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Real revolution is the only thing that can save Ukraine

Ravaged by the forces promoting conflict, a real change of government in Kiev is the only salvation for this long-suffering country

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(New Eastern Outlook) – The junta currently in control of Ukraine is delighted U.S. President Donald Trump has become history’s most dangerous loose cannon. The oligarch controlled media in Kiev began churning out the propaganda right after Trump approved a plan to provide lethal defensive weapons to the regime. The key weapons system involved, the Javelin anti-tank missiles caused a kind-of “new toy” delight from Ukraine’s reporters. My country appears today as the international “pusher man” for an arms trade that resembles the Columbia cocaine cartels. More importantly for the people of Ukraine is whether, or not, the liberal world cartel can be beaten back. Here’s some thoughts on this.

Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at NYU and Princeton recently called the “US-Russian proxy war in eastern Ukraine, a seminal event of the 21st century.” The distinguished expert went on to describe the magnitude of this geo-political mess as a “toxic and dangerous”, and a catastrophe that will affect international relations for a generation. Professor Cohen is absolutely correct, but is too dignified to simply spell out the fact that the people of Ukraine (and many of the rest of us) are now royally screwed for decades. Cohen’s story appeared on The Nation, but his analysis rides the proverbial fence revealing the fact the U.S. supported liberal world order sanctioned this catastrophe for profit. I discussed their Ukraine/Eastern Europe strategy briefly in this piece on NEO the other day. The nitty gritty of the war on the Donbass is not that complicated. The guns, guts, and blood spilt on both sides of this implanted conflict are a new (perhaps) diabolical form of total war that includes psychological, tactical, and economic strategies to destroy and enemy. And that enemy is Russia.

My earlier reports have framed elements of the economic warfare levied on Ukraine and Russia, and how bankers like the Rothschilds, the Soros types, and corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, and DuPont have swooped in to pick at the bones of a shattered country. However, I am no soothsayer in all this. Anyone who studies the regime change in Ukraine knows this well. The big question that remains paramount is; “Can Ukrainians be rescued from the skullduggery and carnage?” If we are honest, the diagnosis for saving Ukraine is dismal. And when I say Ukraine I mean pro-Russia bastion that is Novorossiya in the east too. While scholars like professor Cohen do help people to understand conflicts like Ukraine, Libya, and Syria, their analyses their efforts at impartiality drown in the backwash of corporate propaganda in the west. Cohen and a few scholarly others end up beating around the bush on a geopolitical situation that is black & white. This is one reason the news (fake news) coming out of key situations is so one sided in America. When the bodies pile just so high, blue collar workers and geo-political gurus must take a side. Cohen and these others will have to sooner or later stand on either side of the fence. What’s needed is a surgical, clinical, and calculating assessment of what was and is a systematic dismantling of the traditional order of things. Such an assessment in Ukraine may well reveal the motives, methods, and potential outcomes, and most assuredly who the real perpetrators are.

We already know Ukraine is being raped by the eastern and western oligarchs now. This report via The National Interest talks about the IMF’s role in saddling Ukraine with incomprehensible debt forever. So, I won’t delve into this aspect here. We also know the country will never be out from under the piling debts the Poroshenko regime is rubber stamping. The economic onslaught the liberal order has launched everywhere Russian interests lie, it’s an easily definable narrative and mission. Let’s just call this “sanction warfare.” But, what about expert risk assessments on the potential for a military cataclysm? For this I defer to my friend and colleague, the now legendary former NATO military analyst, The Saker (pseudonym).

“You show me a capitalist, and I’ll show you a bloodsucker” ― Malcolm X

Last month he published a full-fledged analysis entitled; “2018 – War or No War?” The study is extensive, but essentially points to the liberal world order’s recuperation from the Hillary Clinton bust, and frames the probable strategies for renewed U.S. aggression worldwide. For the purposes of my editorial, a focus on only Ukraine and the embattled Donbass is necessary. In his analysis The Saker puts a heave focus on the Neocons, which are for me just one component of the liberal world order cartel of families and banker henchmen. These “Neocons”, and their London banker comrades are already engaged in the raping and pillage Ukraine with unheard of fearlessness. The Saker aptly describes their aggressive and now overt actions because of their belief that:

  1. They can buy anybody
  2. Those they cannot buy, they can bully
  3. Those that cannot be bullied, can be killed
  4. And that ultimately nothing can happen to them since they are immune.

As I write this, the sound of “cooing” and dancing in Kiev and the U.S. Senate echoes in the background. So, with this dastardly ambiance setting the tone, let’s put some of this gargantuan mess in perspective.

First and foremost, we must address the question of whether or not there will be renewed war on the Donbass. For a first clue let’s consider that even the American magazine Popular Mechanics is blushing over the effectiveness of President Trump’s new toys for Ukrop Nazis. A few days ago, PM wrote that Trump’s move was “an audacious geopolitical step”, characterizing the new anti-tank missile:

“The Javelin is one of the deadliest anti-tank missiles ever designed and will bolster Ukraine’s defenses in its military showdown with Russia. The sale is aimed squarely at Russia’s large and powerful tank fleet.”

From a media analyst’s standpoint, try and imagine what it means for a technology and scientific magazine to glow in admiration at the mobility and concealability of such a weapon system, and the fact the systems will offset Russia’s tank advantage! What kind of Hollywood madness is it when the dawn of the 21st century reverts to the nuclear madness of the 1950s? Setting aside juvenile missile coolness and the funny Armageddon, the analysis we have from The Saker and other expert analysts suggests a U.S. backed offensive against the Donbass may be imminent. But before we launch into these assessments let’s consider that since Ancient Egypt the javelin has been considered an offensive weapon, and not defensive. And the Raytheon and Lockheed-Martin FGM-148 Javelin is highly effective as an offensive weapon against either tanks or fortified positions as part of a “lightning strike” ahead of all out assault. You see, the problem with journalists covering these tactical situations is that almost all have next to no experience in real-world warfare. The average geo-political or news writer figures a military offensive is just big tanks, supported by air cover, rolling over an enemy. But at the level of an Anti-Armor Platoon, Weapons Company, or Infantry Battalion, the boots take the territory and eliminate threats via “platforms”, be they air or armored, etc. I won’t get into anti-armor techniques such as the HAW- MAW-LAW referred to in this U.S. Marine Corps manual, but eliminating Donbass (for instance) armor or fortified positions at the maximum range of the Javelin might be part of a preemptive blitz assault on the Novorossiya lines. And one with minimal risk compared with the defeats the Ukraine Nazis faced before. Give The Saker’s risk assessment that a Russian intervention over a U.S. backed offensive against Novorossiya, and the desirability of the win-win the Neocon/LWO psychopaths perceive as an outcome – I’d say the odds are good for scorched Earth on a broader Ukraine front. As The Saker puts it, if Russia intervenes to save the Donbass heroes from elimination – “A Neocon dream come true: the NATO has a purpose again: decades of Cold War v2 in Europe.”

“A revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.” – Fidel Castro

Returning to the media home front, we discover the once venerable Washington Post effecting part of the psychological warfare on the public. The Jeff Bezos run paper proclaims President Trump’s new weapons for Ukraine policy is “a worthy application of the ‘peace through strength’ principle of President Ronald Reagan.” So, all the geometrical warfare units are in place, with Donald Trump ready to destroy the “evil empire” instead of Ronald Reagan. And in the meanwhile, on the other side of the shaky Minsk II ceasefire, Novorossiya’s frontline trenches get hammered with almost continual bombardment from the Kiev junta. On this line, I spoke with independent journalist Patrick Lancaster from the trenches while finalizing the draft of this story. This video of Lancaster with pro-Russian forces confirms there is no real ceasefire. When I asked Patrick about the caliber of the mortar or artillery fire, he told me; “I was told when the fighting slowed, that these were 120-millimeter artillery rounds after the range and trajectories were calculated.” If Lancaster’s position was shelled with 120 mm artillery, then the Minsk ceasefire was certainly breached by the Kiev side on this night. And while the shells fall outside Donetsk, the organization charged with oversight for Minsk, the OSCE busies itself counting how many cars and trucks cross the border to Novorossiya.

In conclusion, all we need assess really is where all the “pressure” is being exerted from, in order to determine who the real aggressor in Ukraine is. And any genuine evaluation shows that the overwhelming pressure in this situation is from west of the Donbass and Russia via the aforementioned psychological, tactical, and economic elements. Russia’s role was and is reactionary and defensive at every level. This can be proven actually, and if you read the headlines from Google News, you’ll always find Russia accused of meddling in elections in Mexico, or Vladimir Putin being responsible for some other catasrophe. RussiaGate simply will not go away, the pressure is full on, and anybody who cannot see this is blind as a bat. In a world where any Russian military maneuver is deemed some kind of “full scale war simulation,” and any NATO operation a standing defense of democracy and the American Way, the writing is literally on the wall. Reading this week that Europe is now a “victim” of Russia’s new oil strategy, even though the U.S. and allies exert every influence to ensure Russian gas does not flow west, I think of Nero fiddling as Rome burned. What apathy and insanity must have plagued great Rome for the world’s greatest empire to collapse from within?

With all the set pieces of strategy in place, and with the western publics fully indoctrinated via propaganda tools and societal distractions, the “pusher man” set the stage for the economic onslaught on Russia. Then, practice runs at tactical strategic operations were turned up after Iraq and Afghanistan. Libya and Syria, then Ukraine were met with innate apathy by society. Today, the volume and intensity is being turned up in the face of only a modicum of resistance, at least in the view of the “order” bent on complete domination. So, in my humble estimation, a seared Ukraine seems unavoidable. That is, unless Russia’s Putin can pull out another defensive miracle. It seems to me the only thing that can save Ukraine is the people of this ravaged country.

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” – JFK

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U.S. May Impose Sanctions Against Turkey Over S-400 “Threat” To F-35

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform.

The Duran

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Authored by Al Masdar News:


Turkish officials have repeatedly insisted that Ankara’s purchase of the advanced Russian air defense system poses no threat whatsoever to the NATO alliance. Last month, the Turkish defense ministry announced that delivery of S-400s to Turkey would begin in October 2019.

The United States continues to consider the S-400 air defense system a threat to its F-35 fifth generation stealth fighter platform, and may impose sanctions against Ankara, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency has reported, citing a high-ranking source in Washington.

“I can’t say for certain whether sanctions will be imposed on Ankara over the S-400 contract, but the possibility is there. The US administration is not optimistic about this issue,” the source said.

While admitting that Turkey was a sovereign state and therefore had the right to make decisions on whom it buys its weapons from, the source stressed that from the perspective of these weapons’ integration with NATO systems, the S-400 was “problematic.”

The source also characterized the deployment of S-400s in areas where US F-35 fifth-generation stealth fighters are set to fly as “a threat,” without elaborating.

Emphasizing that negotiations between Washington and Ankara on the issue were “continuing,” the source said that there were also “positive tendencies” in negotiations between the two countries on the procurement of the Patriot system, Washington’s closest analogue to the S-400 in terms of capabilities.

Designed to stop enemy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles at ranges of up to 400 km and altitudes of up to 30 km, the S-400 is currently the most advanced mobile air defense system in Russia’s arsenal. Russia and India signed a ruble-denominated contract on the delivery of five regiments of S-400s worth $5 billion late last month.

Last week, the Saudi Ambassador to Russia said that talks on the sale of the system to his country were ongoing. In addition to Russia, S-400s are presently operated by Belarus and China, with Beijing expecting another delivery of S-400s by 2020.

Washington has already slapped China with sanctions over its purchase of S-400s and Su-35 combat aircraft in September. India, however, has voiced confidence that it would not be hit with similar restrictions, which the US Treasury has pursued under the 2017 Counter America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

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The Ukrainian President Signs a Pact With Constantinople – Against the Ukrainian Church

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring.

Dmitry Babich

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Authored by Dmitry Babich via Strategic Culture:


Increasingly tragic and violent events are taking their toll on the plight of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine . After several fights over control of the church’s property, prohibitions and blacklists are starting to spread, affecting respected church figures coming from Russia to Ukraine. The latest news is that the head of the Moscow Theological Academy, Archbishop Amvrosyi Yermakov, was deported from Ukraine back to Russia. Amvrosyi’s name popped up on the black list of Russian citizens who are not deemed “eligible to visit” Ukraine. Obviously, this happened right before his plane landed in Zhulyany, Kiev’s international airport. After a brief arrest, Amvrosyi was put on a plane and sent back to Moscow. This is not the first such humiliation of the Orthodox Church and its priests that has taken place since the new pro-Western regime came to power in Kiev in 2014. Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church has been declared persona non grata throughout Ukraine since 2014. That decision was made by humiliatingly low-level officials. A department within the Ukrainian ministry of culture published a ruling stating that Kirill’s visit to Ukraine’s capital of Kiev “would not be desirable.”

Since the ancestors of modern Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians were first baptized in 988 in Kiev, the Patriarchs of the Russian Church have never had problems visiting Kiev, the birthplace of their church. Not even under the Bolsheviks did such prohibitions exist. So, for Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church to be denied permission to visit Kiev can only be compared to a possible prohibition against the pope visiting Rome. Since 2014, there have also been several criminal cases filed against the priests of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC MP) because they have called the hostilities in eastern Ukraine a “civil war” and have discouraged the faithful from supporting that war. This has been interpreted by the Ukrainian state authorities as a call for soldiers to desert the army.

Why Poroshenko’s meeting with Bartholomew is ominous

Despite the fact that the UOC MP has become used to all sorts of trouble since 2014, things have been looking even worse for the canonical church lately, as 2018 draws to a close. In early November 2018, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko broke the wall of separation between church and state in the most overt manner possible — he signed “an agreement on cooperation and joint action” between Ukraine and the so called Constantinople Patriarchate, the oldest institution of Orthodox Christianity, which is now based in Turkish Istanbul.

Rostislav Pavlenko, an aide to Poroshenko, wrote on his Facebook page that the agreement (not yet published) is premised on the creation of a new “autocephalous” Orthodox Church of Ukraine — a development that the official, existing Orthodox Churches in Russia and Ukraine view with foreboding as a “schism” that they have done all they can to prevent. Why? Because Poroshenko’s regime, which came to power via a violent coup in Kiev in 2014 on a wave of public anti-Russian sentiment, may try to force the canonical Orthodox Church of Ukraine to merge with other, non-canonical institutions and to surrender to them church buildings, including the famous monasteries in Kiev and Pochai, as well as other property.

President Poroshenko was visibly happy to sign the document — the contents of which have not yet been made public — on cooperation between the Ukrainian state and the Constantinople Patriarchate, in the office of Bartholomew, the head of the Constantinople Patriarchate. Poroshenko smiled and laughed, obviously rejoicing over the fact that the Constantinople Patriarchate is already embroiled in a scandalous rift with the Russian Orthodox Church and its Ukrainian sister church over several of Bartholomew’s recent moves. Bartholomew’s decision to “lift” the excommunication from two of Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic “priests,” in addition to Bartholomew’s declaration that the new church of Ukraine will be under Constantinople’s direct command — these moves were just not acceptable for the canonical Orthodox believers in Russia and Ukraine. Kirill, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC), as well as Onufriy, the Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine, are protesting loudly, viewing this situation as a breach of two basic principles. First of all, the Ukrainian state has interfered in the church’s affairs, asking Constantinople to give the Ukrainian church “autocephaly,” which that church never requested. Second, Constantinople itself has interfered in the affairs of two autonomous national churches, the Russian and the Ukrainian. In the eyes of Ukrainian and Russian clergy, Bartholomew is behaving like the Roman pope and not as a true Orthodox leader who respects the autonomy and self-rule of the separate, national Orthodox Churches.

The Russian President sympathizes with the believers’ pain

Two days before Poroshenko made his trip to Istanbul, Russian president Vladimir Putin broke with his usual reserve when commenting on faith issues to bitterly complain about the pain which believers in Russia and Ukraine have experienced from the recent divisions within the triangle of Orthodoxy’s three historic capitals — Constantinople, Kiev, and Moscow.

“Politicking in such a sensitive area as religion has always had grave consequences, first and foremost for the people who engaged in this politicking,” Putin said, addressing the World Congress of Russian Compatriots, an international organization that unites millions of ethnic and cultural Russians from various countries, including Ukraine. Himself a practicing Orthodox believer, Putin lauded Islam and Judaism, while at the same time complaining about the plight of Orthodox believers in Ukraine, where people of Orthodox heritage make up more than 80% of the population and where the church has traditionally acted as a powerful “spiritual link” with Russia.

Despite his complaints about “politicking,” Putin was careful not to go into the details of why exactly the state of affairs in Ukraine is so painful for Orthodox believers. That situation was explained by Patriarch Kirill. After many months of tense silence and an unsuccessful visit to Barthlomew’s office in Istanbul on August 31, Kirill has been literally crying for help in the last few weeks, saying he was “ready to go anywhere and talk to anyone” in order to prevent the destruction of the canonical Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

Politics with a “mystical dimension”

Kirill said the attack against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine “had not only a political, but also a mystical dimension.” Speaking in more earthly terms, there is a danger that the 1,000-year-old historical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) — which now owns 11,392 church buildings, 12,328 parishes, and two world-famous monasteries in Ukraine — will be dissolved. The roots of the UOC MP go back to the pre-Soviet Russian Empire and even further back to the era of Kievan Rus, the proto-state of the Eastern Slavs in the tenth-twelfth centuries AD, when the people who would later become Russians, Ukrainians, and Byelorussians were adopting Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire. It is by far the biggest church in Ukraine, as Mikhail Denisenko’s non-canonical “alternative” church has only 3,700 parishes that include church buildings (fewer than a third of what is owned by the UOC-MP, despite the fact that Denisenko enjoys official support from the Ukrainian state).

What many Russian and Ukrainian believers fear is that the Istanbul-based Patriarch Bartholomew will eventually grant Kiev what is being called autocephaly. In that event, the UOC-MP may be forced to merge with two other, non-canonical churches in Ukraine that have no apostolic liaison. The apostolic succession of the UOC-MP consists in the historical fact that its first bishops were ordained by medieval bishops from Constantinople, who had in turn been ordained by Christ’s disciples from ancient Israel. Apostolic succession is crucial for the Orthodox Church, where only bishops can ordain new priests and where the church’s connection to the first Christians is reflected in many ways, including in the clergy’s attire.

Metropolitan Hilarion (his secular name is Grigory Alfeyev), the Russian church’s chief spokesman on questions of schism and unity, accused the patriarch of contributing to the schism by officially “lifting” the excommunication from Ukraine’s most prominent schismatic church leader — the defrocked former bishop Mikhail Denisenko. That clergyman stands to gain most from the “autocephaly” promised to Poroshenko by Patriarch Bartholomew. A hierarchical Orthodox Church is considered to have autocephalous status, as its highest bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has stated that for Ukraine to be granted autocephaly from Istanbul, this would mean a complete “reformatting” of the country’s religious status quo and the severing of all links to Orthodox Russia and its “demons.”. Most likely, the new “united” church won’t be headed by the UOC MP’s Metropolitan, but by Mikhail Denisenko, who was excommunicated by both the UOC MP and the Russian church back in 1997 and with whom real Orthodox priests can only serve against their will and against the church’s internal rules.

Constantinople’s first dangerous moves

On October 11, 2018, the Constantinople Patriarchate made its first step towards granting autocephaly by repealing its own decision of 1686 that gave the Moscow Patriarch primacy over the Kiev-based Metropolitan. This 17th-century decision reflected the political reality of the merger between the states of Russia and Ukraine and established some order in the matters of church administration. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Moscow gave the Ukrainian church complete independence in financial and administrative matters, but the two churches retained their cherished “spiritual unity.” “Constantinople’s decision is aimed at destroying that unity,” the ROC’s Patriarch Kirill explained. “We can’t accept it. That is why our Holy Synod made the decision to end eucharistic communication with the Constantinople Patriarchate.”

How Moscow “excommunicated” Bartholomew

The end of eucharistic communication means that the priests of the two patriarchates (based in Moscow and Istanbul) won’t be able to hold church services together. It will be maintained as long as the threat of autocephaly continues. The Western mainstream media, however, interpreted this decision by the Russian church as a unilateral aggressive act. The NYT and the British tabloid press wrote that it simply reveals Putin’s “desperation” at not being able to keep Ukraine’s religious life under control.

However, Patriarch Bartholomew seems undeterred by the protests from the Russian faithful and the majority of Ukraine’s believers. Bartholomew said in a recent statement that Russia should just follow the example of Constantinople, which once granted autocephaly to the churches of the Balkan nations. Bartholomew’s ambassadors in Kiev do not shy away from communicating with the self-declared “Patriarch” Filaret (Mikhail Denisenko’s adopted religious name from back when he was the UOC MP’s Metropolitan prior to his excommunication in 1997). For true Orthodox believers, any communication with Denisenko has been forbidden since 1992, the year when he founded his own so-called Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP). Unfortunately, Denisenko enjoys the full support of Ukrainian President Poroshenko, and recently the US State Department began encouraging Denisenko, by giving its full support to Ukraine’s autocephaly.

The lifting of Denisenko’s excommunication by Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul both upset and embittered the Orthodox believers in both Ukraine and Moscow, since Denisenko was excommunicated by a joint decision of the Russian church and the UOC MP in 1997, after a five-year wait for his return to the fold of the mother church. So, by undoing that decision, Constantinople has interfered in the canonical territory of both the Ukrainian and the Russian churches.

The UOC-MP protested, accusing not only Patriarch Bartholomew, but also the Ukrainian state of interfering in the church’s affairs. “We are being forced to get involved in politics. The politicians do not want Christ to run our church; they want to do it themselves,” said Metropolitan Onufriy (Onuphrius), the head of the UOC-MP, in an interview with PravMir, an Orthodox website. “Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has been independent. Our church did not ask for autocephaly, because we already have independence. We have our own Synod (church council) and our own church court. Decisions are made by a congress of bishops and priests from all over Ukraine. We have financial and administrative independence, so autocephaly for us will be a limitation, not an expansion of our rights.”

Poroshenko’s premature jubilation

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Poroshenko did not conceal his jubilation about Constantinople’s moves. “This is a victory of good over evil, light over darkness,” Poroshenko said when the news about the lifting of Denisenko’s excomnmunication came from Istanbul in early October.

Poroshenko said he wanted a “united Orthodox Church” for his country, and he openly pressured Patriarch Bartholomew to provide autocephaly to Kiev during his visits to Istanbul in the spring of 2018 and in November of the same year. Meanwhile, Denisenko said that the provision of autocephaly would mean the immediate dispossession of the UOC MP. “This Russian church (UOC MP) will have to cede control of its church buildings and famous monasteries to the new Ukrainian church, which will be ours,” Denisenko was quoted by Ukrainian media as saying. “These monasteries have been owned by the state since Soviet times, and the state gave them to the Russian church for temporary use. Now the state will appoint our communities of believers as the new guardians of this heritage.” Denisenko also made a visit to the US, where he met Undersecretary of State Wess Mitchell, obtaining from him America’s active support for the creation of a “unified” Ukrainian church.

There is still a chance to prevent the schism from occurring. Poroshenko’s presidential aide, Rostislav Pavlenko, made it clear on Tuesday that the actual “tomos” (a letter from the Constantinople Patriarchate allowing the creation of an autocephalous church) will be delivered only IN RESPONSE to a request from a “unifying convention” that represents all of Ukraine’s Orthodox believers in at least some sort of formal manner. This new convention will have to declare the creation of a new church and elect this church’s official head. Only then will Constantinople be able to give that person the cherished “tomos.”

Since the UOC-MP has made it very clear that it won’t participate in any such convention, the chances of the smooth transition and easy victory over the “Muscovite believers” that Poroshenko wants so badly are quite slim. There are big scandals, big fights, and big disappointments ahead.

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Russia’s Next Weapon: A Church

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces.

The Duran

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Authored by Michael Peck via The National Interest:


Meet Vladimir Putin’s newest weapon: a church.

The Russian military plans to build a military church to bolster the spiritual values of its armed forces. Construction will soon begin of the Main Church of the Armed Forces, to be erected in Patriot Park outside Moscow, according to Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, deputy defense minister and chief of the armed forces’ Main Military-Political Directorate, a new organization responsible for political education of the troops.

The “new church will be one more example of the people’s unity around the idea of patriotism, love, and devotion to our Motherland,” Kartapolov told Russian journalists.

To say the church, dubbed by some as the “Khaki Temple,” will have a martial air would be an understatement.

“The walls of the military church are really made in the color of the standard Russian missile system and armored vehicle,” according to the Russian newspaper The Independent [Google English translation here ] “…From the inside, the walls are decorated with paintings with battle scenes from military history and texts from the Holy Scriptures. The projected height is 95 meters [104 feet] and is designed for 6,000 people.”

“Kartapolov is convinced that the modern Russian serviceman cannot be shaped without shaping lofty spirituality in him,” Russian media said. “Speaking about ideology, the deputy head of the military department pointed out that this will be based on knowledge of the history of our Motherland and people and on historical and cultural traditions.”

“Even though the Russian constitution states that ‘no ideology may be established as state or obligatory,’ the Kremlin continues to search for a unifying set of beliefs,” notes the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office.

Religion has long played a role in Russian military life, first through the Russian Orthodox Church in Tsarist times, and then—in a secular way—through Communism in Soviet times. “In late imperial Russia, when they began to build garrisons, every regiment sought to build a regimental church, but not a synagogue or mosque,” Roger Reese, an historian at Texas A&M University who has written books on the Tsarist and Soviet armed forces, told the National Interest. “In Putin’s Russia, the Orthodox Church seeks every opportunity to represent itself as the national religion and tie itself to the state as it had under the tsars, so this act represents continuity broken temporarily by the Soviet years. Of course the Soviet regime did not build churches for the army, but it did build the ‘House of the Red Army,’ shaped like a star, in Moscow dedicated to the use of the Red Army and its soldiers.

In some respects it was analogous to a USO [United Service Organization that supports American soldiers] building. So Putin’s dedicating one particular building to the use of the Russian Army soldiers for purposes of morale—and morals—is in line with that.”

While the thought of a military church will be distasteful to some, Russia is hardly unique in linking the military and religion.

Many armies, the United States and Israel included, maintain chaplains who wear uniform and hold military rank. Chapels are common on military bases, and soldiers are given time for – and sometimes pressured to – attend religious services. While a Russian military church is likely to favor a specific denomination – Russian Orthodoxy – even that isn’t unique: non-Christian members of the U.S. military have complained of religious discrimination , especially by Christian fundamentalists.

What’s interesting is how little things change. Be it the Tsar’s conscripts, or the Red Army’s draftees or the volunteers who comprise much of modern Russia’s military, some spiritual reinforcement is deemed necessary to get soldiers to fight.

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