical:

Addressing you as ‘Your Eminence the Metropolitan of Kiev’ as a form of economia [indulgence/condescension—OC] and mercy, we inform you that after the elections for the primate of the Ukrainian Church by a body that will consist of clergy and laity, you will not be able ecclesiologically and canonically to bear the title of Metropolitan of Kiev, which, in any case, you now bear in violation of the described conditions of the official documents of 1686.

He also entreats Met. Onuphry to “promptly and in a spirit of harmony and unity” participate, with the other hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, in the founding council of the new Ukrainian church that Constantinople is planning to create, and in the election of its primate.

The Constantinople head also writes that he “allows” Met. Onuphry to be a candidate for the position of primate.

He further implores Met. Onuphry and the UOC hierarchy to communicate with Philaret Denisenko, the former Metropolitan of Kiev, and Makary Maletich, the heads of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” and the schismatic “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” respectively—both of which have been subsumed into Constantinople—but whose canonical condemnations remain in force for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The hierarchs of the Serbian and Polish Churches have also officially rejected the rehabilitation of the Ukrainian schismatics.

Pat. Bartholomew concludes expressing his confidence that Met. Onuphry will decide to heal the schism through the creation of a new church in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onuphry’s leadership is recognized as the sole canonical Orthodox jurisdiction in Ukraine by just about every other canonical Orthodox Jurisdiction besides Constantinople. Even NATO member Albania, whose expressed reaction was “both sides are wrong for recent actions” still does not accept the canonicity of the “restored hierarchs.”

In fact, about the only people in this dispute that seem to be in support of the “restored” hierarchs, Filaret and Makary, are President Poroshenko, Patriarch Bartholomew, Filaret and Makary… and NATO.

While this letter was released to the public eye yesterday, the nearly two months that Metropolitan Onuphry has had to comply with it have not been helped in any way by the actions of both the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Ukrainian government.

Priests of the Canonical Church in Ukraine awaiting interrogation by the State authorities

For example, in parallel reports released on December 6th, the government is reportedly accusing canonical priests in Ukraine of treason because they are carrying and distributing a brochure entitled (in English): The Ukrainian Orthodox Church: Relations with the State. The Attitude Towards the Conflict in Donbass and to the Church Schism. Questions and Answers.

In a manner that would do any American liberal proud, these priests are being accused of inciting religious hatred, though really all they are doing is offering an explanation for the situation in Ukraine as it exists.

A further piece also released yesterday notes that the Ukrainian government rehabilitated an old Soviet-style technique of performing “inspections of church artifacts” at the Pochaev Lavra. This move appears to be both intended to intimidate the monastics who are living there now, who are members of the canonical Church, as well as preparation for an expected forcible takeover by the new “united Church” that is under creation. The brotherhood characterized the inspections in this way:

The brotherhood of the Pochaev Lavra previously characterized the state’s actions as communist methods of putting pressure on the monastery and aimed at destroying monasticism.

Commenting on the situation with the Pochaev Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Clement of Nizhyn and Prilusk, the head of the Ukrainian Church’s Information-Education Department, noted:

This is a formal raiding, because no reserve ever built the Pochaev Lavra, and no Ministry of Culture ever invested a single penny to restoring the Lavra, and the state has done nothing to preserve the Lavra in its modern form. The state destroyed the Lavra, turned it into a psychiatric hospital, a hospital for infectious diseases, and so on—the state has done nothing more. And now it just declares that it all belongs to the state. No one asked the Church, the people that built it. When did the Lavra and the land become state property? They belonged to the Church from time immemorial.

With the massive pressure both geopolitically and ecclesiastically building in Ukraine almost by the day, it is anyone’s guess what will happen next.

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Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they’re in power – Putin

“We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

RT

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Via RT…


Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a “party of war” which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example.

“When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what’s happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way,” Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of “aggressors.”

“As they say, for one it’s war, for other – it’s mother. That’s reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict,” Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia’s President. “We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor,” Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia’s border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country’s border.

While Kiev branded the incident an act of “aggression” on Moscow’s part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate “provocation” which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called “partial” martial law ahead of Ukraine’s presidential election.

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When Putin Met Bin Sally

Another G20 handshake for the history books.

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Via Zerohedge


In the annals of handshake photo-ops, we just may have a new winner (much to the delight of oil bulls who are looking at oil treading $50 and contemplating jumping out of the window).

Nothing but sheer joy, delight and friendship…

…but something is missing…

Meanwhile, earlier…

Zoomed in…

And again.

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