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Ukrainian politicians want to DEMOLISH Kiev church lead by former US Navy chaplain

The leader of the Tithes Monastery has appealed to President Donald Trump for help




This latest act of cultural genocide in Ukraine is being committed against a Monastery of the legitimate Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is lead by a US citizen, Archimandrite Gideon, who was decorated as a former US Navy chaplain according to the Union of Orthodox Journalists.

The Tithes Monastery is a new  (2007) structure built on site of possibly the most ancient Russian Church in the world. See their website here, or better yet, take this beautiful virtual tour! In 2006, believers witness that they saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary at a service in a tent on the site of the current church.

the tent where the monastery now stands

The attack on this land by Ukrainian nationalists follows in the tradition of none other than Vladimir Lenin, whom they claim to despise. A similar attack on the same grounds was conducted by the Bolsheviks before in history, as we discuss further in the article.

We just reported on the attack against the Tithes Monastery by Ukrainian radicals of the C14 fascist organization. Despite being attacked by would-be arsonists who wished to kill the Orthodox believers, the Brotherhood responded in a way exemplifying how Christians should treat to those who hate them – with love and forgiveness.

Russian-Ukrainian Church offers to pay bail of radicals who attacked them, appeals to Trump

This is following the example set by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev, and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who both urge Ukrainians to end the conflict and forgive one another.

Russian-Ukrainian Church offers to pay bail of radicals who attacked them, appeals to Trump

The Union of Orthodox Journalists, as well as various Ukrainian and Russian language sources, have announced the Kiev city council will be recommending that the mayor of Kiev slate the monastery for demolition, on the false pretext that it is not legally registered.

Even if that were true as a legal technicality, that would be like Rome threatening to demolish the Vatican walls, because their coding was out of date. This is a deliberate attack against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, because she maintains the proper canonical union with the Moscow Patriarchate. The Union of Orthodox Journalists report:

On February 9 at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Kiev City Council on urban development, architecture and land use all 18 present deputies supported the petition with an appeal to demolish Tithes church. It is reported by ”Radio Svoboda”.

The deputies recommended that mayor of Kiev Vitaliy Klichko support the petition and “instruct the structural units of the executive body of the Kiev City Council to take all measures envisaged by the current legislation aimed at eliminating offenses as soon as possible.”

On January 25 representatives of the “C14” and other right-wing radical organizations together with MP Igor Lutsenko committed an assault of the Desiatinny Monastery. At night, two radicals tried to set fire to the temple, for which they were arrested. During the detention, they shouted at the monastery’s brethren: “I’ll burn you, b*tch! You’re a KGB officer. I’ll kick you now, okay? You are a slut that has no place here; I tell you this in Russian. To you, clowns in skirts, there is no respect.”

On February 1, at the meeting in the building of the committees of the Verkhovna Rada, which Igor Lutsenko had assembled, one of the “activists” again promised to demolish the church if the authorities did not do it.

On February 3 believers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church gathered for the joint prayer at Tithes Monastery of the Nativity of the Theotokos in Kiev. The brethren called on the faithful to get united to protect the temple from radicals.

Not only is this new attack against the Monastery tragic, but it is ironic how Ukrainian nationalists who despise communism, as you can see from their language above, are following in the path of the Bolsheviks – history repeats itself it seems.

The older “Tithes Church” on the left, built over the same territory was demolished by the Bolsheviks in the early 20th century

A firm question must be posed to the Ukrainian nationalists: Who do you hate your fatherland? How can you follow in the path of Lenin and Batu Khan (of the Mongol Horde) while screaming “Glory to Ukraine!” You are destroying whatever glory and honor remain in the Ukraine, by destroying the roots of Rus’ civilization, which Ukraine shares with Russia and Belarus!

The story of the Tithes Church is filled with tears, it seems like ever since the fall of Kiev in 1240, an evil fate just doesn’t want a Church on this territory to stand. Every single church built on this territory was demolished, only the Tithes Monastery remains.

The first tithes church

The first Tithes Church was built by the greatest of all Russian Rulers, the founder of Holy Russia – Vladimir Equal-to-the-Apostles, when the High-King (Grand Prince) of Kiev set aside a tithe of his income, to build the first magnificent stone structure in Rus, just before the end of the first millennia. Saint Vladimir’s Church was raised to the ground by the Mongol Horde in 1240 during the Fall of Kiev. The church contained at one time the relics of Pope Saint Clement I, the first century Saint martyred in Crimea, which was brought by Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles to the Slavs and inventors of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Its depressing ruins all covered in ash became a symbol of Kiev – one of Europes greatest capitols ruined by the Mongols. The ruins fit well with the Slavic spirit of melancholy, both a testimony to former glory and to the sad reality of contemporary life – fitting as well in modern Ukraine.

Various attempts to rebuild it have all failed to capture the former glory, like the one by Saint Petro Mohyla, Metropolitan of Kiev in the 17th century.

By far the most successful reconstruction was the one in the 19th century, however, it was built in the distinctive Neo-Byzantine Russian Revival style, instead of the more accurate Paelo-Byzantine style of the Ur-Tithes Church.

Regardless if the triumphant Church did not resemble the historical one, it lasted as a beautiful landmark of Kiev, until its demolition by Bolsheviks in the early 20th century. Since then, talk of restoring the Tithes Church was always of great importance to Orthodox Christians, as well as Slavists with an interest in the historical value. The current wooden Church was built on the grounds in 2007, with the blessing His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine of Thrice Blessed Memory.

The wooden tithes church, with the classic Saint Andrew’s towering over Kiev in the background

In 2006, believers gathered to celebrate Easter in a tent on the spot, when they said the Virgin Mary appeared to them.

the tent where the monastery now stands

As a result, the current Church was constructed in 2007, a stone throw away from the site of the actual ruins of the Tithes Church.

The excavated ruins of the old Tithes church (right) next to the modern Tithes Monastery (front centre) which is in grave danger. Saint Andrew’s Church in the background is on a hill.

The Tithes Church may be small, but it is precious to believers. Some architecture experts have warned reconstructing a Church of the magnitude of the original would clash with the Baroque Andrews Church, built on the site with the Apostle of Christ Saint Andrew preached, especially if it is built in Byzantine style.

Saint Andrew’s Church is occupied by heretical nationalist sects

The argument falls flat, in that the reconstruction of the ancient Church of the Tithes supersedes any recent projects in it’s importance to Kiev and all Russia. One may make the parallel that this would be the Russian equivalent of rebuilding Solomon’s temple, and it seems the circumstances surrounding it are equally apocalyptic.

The Tithes monastery may not be as glorious as the old Tithes Church, but it’s the only little legacy we have left. Demolishing it is literally, not figuratively, but literally following in the footsteps of the Bolsheviks, whom the nationalists claim to hate. If the monastery is again raised to the ground, it’s like destroying Kievan Rus a second time.

If Ukrainian nationalists succeed in having it demolished, this is not only a massive step backward for Ukraine, but an insult to God’s Mother, and the greatest ruler of Kiev, Saint Vladimir, in honor of whom the Tithes Monastery is dedicated.

Please spread the word, and raise awareness before it’s too late, and Kiev yet again falls into the ashen quagmire of ruin.

It’s not too late to save the Monastery, but there may be only one hope…

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Russia’s Lukoil Halts Oil Swaps In Venezuela After U.S. Sanctions

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades.




Litasco, the international trading arm of Russia’s second-biggest oil producer Lukoil, stopped its oil swaps deals with Venezuela immediately after the U.S. imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry and state oil firm PDVSA, Lukoil’s chief executive Vagit Alekperov said at an investment forum in Russia.

Russia, which stands by Nicolas Maduro in the ongoing Venezuelan political crisis, has vowed to defend its interests in Venezuela—including oil interests—within the international law using “all mechanisms available to us.”

Because of Moscow’s support for Maduro, the international community and market analysts are closely watching the relationship of Russian oil companies with Venezuela.

“Litasco does not work with Venezuela. Before the restrictions were imposed, Litasco had operations to deliver oil products and to sell oil. There were swap operations. Today there are none, since the sanctions were imposed,” Lukoil’s Alekperov said at the Russian Investment Forum in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

Another Russian oil producer, Gazprom Neft, however, does not see major risks for its oil business in Venezuela, the company’s chief executive officer Alexander Dyukov said at the same event.

Gazprom Neft has not supplied and does not supply oil products to Venezuela needed to dilute the thick heavy Venezuelan oil, Dyukov said, noting that the Latin American country hadn’t approached Gazprom Neft for possible supply of oil products for diluents.

Under the new wide-ranging U.S. sanctions, Venezuela will not be able to import U.S. naphtha which it has typically used to dilute its heavy crude grades. Analysts expect that a shortage of diluents could accelerate beginning this month the already steadily declining Venezuelan oil production and exports.

Venezuela’s crude oil production plunged by another 59,000 bpd from December 2018 to stand at just 1.106 million bpd in January 2019, OPEC’s secondary sources figures showed in the cartel’s closely watched Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) this week.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for

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Germany Pulls Rank on Macron and American Energy Blackmail

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question.



Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation:

It was billed politely as a Franco-German “compromise” when the EU balked at adopting a Gas Directive which would have undermined the Nord Stream 2 project with Russia.

Nevertheless, diplomatic rhetoric aside, Berlin’s blocking last week of a bid by French President Emmanuel Macron to impose tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 gas project was without doubt a firm rebuff to Paris.

Macron wanted to give the EU administration in Brussels greater control over the new pipeline running from Russia to Germany. But in the end the so-called “compromise” was a rejection of Macron’s proposal, reaffirming Germany in the lead role of implementing the Nord Stream 2 route, along with Russia.

The $11-billion, 1,200 kilometer pipeline is due to become operational at the end of this year. Stretching from Russian mainland under the Baltic Sea, it will double the natural gas supply from Russia to Germany. The Berlin government and German industry view the project as a vital boost to the country’s ever-robust economy. Gas supplies will also be distributed from Germany to other European states. Consumers stand to gain from lower prices for heating homes and businesses.

Thus Macron’s belated bizarre meddling was rebuffed by Berlin. A rebuff was given too to the stepped-up pressure from Washington for the Nord Stream 2 project to be cancelled. Last week, US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and two other American envoys wrote an op-ed for Deutsche Welle in which they accused Russia of trying to use “energy blackmail” over Europe’s geopolitics.

Why France’s Macron, at the last minute, attempted to undermine the project by placing stiffer regulations is a curious question. Those extra regulations if they had been imposed would have potentially made the Russian gas supply more expensive. As it turns out, the project will now go-ahead without onerous restrictions.

In short, Macron and the spoiling tactics of Washington, along with EU states hostile to Russia, Poland and the Baltic countries, have been put in their place by Germany and its assertion of national interests of securing economical and abundant gas supply from Russia. Other EU member states that backed Berlin over Nord Stream 2 were Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece and the Netherlands.

Washington’s claims that Nord Stream 2 would give Russia leverage of Europe’s security have been echoed by Poland and the Baltic states. Poland, and non-EU Ukraine, stand to lose out billions of dollars-worth of transit fees. Such a move, however, is the prerogative of Germany and Russia to find a more economical mode of supply. Besides, what right has Ukraine to make demands on a bilateral matter that is none of its business? Kiev’s previous bad faith over not paying gas bills to Russia disbars it from reasonable opinion.

Another factor is the inherent Russophobia of Polish and Baltic politicians who view everything concerning Russia through a prism of paranoia.

For the Americans, it is obviously a blatant case of seeking to sell their own much more expensive natural gas to Europe’s giant energy market – in place of Russia’s product. Based on objective market figures, Russia is the most competitive supplier to Europe. The Americans are therefore trying to snatch a strategic business through foul means of propaganda and political pressure. Ironically, the US German ambassador Richard Grenell and the other American envoys wrote in their recent oped: “Europe must retain control of its energy security.”

Last month, Grenell threatened German and European firms involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2 that they could face punitive American sanctions in the future. Evidently, it is the US side that is using “blackmail” to coerce others into submission, not Russia.

Back to Macron. What was he up to in his belated spoiling tactics over Nord Stream 2 and in particular the attempted problems being leveled for Germany if the extra regulations had been imposed?

It seems implausible that Macron was suddenly finding a concern for Poland and the Baltic states in their paranoia over alleged Russian invasion.

Was Macron trying to garner favors from the Trump administration? His initial obsequious rapport with Trump has since faded from the early days of Macron’s presidency in 2017. By doing Washington’s bidding to undermine the Nord Stream 2 project was Macron trying to ingratiate himself again?

The contradictions regarding Macron are replete. He is supposed to be a champion of “ecological causes”. A major factor in Germany’s desire for the Nord Stream 2 project is that the increased gas supply will reduce the European powerhouse’s dependence on dirty fuels of coal, oil and nuclear power. By throwing up regulatory barriers, Macron is making it harder for Germany and Europe to move to cleaner sources of energy that the Russian natural gas represents.

Also, if Macron had succeeded in imposing tougher regulations on the Nord Stream 2 project it would have inevitably increased the costs to consumers for gas bills. This is at a time when his government is being assailed by nationwide Yellow Vest protests over soaring living costs, in particular fuel-price hikes.

A possible factor in Macron’s sabotage bid in Germany’s Nord Stream 2 plans was his chagrin over Berlin’s rejection of his much-vaunted reform agenda for the Eurozone bloc within the EU. Despite Macron’s very public amity with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Berlin has continually knocked back the French leader’s ambitions for reform.

It’s hard to discern what are the real objectives of Macron’s reforms. But they seem to constitute a “banker’s charter”. Many eminent German economists have lambasted his plans, which they say will give more taxpayer-funded bailouts to insolvent banks. They say Macron is trying to move the EU further away from the social-market economy than the bloc already has moved.

What Macron, an ex-Rothschild banker, appears to be striving for is a replication of his pro-rich, anti-worker policies that he is imposing on France, and for these policies to be extended across the Eurozone. Berlin is not buying it, realizing such policies will further erode the social fabric. This could be the main reason why Macron tried to use the Nord Stream 2 project as leverage over Berlin.

In the end, Macron and Washington – albeit working for different objectives – were defeated in their attempts to sabotage the emerging energy trade between Germany, Europe and Russia. Nord Stream 2, as with Russia’s Turk Stream to the south of Europe, seems inevitable by sheer force of natural partnership.

On this note, the Hungarian government’s comments this week were apt. Budapest accused some European leaders and the US of “huge hypocrisy” in decrying association with Russia over energy trade. Macron has previously attended an economics forum in St Petersburg, and yet lately has sought to “blackmail” and disrupt Germany over its trade plans with Russia.

As for the Americans, their arrant hypocrisy is beyond words. As well as trying to dictate to Europe about “market principles” and “energy security”, it was reported this week that Washington is similarly demanding Iraq to end its import of natural gas from neighboring Iran.

Iraq is crippled by electricity and power shortages because of the criminal war that the US waged on that country from 2003-2011 which destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. Iraq critically needs Iranian gas supplies to keep the lights and fans running. Yet, here we have the US now dictating to Iraq to end its lifeline import of Iranian fuel in order to comply with the Trump administration’s sanctions against Tehran. Iraq is furious at the latest bullying interference by Washington in its sovereign affairs.

The hypocrisy of Washington and elitist politicians like Emmanuel Macron has become too much to stomach. Maybe Germany and others are finally realizing who the charlatans are.

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Russia Readies Own Web To Survive Global Internet Shutdown

Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.



Via Zerohedge

Russian authorities and major telecom operators are preparing to disconnect the country from the world wide web as part of an exercise to prepare for future cyber attacks, Russian news agency RosBiznesKonsalting (RBK) reported last week.

The purpose of the exercise is to develop a threat analysis and provide feedback to a proposed law introduced in the Russian Parliament last December.

The draft law, called the Digital Economy National Program, requires Russian internet service providers (ISP) to guarantee the independence of the Russian Internet (Runet) in the event of a foreign attack to sever the country’s internet from the world wide web.

Telecom operators (MegaFon, VimpelCom (Beeline brand), MTS, Rostelecom and others) will have to introduce the “technical means” to re-route all Russian internet traffic to exchange points approved by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), Russia’s federal executive body responsible for censorship in media and telecommunications.

Roskomnazor will observe all internet traffic and make sure data between Russian users stays within the country’s borders, and is not re-routed abroad.

The exercise is expected to occur before April 1, as Russian authorities have not given exact dates.

The measures described in the law include Russia constructing its internet system, known as Domain Name System (DNS), so it can operate independently from the rest of the world.

Across the world, 12 companies oversee the root servers for DNS and none are located in Russia. However, there are copies of Russia’s core internet address book inside the country suggesting its internet could keep operating if the US cut it off.

Ultimately, the Russian government will require all domestic traffic to pass through government-controlled routing points. These hubs will filter traffic so that data sent between Russians internet users work seamlessly, but any data to foreign computers would be rejected.

Besides protecting its internet, Russia is simultaneously building a mass censorship system similar to that seen in China.

“What Russia wants to do is to bring those router points that handle data entering or exiting the country within its borders and under its control- so that it can then pull up the drawbridge, as it were, to external traffic if it’s under threat – or if it decides to censor what outside information people can access.

China’s firewall is probably the world’s best known censorship tool and it has become a sophisticated operation. It also polices its router points, using filters and blocks on keywords and certain websites and redirecting web traffic so that computers cannot connect to sites the state does not wish Chinese citizens to see,” said BBC.

The Russian government started preparations for creating its internet several years ago. Russian officials expect 95% of all internet traffic locally by next year.

As for Russia unplugging its internet from the rest of the world for an upcoming training exercise, well, this could potentially anger Washington because it is one less sanction that can keep Moscow contained.

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